Electrical estimating means accurately calculating the cost of the electrical components of a construction project, according to the research resource site Education-Portal (EP). Although electrical estimating is not commonly offered as a separate program, students can enroll in broader programs that deliver a bachelor’s degree or associate degree in areas such as construction or electrical systems cost estimating, electrical technology or construction management. Regardless of what it’s called, it can be learned online via a number of options.

Step 1

Earn a certificate in cost estimating. It is the basic educational standard in the industry. However, formal course selection should be based on career goals. For example, those who have worked in electrical estimating or construction can enroll in short certificate programs designed to lend academic credibility or an area of specialization to previous work experience.

National University offers an undergraduate certificate in electrical-system cost estimating. The program requires three prerequisite courses and completion of a four-course curriculum.

Carr Consulting Service, a national electrical estimator in Ventura, California, offers a comprehensive online certification course backed by owner Steve Carr's 40 years of experience in the industry.

Step 2

Seek a more advanced degree. For those interested in becoming or managing a major electrical contractor, or those seeking a white-collar career path in construction management, a bachelor's degree or associate's degree is available in disciplines such as construction management or electrical technology. Typical accreditation include a bachelor's degree in construction management, a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and an associate's degree in electrical technology. Among the established online schools are South University, which offers a BBA in construction management, and Westwood College, which offers both a bachelor's and associate's degree in the field.

Step 3

Pursue a non-degree educational resource, such as Learn Electrical Estimating (LEE), an online trade resource for working electricians who want to gain a competitive edge by mastering electrical estimating. In today’s highly competitive market, LEE notes, the ability to accurately estimate a job and assess the competitiveness of the proposed price is essential to success in a bid-driven selection process. The other critical skill is mastery of electrical estimating software.

Step 4

Take advantage of industry resources. For example, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) offers online education in electrical estimating. NECA features a one-hour online course, “Introduction to the NECA Manual of Labor Units,” that is a prerequisite for more advanced courses. The online course focuses on a clear explanation of the proper application of the NECA Manual of Labor Units when estimating electrical construction projects. After that, students can enroll in an advanced estimating class.