The two main goals in electrical estimating are winning jobs and making money. To be successful at estimating you must do both. How you get those results doesn’t really matter. Winning jobs that lose a company money never makes sense. It helps to have a system that is efficient and consistent. There are a number of computer estimating programs that can speed things up. You may want to consider those options.
To make a profit on a job you must accurately calculate the cost to do the job. The break even cost is what you are really “estimating”. Your bid is the sale price. Understanding these terms is the main point of this article. An estimate is how much the jobs costs you and your bid is how much you are selling the job for. If your bid is below the break even point you will lose money. The most important thing you can do is not to overlook anything.
With enough experience you may be able to do this off the top of your head. For most, having a system with checks and balances is your best option. You can do electrical estimates manually or with computer software and other electronic tools. There’s many options out there to help you put together something that works for you.
Having a good understanding of the NEC® is very helpful in electrical estimating. Over compensating can put you out of the ballpark. Consider our code classes, they are the best available.
Advance Electrical Training is the leading provider of live online electrical classes. Our classes can also be done at your site. We offer classes on electrical estimating that can teach you how to do estimates quick and accurately plus make use of software tools.
You can also get electrical estimating products from our Bookstore »
Video clips from Mike Holt’s YouTube channel on electrical estimating