Electrical Estimator

How to Become an Electrical Estimator?

Electrical Estimator

Do you know you can earn around $5,884 monthly as an electrical cost estimator in the US? Yes, it makes approximately $70,612 per year. And after 5 years of estimating experience, it can increase to $100,000 annually.

But how to become an electrical estimator in the US? It is the most commonly asked question students are concerned about after completing their secondary or intermediate education.

Well, if you are one of them, this blog post is for you. Here, we will cover all aspects including education, certifications, training, expertise, and many more. Let’s start this journey together!

Who is an Electrical Estimator?

The electrical estimator is a professional who is responsible for calculating the electrical project budget. He covers all expenses while considering materials and labor required for a particular electrical project. He calculates the project budget and creates a detailed plan tailored to the client’s unique desires. Explore further electrical estimating JDs below!

JDs of an Electrical Estimator

  • Electrical project budget estimation
  • Blueprint reading and understanding
  • Comprehending project specifications
  • Contract negotiation
  • Electrical project bidding
  • Project team leading
  • Quality assurance
  • Electrical project budget management

Let’s Become An Electrical Estimator!

You must follow an organized plan to become an electrical estimator in the US because high expertise and industry knowledge are required for this post.

Invest Time in Education

Start your journey with education and qualifications. It is essential to understand basic and detailed concepts of the field you are entering.

invest time in education

Degrees to Become an Electrical Estimator

There are options available when you search for an education interlinked with the electrical estimating field. Let’s explore them below!

  • Associate Degrees to Become an Electrical Estimator

It is the most straightforward option to become an electrical estimator by profession. It is a simple degree that takes 2 years to complete. The topics you cover in this degree include:

  • Fundamentals of electrical job 
  • Installations
  • Testing
  • Electrical equipment maintenance
  • Reading electrical drawings
  • Electronic circuitry
  • Programmable logic devices
Institutes You Can Opt for Electrical Estimator Associate Degrees
  • Wright State University
  • Keiser University
  • Kent State University
  • Miami University
  • Shoreline Community College
  • Pittsburg State University
  • Valencia College
  • University Of Akron
Bachelor’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering

If you want a 4-year degree, you can get a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. In this degree, you make projects, attend internships, and perform presentations while covering all the topics in detail.

Institutes You Can Opt for Bachelor’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of California, Barkley (UCB)
  • Stanford University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (UIUC)
Bachelor’s Degrees in Construction Management

You can also go with the construction management option if you want to cover more with cost estimation. This degree enables you to offer many other services with electrical estimating services.

Institutes You Can Opt for Bachelor’s Degrees in Construction Management
  • Clemson University
  • Drexel University
  • Everglades University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Western Carolina University
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Florida

Understand Estimating Processes & Responsibilities

As a fresher, you must understand the estimating process and your duties. You can use tools and equipment to accomplish this goal. The responsibilities that you will have to perform as an electrical estimator will include:

  • Quantifying materials and labor
  • Technically analyzing tender returns
  • Striving for the most competitive tender
  • Preparing cost plans for electrical project
  • Managing project banking
  • Managing subcontractors
  • Ensuring smooth cash-flow
  • Regularly updating estimates
  • Updating plans with variations

Become a Local Electrician First

Once you have a basic understanding of electrical estimation and the essential tools used in this process, you can move to the next step of your journey. Now, start working as a local electrician. 8 out of every 10 electrical estimators start their journey by initiating work as an electrician.

local electrician

You need to spend 3-5 years in this phase to have complete hands-on estimating tools. You physically practice measurements, read electrical drawings, and convert them into real-world ones during this phase of your electrical estimating career. Furthermore, you work with senior estimators who help you polish your skills and expand your industry knowledge during the same phase of electrical estimating.

Obtain Formal Certification in Electrical Estimating

It is an apprenticeship letter you get after completing training as a fresh electrical estimator. The training is essential to add something unique to your resume and stand out from other candidates when applying for a job.

Meaningful Certifications for an Electrical Estimator

  • Certified Cost Estimator (CCE)
  • Master Project Manager (MPM)
  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
  • Engineer in Training Certifications (EIT)
  • Certified Estimating Professional (CEP)
  • American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE)
  • Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International Certification (AACE)

For all these certificates, you must have an experience of 2+ years and have passed the written test.

Develop Electrical Estimating Attributes & Expertise

Have you ever explored the difference between soft and hard electrical estimating skills? It is a point where attributes and expertise differ from qualification, apprenticeship, and training.


Hard Skills Soft Skills
Measurable Less Measurable
Teachable Boost With Practice
E.g.: Estimation, How to use tools, How to operate the system, etc. E.g.: Communication, time management, teamwork, etc.


Both skills are required to become an electrical estimator in the US. We have already discussed the hard skills in the above portions. Now, it is time to explore some soft ones:

  • Strong Communication Skills

Whether you consider spoken or written communication skills, both are essential to becoming an electrical estimator.

  • Written Communication Skills

Written communication skills include professional and mistake-free tender documentation. There should be no spelling and grammar mistakes in the papers.

