Structural Steel Estimator


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A Structural Steel Estimator usually works for a Steel Fabricator providing accurate estimates of the types and quantities of steel required for any project. This information, together with the estimated cost of the actual fabrication, forms the basis of the Fabricator's tender for the business.

The Steel Estimator comes from the same background as a Quantity Surveyor, except that the latter works for the client who is commissioning the project. The QS is responsible for figuring out just what a building is going to cost and in some cases for making sure that construction costs and production are managed as efficiently as possible. In some of today's projects there may be many millions of dollars involved.

Quantity Surveyors can identify and collate the costs involved in order to develop an overall budget for any project. They can then undertake cost planning which aims to help all members of the design team arrive at practical solutions and stay within the project budget.

It is the final detailed estimate prepared by the Quantity Surveyors, in consultation with a project architect, which forms a basis on which subsequent tenders can be evaluated. Schedules of quantities translate the drawing, plans and specifications produced by the design team to enable each contractor to calculate tender prices fairly, on exactly the same basis as the competitors.

Once tenders have been accepted, the Quantity Surveyor can provide cash flow data to enable a client to programme his resources adequately to meet contract commitments. In other words, the Quantity Surveyor decides how much of a job should be paid for at any one time. With interest rates the way they are, no one wants to hand over money before it is due.

In most construction contracts, the contractor is paid monthly and the Quantity Surveyor can value the work carried out each month submitting a recommendation for certified payment. The Quantity Surveyor can also be called on to assess cost effects when changes occur and agree on variations with contractors.


There are two levels [Technician and Degree] and three main courses of study in New Zealand, with full-time and part-time/extramural options on the courses.

National Diploma in Quantity Surveying (NDQS)
Two years full-time and part-time/extramural.
Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics)
Equivalent of three years full-time study (conducted over 4 years).
Bachelor of Construction (Quantity Surveying)
Equivalent of four years full-time (3rd and 4th year subjects are available extra-murally).

The technician level National Diploma in Quantity Surveying replaced the New Zealand Certificate in Quantity Surveying

The Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics) - 360 credits- at UNITEC AUCKLAND replaced UNITEC's previous Bachelor of Construction (Quantity Surveying degree. UNITEC may cross credit the equivalent of up to 120 credit points of the degree programme to holders of the NDQS.

For the Bachelor of Construction (QS) degree at MASSEY UNIVERSITY - 400 credits - at Wellington campus, Massey University may cross credit the equivalent of up to 150 credit points of the degree programme to holders of the NDQS.

Course Fees for each full year of study vary depending on the tertiary institute, number of papers taken, and the course taken.
Degree Training Providers
Massey University - Wellington Campus
UNITEC - Auckland
Diploma Training Providers:
UNITEC - Auckland
Waikato Polytechnic - Hamilton
The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand - Extramural
Wellington Institute of Technology
Christchurch Polytechnic - Christchurch
Otago Polytechnic - Dunedin
Southland Institute of Technology - Invercargill (some subjects only)