101 Introduction To Construction Estimating,
ENG 034
Class Syllabus


101 Introduction to Construction Estimating is a self-paced class which is the gateway to more complex and trade specific estimating courses. This online course is designed to help estimators polish their estimating skills and learn the basic skills that are absolutely required to produce successful construction estimates.

You can hear an audio message from former president Bob George (MP3, 1 min 45 sec, 1.8 MB) by clicking on the link.Listen to Podcast


A self paced course can be started at anytime. You must complete the course within 10 weeks but you can work through the course as quickly as you like. There are no weekly goals and no interaction with other students. Work at your own pace but you must complete within 10 weeks from your first log in. Your unique completion date is included in the registration email you will receive from our office.

Learning objectives

Students who successfully complete Introduction to Construction Estimating will learn the basic principles of construction estimating. Topics to be studied include:

  • organization of the estimate
  • types of estimates
  • elements of an estimate
  • quantity take off techniques
  • pricing techniques
  • adjusting the estimate for a variety of variable factors
  • estimating labor, materials and equipment
  • profit and overhead markups

Upon completing this course the student will understand the different types of estimates and how to organize an estimating document.

This course will build a foundation of knowledge that the student will use while estimating virtually any individual trade or project type

Class Organization and Grading

  1. Introduction and Orientation. An orientation module to get you started in the course. This module gives you a chance to play with the course tools and features before the course actually begins.
  2. Why We Estimate. This module teaches the many different uses for construction estimates. You will learn that how an estimate is to be used affects estimating methods.
  3. Estimating Skills. There are certain skills and disciplines that all estimators need to develop. This module will discuss each of these skills and provide some guidance on how to develop them.
  4. Estimating Tools, including software, digitizers, guide books, references and other estimating tools.
  5. Different Types and Levels of the Estimate. You will learn how the amount of information available to you and the time you are allowed to prepare the estimate affects the quality and accuracy of your work.
  6. Organizing the Estimate and the Masterformat. How you organize your estimate is almost as important as how carefully you prepare your quantity take off. We will learn about the Masterformat and common organizing methods.
  7. Estimating Materials, quantity take-off procedures, waste factors, and pricing methods are dealt with in this module.
  8. Estimating the Cost and Quantity of Labor. This is the longest module. Have your calculator ready!  We will learn about using and developing production rates and how to adjust your estimate for a wide variety of factors that affect production rates.
  9. Estimating Equipment. Quantity take off procedures, pricing, and estimating techniques will be covered along with equipment production rates.  Learn how to chose the correct equipment for the job.
  10. Estimating Overhead and Profit Markups. How, when and why to add contingencies. Adjusting the estimate for risk, inflation, and geographic location will be covered.
  11. Estimating Errors.  Learn about common errors estimators make and how to avoid making them.
  12. Determining and Using Unit Prices. How to use unit prices effectively. The crew method, what it is and how to use it.  Using unit prices for conceptual estimating and for detailed estimating will be covered.



Point Value By End of Week
1. Orientation 4 1
2. Estimating Skills 10 1
3. Estimating Tools 15 2
4. Reasons for Estimating 10 3
5. Levels of the Estimate 16 3
6. Organizing the Estimate 24 4
7. Estimating Materials 30 5
8  Estimating Labor 30 6
9. Equipment Costs 28 7
10. Markups 10 8
11. Avoiding Errors 13 9
12. Using Unit Prices 15 10
Total Points


It is important that students keep up with class and not fall behind. The class must be completed within 10 weeks of the first log on.

Grading Policies

You will have full access to your grade sheet so you will be able to keep track of how you are doing at all times.

Your overall grade in the course will be determined by the total number of points you have accumulated on quizzes and assignments.   The grading scale is as follows:

  • A  200 to 180 points

  • B  179 to 160 points

  • C  159 to 140 points

  • D  139 to 120

  • Anything less will be considered an unauthorized withdrawal from the course or F (failure).

You will be given more information about the grading and other course matters in the Orientation Module.

Introduction to Construction Estimating Textbook

Construction Estimating and Bidding in Building Construction 2nd Edition,

by the Associated General Contractors of America

Student reviews:

The greatest strengths were the readability and accessibility of the course modules. The organization of the material was excellent and the presentation was easy to understand and follow. It was obvious to me that a great deal of thought and effort were spent on the development of the course. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the course. (Summer 2016)

I would say the major strength would be the set up of the class and modules. I have taken many online classes for college and this was very well put together and easy to follow and had all of the information we needed for the quizzes as well. There were not any surprises and that was nice. (Fall 2016)

See student evaluations for this class.

101 Introduction to Construction Estimating