Before a project can be started, companies and firms usually need to know how much these projects will cost. Determining costs can be especially difficult when projects are very technical, thus creating the need for estimators with thorough knowledge of the mechanical aspects of the project costs.
Projects that are technical in nature often need estimates that are difficult for regular cost estimators to determine. Individuals with special mechanical training are needed in order to be able to estimate a variety of factors such as how much labor and material costs a project will have and how much manpower will be needed. These mechanical estimators must also determine whether or not subcontractors will be needed. The mechanical estimator gives the project managers a sense of how much a project is going to cost, according to Boldt. These mechanical estimators must communicate with the client, gather all necessary data and analyze this data in order to get a sense of how much the project will cost. In some cases, the mechanical estimator works for the company that will eventually pay the bill, while in other cases the mechanical estimator works for an independent contracting company and creates the bill that has to be paid by the clients.
Mechanical estimators often must travel to the location where the project is being carried out and might also need to travel to meet with clients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that mechanical estimators tend to work 40 hours a week.
The educational requirements for a mechanical estimator are usually a bachelor’s degree in engineering, according to Boldt. The mechanical estimator must have several years of experience in the industry that he intends to work in. This estimator must often have to manage several projects simultaneously, which means that the estimator needs good organizational and time management skills. This estimator must have experience with the software used by her company to estimate costs. The mechanical estimator must also have good problem solving skills, according to MEP.
Between 2008 and 2018, the need for cost estimators such as mechanical estimators is expected to grow by 25 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of this growth will be in the construction industry where mechanical estimators are needed to give cost estimates of mechanical equipment within new buildings.
The median annual earnings for mechanical estimators and other cost estimators were $57,300 in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 percent earned more than $95,190, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,560.
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