Professional Women in Building: Estimating and Scheduling

Estimating and scheduling can offer a rewarding career for professional women in building who enjoy problem solving, math, engineering and accounting.

In our continuing series featuring occupations for professional women in building, we take a look at rewarding careers in Estimating and Scheduling. The role offers higher pay than many other areas of construction, steady, regular full-time hours typically in an office setting, and a challenging fast pace. The work is ideal for women who enjoy complex problem solving, mathematics, engineering, and accounting, and have critical thinking skills.

What is estimating and scheduling?

In construction, estimating and scheduling is a critical aspect of preconstruction. The job involves gathering and analyzing data to provide detailed time, cost, materials, and labor estimates for bidding and for keeping the project moving efficiently and cost-effectively. Specialty trade contractors are the largest employers, employing roughly a third of the more than 200,000 cost estimators in the US.

The job requires working closely with engineers, architects, owners, vendors, contractors and other industry professionals, so excellent communications skills are a must. Proficiency in Excel is most often required and experience in software used for building information modeling (BIM), computer-aided design (CAD), and/or project management is highly desirable. Typically, people in this career have a bachelor’s degree in construction or engineering as well as specialized on-the-job training or professional development certifications.

Estimating and Scheduling Practitioner (ESP) certification
The NAWIC Education Foundation (NEF) offers the Estimating and Scheduling Practitioners certification program. Accredited through the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) Professional Development Certification Program, the ESP course is designed to provide essential skills for entry-level estimators as well as professional development for project managers, project engineers, and superintendents. Students learn general estimating and accounting procedures and a step-by-step approach to preparing project schedules.

Ashley Taylor, Assistant Project Manager for WeaverCooke Construction in Greensboro, NC, is one of the professional women in building to have recently earned the NEF Estimating and Scheduling Practitioner credential. Taylor, a NAWIC member featured in the Best Person for the Job series, has earned several NEF certificates to help advance her career from construction accounting to project management.

Supporting professional women in building
NAWIC members also include estimating and scheduling professionals like Carlee Ludwig, another Best Person for the Job. Driven by a passion for designing her own home, Ludwig found a rewarding career in construction as an estimator. Today, Ludwig manages a team of seasoned estimators at Mid Atlantic Mechanical as the Vice President of Estimating, overseeing six full-time estimators and two administrators.

NAWIC supports more than 5,500 members like Carlee and Ashley, working in the field or in the office and at all levels of experience. The organization provides networking, mentorship, leadership training, and construction education opportunities. In addition, the NAWIC Leadership Academy builds on more than 70 years of elevating women in construction to help further develop their leadership skills.

There are more than 120 chapters across the US, and affiliates across the globe. Contact a chapter near you to learn more.