A construction estimator in the building trade calculates and prepares tender submissions for an employer or client by working out detailed construction and material costs and estimating a profit.
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In order to prepare a tender, the construction estimator has to work with a quantity surveyor to estimate the type and amount of necessary materials, estimate the plant and equipment cost, predict timescales, calculate wages and establish a likely completion date by allowing for bad weather. The result will be the tender price.
While preparing the tender, the construction estimator has to keep in mind the competition. Some tenders allow for negotiations between clients and tendering construction companies, where experience and specialisation can play a major factor next to the prize. Others tenders are arranged to determine and accept the cheapest bidder.
The estimator must meet tight deadlines, coordinate a lot of information and ultimately win work for the employer or client. Work is predominantly office-based, with some requirements to visit construction sites. Construction estimators mostly are employed by contractors or consultancies, but some work self-employed. Salaries lie between £27,300 and £42,250 as of 2010, according to the job website Prospects.
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