How to Become a Plumbing Estimator?

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Costing is regarded as the backbone of any business success, and plumbing is no exception. Though it is a highly competitive business, without organized plumbing estimating and bidding process, you can’t achieve customer satisfaction. 

Though it may seem like a small task for any business, there is more to it. As with any business, it can become very lucrative at times, so making an accurate and thorough estimate is essential before starting any task.

The plumbing estimators come into action to tackle such complications in the plumbing business

They serve the purpose of making the bidding right for your company and achieving department sales. Believe it or not, they are the best bet for the company. 

If you are seeking the steps to become a plumbing estimator and bring great value to your career and business, then this article is for you.

Educational Requirements For Becoming a Plumbing Estimator

Some general education requirements must be met before beginning your journey to becoming a plumbing estimator. Here are a few basic requirements:

  • There must be a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in high school.
  • The candidate must possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Quantitative Surveying, Construction Management, or Building Studies. Plumbing estimation and tendering should be included in the courses as units.
  • Furthermore, you will need to have plumbing license, experience managing plumbing projects like installation procedures for a minimum of three years.
  • It is also essential to build up skills in this area for the plumbing industry to stay at the forefront of the information technology revolution.

Steps to Become a Plumbing Estimator

The key to acquiring a plumbing estimator job can be achieved through various entry points, so if this is something that interests you, learn more about it here. 

The right candidate for this position must demonstrate experience and patience and be willing to work hard towards achieving this position. 

As plumbing estimators are accountable for a great deal of responsibility and their work affects the project significantly, they must have relevant experience to undertake the role. 

A plumbing estimator must complete the following three steps to become one:

Earn a bachelor’s degree

A person seeking to become a plumbing cost estimator must start by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a field of study that relates to their profession. 

You can acquire useful knowledge and skills in plumbing project management while also increasing your appeal to recruiters by choosing a field such as this. 

You need to explore more about this career because you need to understand the laws of plumbing systems, the methods of building, and the building codes, along with other stuff that helps them. 

It is also possible to take additional courses in other business-related areas, such as finance, plumbing, conceptual design drawings, and economics, to broaden your knowledge base and make you a better candidate for the job.

Be on the lookout for the latest potential job alerts while pursuing your bachelor’s degree that would allow you to gain relevant work experience. 

Look for plumbing-related jobs available in your local area so that you can get a sense of what it’s like to work on a site. 

To understand the different aspects of construction, find out if there are work experience opportunities at plumbing companies.

Get a job as a cost estimator

After you have a bachelor’s degree, you can be assured of getting the plumbing contractor estimator job. It also depends on your prior experience you may have. 

If you have gained work experience before graduation, you may receive a job offer shortly after graduation. Depending on what kind of position you get, you may end up working with an experienced commercial estimator so that they can guide you on what you need to know.

Attain certification

Plumbing cost estimators are not required to have certifications; however, credentials help differentiate them from the competition. In addition to showing your expertise, they can also ensure potential employers that you are a good fit for the job title.

In the field of plumbing cost estimation, several organizations offer certifications. The following are some of them:

  • Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst: A certified cost estimator or analyst is a professional with a degree in cost estimation, cost analysis, or an associate’s degree in conjunction with at least five years’ experience and a degree in cost estimation.
  • The Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering: To qualify for the Certified Estimating Professional certification, you need to possess eight years of experience or a bachelor’s degree. Once you complete the exam, you will receive your certification.
  • The Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis: Anyone with experience or a combination of experience and education can take the assessment and get certified.

Roles & Responsibilities of a Plumbing Estimator

There are several functions that a plumbing estimator must perform, including assessing project requirements, estimating metrics, including cost analyses, as well as inspecting the construction site to identify inconsistencies, mitigate risks, and address production gaps in the project. 

Estimators are responsible for establishing plumbing specifications and requirements for forecasting and working closely with engineers to identify the requirements for plumbing. 

Also, as part of their work, they coordinate with third-party vendors and contractors to negotiate the best price for high-quality materials within their budgets. 

A plumbing estimator is responsible for reporting findings to the management and recommending solutions and adjustments to achieve the desired output promptly.

These responsibilities come from genuine plumbing estimator resumes, which illustrate typical duties they would likely perform.

