The Professional Certificate in Construction Estimating provides an excellent overview of basic and advanced principles of construction estimating and bidding in the construction industry. No entrance exams are required. Course times are scheduled year-round to be compatible with your work commitments. Each course meets online for ten weeks. Discussions using an online bulletin board afford the opportunity to examine everyday construction challenges shared by others in the construction industry.

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Learn how to accurately estimate the time, money, materials, and labor that your construction project requires by earning your Professional Certificate in Construction Estimating from SDSU Global Campus.

Click the link below to view all of our construction programs.



About the Program

Cost estimation experts are an essential part of any construction project. Cost estimators work with engineers, architects, contractors, and clients to calculate accurate estimates of the time, materials, and labor required to complete a project — and most importantly, how much money the project will cost.


Total Estimated Cost
Textbooks not included

3 Months

Completion Time


Course Format

Learn what it takes to become a cost estimator in the construction industry by earning your Professional Certificate in Construction Estimating from SDSU Global Campus. All courses are 100% online, open to all, and run throughout the year. You can even earn valuable Professional Development Units for completing these courses!

Is This Program Right for Me?

SDSU’s construction estimating program is an accessible and affordable way to begin or advance your career as a bidding expert in the construction industry. Whether you already work in construction and want to take on a supervisory role in the bidding process, or you’re transitioning into construction from another industry, our certificate program will help you learn how to submit accurate bid estimates — no prerequisites or program application is required!

New to the industry? Explore our Introduction to Construction courses and build your career foundation from the ground up.

You can log onto any course from any computer with an internet connection. Most classes have assignments with weekly due dates — please ensure that you can complete any necessary coursework for the duration of the course.

San Diego Workforce Partnership: Creating Workforce Solutions

SDSU is a State-approved provider for the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). If you’re unemployed or underemployed, you may be eligible to receive full or partial tuition assistance on this program. Equal Opportunity is the Law. Equal opportunity employer/program auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Click here to learn more.

Tour an Online Classroom

What Can I Learn?

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Analyzing and documenting the various components of any construction project. including structures, highways, utilities, and residential buildings.
  • Reading blueprints and other construction-related documents.
  • Communicating with contractors, clients, and other parties throughout the bidding process.

Cost estimation is a crucial part of the bidding phase of any construction project. Estimators need to analyze construction documents, take-offs, and other direct and indirect costs in order to develop bids that are as accurate as possible. In this estimating program, we’ll cover several key topics that include:

  • Construction mathematics
  • Estimation terminology
  • Quantity take-off, pricing, and bidding
  • Uniform cost index categories
  • Problem-solving techniques
  • Types of materials
  • Material ordering/handling methods
  • Quality control and oversight
  • Material relationships to the Uniform Building Code
  • Costs, profit, and overhead mark-up

Lessons are supplemented by quizzes, which will give you immediate feedback on your understanding of the course content. You’ll set your own class times to complete the work due each week. Typically, you should plan on dedicating about 5-7 hours per week, per class.

You’ll learn how to become a cost estimation expert under the guidance of a panel of expert instructors. Your lessons are led by active career professionals from all levels of the construction industry. Through their experience and extensive knowledge, you’ll learn what works — and what doesn’t — for job site leaders who are currently working in construction.

This Construction Cost Estimator program is authorized by SDSU's College of Engineering. This means that you’ll be able to earn three professional development units (PDUs) per course.

Career Outcomes

Labor Analysis
Cost Estimator — Nationwide


Last 12 months


Over 10 years



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020

Why Choose SDSU?


All courses are 100% online and accessible from anywhere in the world, which means you can earn your certificate on your schedule. You can complete the program in as few as three months, or take up to two years to complete all your courses.

Expert Instructors

The program is led by seasoned construction professionals with years of industry experience. Through their knowledge, combined with a robust online curriculum, you’ll quickly learn how to construct highly-accurate bids that your contractors and clients will be satisfied with.

Proven Curriculum

When you choose SDSU, you’re choosing a construction cost estimation program with a proven curriculum. All courses in the program are offered in cooperation with the San Diego Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. The program is also endorsed by the San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Professional Estimators.


In order to earn your Professional Certificate in Construction Estimating, you’ll need to complete any five (5) of the eight (8) courses offered. Each course costs $690 and is worth three (3) Professional Development Units (PDUs).

