Electrical Estimating

Electrical Estimating

Electrical estimating Is important at almost every level. Apprentices, journeymen and master electricians should have a good as understanding of estimating with the perspective and understanding bout the value of their work. If you’re new to estimating you need to understand the ins and outs, the nuts and bolts Of estimating properly to perform and complete an Accurate bid or estimate. In electrical estimating the electrical contractor must know how to estimate to determine the job selling price and to manage the project properly.


The primary purpose of this post is to give a basic preview of what it takes to do estimating For those of you that are interested in electrical estimating or planning to start out your own business. Even those in a leadership role in electrical contracting company such as Foreman’s and superintendents, should have a good understanding of electrical estimating in order to make the job runs smoothly and for the electrical contractor to make a profit.

In future posts will cover cost, labor cost, and the proper way and use of direct costs, overhead, and profit.


There are many ways of estimating a electrical project.These are just a few. You could:

  • Shoot off the cuff.
  • Use paper and pencil doing the whole estimate manually.
  • Fire up a computer electrical estimating program.
  • Electrical Estimating

I use all three depending on my circumstances. For example if I were asked in a office complex to add three duplex 20 amp outlets near the floor I would ask a few questions and for this example we’ll use this information:

  • Three standard 20 amp duplex outlets.
  • Using cut-in boxes.
  • 15′ 12-2 mc wire per box.
  • Tie into existing circuit in j-box above t-bar ceiling.

So just adding some basic outlets I could go off the cuff and say X amount of dollars either for each outlet or all three.with the off-the-cuff method you need to know what your hourly rate needs to be and what the cost of your materials are as well as knowing the abilities required to install these outlets.

If you choose the paper and pencil method you could guess the amount of time it will take to install,add the cost of the materials,overhead,profit,taxes etc.

The computer method in general will give you a much more accurate and detailed idea of what adding these three outlets would cost. Although using a computer for such a small projects such as this may not be realistic it will in fact give you a much more detailed cost.

Which ever method you might use requires some experience  and knowledge of what it will take to get this project completed.



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