  • Assist in managing the repair productivity within the body shop while ensuring the customer is satisfied and CSI scores are high.
  • Ensure that you constantly communicate with the superintendents and project managers on site.
  • Provide as-built information for the plans and specifications of the project.
  • Use plumbing estimating software like InvoiceOwl along with independent estimating techniques.
  • Track and create projects using scheduling.
  • Coordinate with all field superintendents to obtain price quotations and materials for the project.
  • Develop a system to monitor and report the progress of construction costs; prepare a schedule to track the progress of construction
  • It is necessary to document the total amount of material needed, including codes, brands, and contact information, to process the order.
  • Prepare periodic expenditure statements and forecasts to ensure that the project remains within predetermined limits during its execution.
  • Provide economic feasibility studies on changes to the estimated cost of the project to owners, engineers, architects, contractors, and subcontractors.
  • Update a directory of reliable suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors regularly.
  • Document and report all expenditures, both estimated and actual, regularly.
  • Ensure that customers receive the best possible service, negotiate fair settlements, and assist adjusters with estimates for consultation by providing advice to the adjusters.
  • Acquire extensive experience in analyzing, monitoring, and evaluating the operation of dams.
  • Conduct daily inspections at damaged facilities to document and record the project costs and billable reconstruction activities.

Average Salary of a Plumbing Estimator

The average annual salary for plumbing estimators for estimates produced in the United States is $72,383, which comes to $34.8 per hour or $72,383 per year. On the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, plumbing estimators make an average of $50,000 a year, whereas, on the higher end, they make an average of $104,000 a year.

To determine how much you are going to get paid, there are a few things you have to consider:

  • Understand the area. It is essential to remember that certain regions earn more than others but tend to have higher living costs. Keep that in mind!
  • Describe the industry in which you work. If you want the best quote for roofing work, you need to check out several different trades, so make sure to look into other quotes.
  • The amount of experience you have. For those who are just out of high school, you will start at the bottom and work your way up as you gain experience. With 20 years of experience and a high level of competence, you can negotiate a much higher salary. Developing the skills of a good construction estimator takes time, so if you don’t possess them now, set a goal to work towards them shortly.
  • The company. Having all your ducks in a row: experience, hard work ethic, etc., does not guarantee you’ll get the salary you deserve or require at that company. In such a case, it might be time to move on. When you work for a company that invests in you, grows you, and eventually promotes you, it’s one thing. It is essential to decide to move on if the company is not performing well, is poorly run, or its employees are overworked and underpaid; don’t stay there; it isn’t worth it.

If you are facing challenges with determining the process piping estimates, employing software like InvoiceOwl can be of great help. It results in the successful management of estimation.

You can begin for journey and enhance your commercial plumbing experience with a free trial offer.


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Career Growth of a Plumbing Estimator

The plumbing contractor’s estimators have a great scope of success as a career. Today almost every commercial plumbing company recruits a plumbing estimator to perform estimate takeoffs. 

However, by utilizing mechanical estimating software, you can get right on track for your plumbing bidding process. 

According to reports, plumbing estimating jobs will increase 11 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is far faster than the average growth rate for all occupations since companies need accurate cost estimates to run their operations profitably. 

According to estimates, there will be an increase of 23,000 new jobs in the industry between now and 2026, which is a good thing to hear.

Skills for Plumbing estimators

A career path involving plumbing cost estimation requires specific temperaments, minimal supervision, and skills. Among them are

  • Technical skills: Estimators must be proficient with computers and numbers to provide accurate estimates.
  • Analytical skills: To perform calculations accurately, these professionals must have strong analytical skills.
  • Problem-solving skills: Estimators are often capable of finding cost-efficient solutions to problems when calculating estimates because they have excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Attention to detail: For plumbing heating estimators to perform exact calculations, they need to be very attentive to details to avoid any errors that may lead to a cost increase in the project.
  • Time management: Plumbing estimation requires time management skills because they work under strict deadlines.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Is a degree needed for estimators?

    Yes. A commercial plumbing cost estimator needs at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the following disciplines: Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Construction Management, or any other related building science to become an accurate estimator. In addition, some preconstruction services companies may be looking for candidates with a business, finance, or economics background.

  2. How long does it take to become a plumbing estimator?

    To be a licensed cost estimator, you must have eight years of combined education and experience.

  3. Are estimators allowed to work from home?

    Working from home is possible for estimators. Estimators who work from home assess a project’s scope and estimate the cost of completing the project, like gas heating installation procedures, maintenance of the plumbing system, and more, to determine how much money is needed to complete it.

    In spite of this, a work-from-home estimator will often need to travel to the site occasionally to make sure that no omissions have been made or adjustments need to be made to the estimate.


Every project depends heavily on cost estimators to be successful. However, it is difficult to be accurate with the initial estimates of the actual costs incurred during a project. As a result, cost estimators present an accurate estimation that helps you plan things accordingly. 

Furthermore, cost estimators reduce the likelihood of a project going wrong by locating the costs of the materials and the operations required in a project to reduce the probability of things going wrong. For someone who thrives in challenging environments, cost estimation can be a rewarding career in an industry that requires a great deal of skill.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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