2024 Term Dates

Spring Block I: Jan. 15–March 24, 2024 - Registration opens Monday, November 6
Spring Block II: April 8–June 16, 2024 - Registration opens Monday, November 6
Summer Block: June 24-Sept. 1, 2024
Fall Block: Sept. 16–Nov. 24, 2024

Click the course names below to read the course description. Click the Enroll button below or visit the How to Register tab once you’re ready to register. Click here to view the Construction Courses 2024 Schedule.

Core Courses

(Complete five of eight courses) SPII Course Dates Registration SU Course Dates Registration
ENGR 0018 Construction Materials and Processes Apr 8-Jun 16 Nov 6-Apr 15 June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1
ENGR 0021 Estimating and Bidding I* Apr 8-Jun 16 Nov 6-Apr 15 June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1
ENGR 0022 Estimating and Bidding II* Apr 8-Jun 16 Nov 6-Apr 15 June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1
ENGR 0032 Planning and Scheduling Apr 8-Jun 16 Nov 6-Apr 15 June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1
ENGR 0033 Construction Blueprint Reading Apr 8-Jun 16 Nov 6-Apr 15 June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1
ENGR 0034 Introduction to Construction Estimating Apr 8-Jun 16 Nov 6-Apr 15 June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1
ENGR 0035 Essential Construction Math Apr 8-Jun 16 Nov 6-Apr 15 June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1
ENGR 0045 Estimating Civil Construction     June 24-Sept 1 Mar 6-Jul 1

Dates and fees subject to change.

If you have no previous experience in reading blueprints, we recommend taking ENGR 33 before taking ENGR 21 & ENGR 22.


Registration Instructions

Continuing Students

If you have taken a course in your program within the past three terms, you are considered a continuing student. Starting in the summer 2024 term, continuing students can simply log into my.SDSU and register for upcoming courses in their program once the registration period opens. You’ll still need to complete your full payment in my.SDSU after your registration has been submitted.

Please visit for more information.

New Students

If you have not taken a course within the past three terms, you will need to enroll in the program as a new student to register for courses. Please complete the new student registration steps to get started.

  1. Once you’ve chosen your courses, click the Enroll button below to begin the registration process. Please indicate on the form that you’d like to register for courses.

  2. Once you’ve filled out the Enrollment form, you’ll receive a confirmation email from SDSU Global Campus within 2-3 business days with the next steps to complete your enrollment.

  3. Once registration opens for your courses, you can register in the my.SDSU portal.

  4. Approximately one week before your class starts, passwords and information to log into your online classroom will be sent directly to your email address from or your instructor with an email address. Please be sure to check your SDSU email account inbox as well as your spam folder for this important information.

  5. Complete your full payment in my.SDSU after your registration has been submitted. Click here for more information on our payment and drop policy.

Click here for more details on registration

Finished all the required courses?

Click the button below to receive your certificate.



Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check my progress?

Students in our human resources program can check their progress by logging into my.SDSU. If you need assistance with your account, contact our Registration staff at 619-594-5152 or

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Do I receive a letter grade once I complete my course(s)?

You’ll earn three units of professional development credit from SDSU for each intro course you complete. Other institutions may or may not accept this for academic credit; please confirm with these institutions that SDSU's courses are transferable before enrolling in our courses.

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How is the program structured?

In order to earn your Professional Certificate in Construction Estimating, you’ll need to complete any five (5) of the eight (8) courses listed in the Courses window above. Once you’ve enrolled in a course, you’ll have access to your online classroom for the full ten (10) weeks of the term in which you are enrolled. New materials and class discussions are posted regularly, and there may be set deadlines for particular assignments or quizzes, but you may log in during the hours and on the days that best fit your personal schedule. In most cases, you’ll need to commit 5-7 hours to coursework each week.

How quickly a certificate can be completed depends on how many courses total are required for your specific certificate program, the upcoming schedule of when required courses will be offered, and how many classes you plan to take each term. The minimum completion time for our construction estimating program is three (3) months. For all certificate programs, however, you are expected to complete the required courses within two years of starting the program. Our program coordinator can also assist you with planning your coursework once you've decided on a program.

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What is the program format?