  • Spoken Communication Skills

On the other hand, spoken communication skills are required to confidently conduct meetings with clients or team members. The words, the slang, the tone, and the accent you use must be understandable for everyone.

  • Ability to Stay Focused & Attention to Detail

An electrical estimator must be good at staying focused and attention to detail. Lack of any one of them can cause significant financial crises. Never hurry when comprehending the electrical project, even during the electrician phase.

Try to keep recording data and be consistent when starting your profession as an electrician. It can help you feel handy with these skills when you become an electrical estimator.

These skills are also essential to hitting 100% accuracy in electrical estimates – an essential factor to ensure project and business success.

  • Project Management Abilities

Electrical estimators deal with and manage different factors when working on a project – for instance, managing subcontractors and stakeholders involved in an electrical project. As an electrical estimator, you deal with contractors’ quotes, reply to clients’ queries, and negotiate with suppliers.

Therefore, your project management abilities must touch the sky heights. You must be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously when working as an electrical estimator.

Stay Up-to-date with the Market Trends

Technology and market fluctuations vary things in the electrical estimating world. You can only move with the flow if you adopt things on time and start practicing them in the real world.

market trends

Therefore, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with the market trends and modify your working styles.

Build a Professional Network

Once you are ready to jump into the real ground, open your access and expand your reach to different construction industry professionals. Look for the open doors and share your CV and resume to fill the position.

Besides the job, you can also expand your connections to reach your target audience and win the electrical project as a freelancer. You can get assistance from senior estimators in your networks and learn how to win the first project.

How to Expand Your Reach?

  • Join electrical estimating groups on Linked and Facebook
  • Join electrical estimating communities on WhatsApp
  • Attend workshops and industrial gatherings
  • Conduct and attend training sessions
  • Atten official seminars to expand your network

Invest Time in Professional Learning & Development

Never sit idle if your goal is to become a professional electrical estimator! Always strive for professional learning and continuous development. It will mix up with your qualifications, certifications, and skills, and upgrade your scale in the market.

How to Develop Yourself at a Professional Level?

  • Apply for more and more certifications
  • Invest time in diplomas such as site management, project control, and contracting operations

Remember, the approach is for your personal growth and to attain a good position in a famous construction company.

Obtain the License

Once you are eligible for an electrical estimating license, apply for it with complete and correct information. You can apply for one of the following examinations according to the suitable criteria:

Limited Electrical Contractor Business Criteria 1

  • Degree in Electrical Engineering
  • Qualification must be from an accredited college
  • 8,000 hours of electrical experience

Limited Electrical Contractor Business Criteria 2

  • 16,000 hours of working experience in the electrical world (estimating, project management, electrical work)
  • Must be owner, officer, or partner in an electrical company

Unlimited Electrical Contractor Business Criteria

  • 12,000 hours of electrical working experience (verifiable)
  • Employed at a licensed electrical contracting firm
  • Proof of 4,000 hours + 2 years of working experience as an unlimited electrical expert
  • 6,000 hours of electrical experience in the commercial and industrial sector
  • 2,000 hours satisfied by formal electrical education

Unlimited Electrical Journeyman Criteria

  • 8,000 hours of electrical working experience (verifiable)
  • 4,000 hours of electrical experience in the commercial and industrial sector
  • 2,000 hours satisfied by formal electrical education

Residential Electrical Contractor Business Criteria

  • 8,000 hours of electrical working experience (verifiable)
  • 4,000 hours of electrical experience as a residential or unlimited journeyman
  • 4,000 hours of electrical experience as a registered apprentice
  • 3,000 hours of electrical experience as a registered apprentice + 1,000 hours satisfied by formal electrical education

Residential Electrical Journeyman Criteria

  • 4,000 hours of electrical working experience on the job (verifiable)
  • 1,000 hours satisfied by formal electrical education

Refinery Electrical Journeyman Criteria

  • A verifiable license in the unlimited electrical division.

Once you apply, prepare for the examination, clear it, and get the license.

Apply for a Professional Position

Once you get the license, you can work as an individual electrical estimator and even work under a construction estimating firm.

Keep flourishing your skills and update your knowledge with time. It is essential to maintain your position in the market.

Career Options After Becoming an Electrical Estimator

Once you become an electrical estimator, you will see multiple doors open for you. You can find the following career options after completing your electrical estimator journey:

  • Electrical cost estimator
  • Electrical subcontractor
  • Project manager
  • Electrical contractor
  • Electrical contacts manager
  • Project team leader
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Electrical engineers
How Much Can You Earn in Different Careers as an Electrical Estimator
Profession Earning
Project Team Leader $20,000 to $42,500
Quality Assurance Manager $26,500 to $63,500
Electrical Contacts Manager $26,500 to $74,000


Summing Up

Your qualifications, experience, knowledge, expertise, and development matter a lot when you pass through the electrical estimator journey. So, get an education, develop your skills, expand your network, and polish your skills to start working as a professional electrical estimator in the US. Undoubtedly, it will take many years. But once you become an electrical estimator, you can earn 6 digits in dollars. So, start your journey with our comprehensive electrical estimator guide today!