Our construction courses feature a mostly asynchronous virtual instruction learning modality. Courses in this modality feature instruction provided through a combination of recorded and limited direct instruction with academic activities, quizzes, etc., at the arranged times and dates described in the footnotes and syllabus unless otherwise noted. Content may be open for restricted periods.

  • Students may be expected to attend any live sessions necessary to complete the course.
  • Final exams or assignments will be listed in the course syllabus and may need to be completed at a set time and date.
  • Faculty and instructors are available for office hours and instructional support when needed.

Mostly Asynchronous courses may be preferable for students in different time zones as they provide the flexibility to work on your schedule at your own pace. However, these courses may require group activities and arranged meetings with faculty.

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Is there financial support available for this program?

The Professional Certificate in Construction Estimating is eligible for tuition assistance for unemployed and underemployed students through the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

Federal financial aid does not generally apply to our online construction programs, but you may qualify for other private loans from lending institutions, or employer-based tuition reimbursement programs. Please see our Financial Aid Information to learn more.

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Do my courses require textbooks and where can I purchase them?

Some of your courses may require textbooks. Click here for a list of textbooks along with purchasing instructions from the SDSU Bookstore’s website. Textbooks are also available new or used through many online retailers.

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How do I receive my Professional Certificate once I’ve finished the program?

Once you’ve completed all the program requirements, fill out a certificate request form. SDSU Global Campus will verify that you’ve completed all the required courses and assignments. Once you’ve been verified, you’ll receive a digital copy of your certificate.

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Click Here for More FAQs

Related Links

Construction Programs
Tour an Online Construction Classroom
Additional Certificate Programs
Construction Courses 2024 Schedule

This program presented in partnership with a third-party provider is not taught by San Diego State University faculty. It is authorized by SDSU's College of Engineering for professional development credit. Courses offered in partnership with third-party providers are not degree-eligible at San Diego State University.

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Want to Learn More?

Submit this web form and we’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and explain the next steps in the process. Or, you can reach a program recruiter by emailing or by calling (619) 594-7700.

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2023 Fall2024 Winter2024 Spring2024 Summer2024 Fall
ENGR 0018 Construction Materials and Processes

Examines the materials used to construct a variety of structures, highways, utilities, and residential buildings. Includes terminology; interpretation of plans; and specifications to assure that correct materials are ordered, applied, and utilized. Methods of identifying materials delivered to the job site, methods of handling, quality control procedures for testing, and inspection of private and government work will be emphasized. Special emphasis will be given to the relationship of each material to the Uniform Building Code.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)

ENGR 0021 Estimating and Bidding I

Students will learn estimating problem-solving in general conditions, civil work, concrete, and masonry (excavation, backfill, grading, paving, landscaping, etc.). Hands-on estimating with quantity take-off, pricing, and bidding is stressed. Uniform cost index categories one-four will be covered.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)

ENGR 0022 Estimating and Bidding II

This course features hands-on estimating and quantity take-off activities associated with metals, wood, doors and windows, finishes, electrical, and mechanical estimating.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)

ENGR 0032 Planning and Scheduling

Students will learn how to plan, prepare, and update construction project schedules in this online course. Through the use of case studies, learn how to define construction activities, determine activity duration, and assemble the activities into a logical construction schedule. Learn to create and use bar charts and critical path schedules.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)

ENGR 0033 Construction Blueprint Reading

This course is designed to provide you with that foundational knowledge and enough practice at reading blueprints to get you started. Mastery of blueprint reading will come with practice and with using blueprints on the job on a regular basis.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)

ENGR 0034 Introduction to Construction Estimating

After completing this course, students will understand the different types of estimates and how to organize an estimating document. Levels of estimates, quantity take-off techniques, materials pricing methods, and labor productivity rates will be addressed. Students will learn how to determine profit and overhead mark-up and how to determine construction costs.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)

ENGR 0035 Essential Construction Math

This class is intended to develop mathematical skills that can be applied to the construction trade through practice and application. This course is an introduction to other courses in construction. While this class is not a prerequisite for any other classes, it does provide a foundation for them.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)

ENGR 0045 Estimating Civil Construction

This course features hands-on estimating and quantity take off activities associated with civil and site work construction projects. Topics will include estimate formats, drawings and specifications, productivity, site investigations, soil characteristics, blueprint reading, quantities, measurement and costing. This is a paced, asynchronous online course. The course features a high level of student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction.

Format: Online

Course Date(s)