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.

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.

We have additional construction programs being offered, click below.

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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

3 Months

Completion Time


Course Format

No textbook required.

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.

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.

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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

Job Postings
Last 12 months

Projected Growth
Over 10 years

Salary Range

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.

  • ENGR 0018: Construction Materials and Processes
  • ENGR 0021: Estimating and Bidding I
  • ENGR 0022: Estimating and Bidding II
  • ENGR 0032 Planning and Scheduling
  • ENGR 0033: Construction Blueprint Reading
  • ENGR 0034: Introduction to Construction Estimating
  • ENGR 0035: Essential Construction Math
  • ENGR 0045 Estimating Civil Construction

Please see below for current course offerings by term*:

*Checkmarks indicate course availability.

Dates: SP ISpring I (1/18-3/27), SP IISpring II (4/11-6/19), SUSummer (6/27-9/4), and FAFall (9/12-11/20)

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


Registration Instructions

To register for courses in the Construction Estimating program, please visit the Courses tab on this page, click the course title links, and complete the following steps.

  1. Add the courses you want to your cart.
  2. When you’re ready, please select the Checkout option to start the checkout process.
  3. Log in or follow the steps below to create a new account.
    • Fill out the "New Customer Account" form if necessary. Make sure you remember the answer to your security question. This is also case-sensitive.
    • Check I agree to “Terms and Conditions”.
    • Click on “Create”.
    • Log in using the login information you just created.
    • On the My Account page, add your Social Security Number to retrieve or create your SDSU RedID number.
    • Fill out any other missing information marked with an asterisk (*).
    • Click on “Save”.
    • Fill out the additional information.
    • Click on “Next”.
  4. Click on “Submit Order”.
  5. You will see the confirmation page and receive a confirmation email confirming your enrollment.

Steps to Register

Starting fall 2022, we will be switching to a post-pay model, meaning you may enroll in classes without a payment required. You will need to submit your full payment through my.SDSU within 48 hours from the date of enrollment. You will receive an email notification and login information once you have registered. If you do not submit your payment within the specified time frame, you will be dropped from your classes.

Click here for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check my progress?

Students taking our construction intro courses can check their progress by logging into their SDSU Global Campus student account. 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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What happens once I complete my intro course?

Your final grade will show on your SDSU transcript. You can check your final grades for each course on WebPortal You’ll also receive a digital certificate of completion once you’ve successfully completed the course.

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Related Links

Construction Programs
Construction Courses and Schedules
Tour an Online Construction Classroom
Additional Certificate Programs

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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Enroll in the program at any time, even before registering for a course. It’s free, and offers many benefits:

  • Secure your curriculum (should the requirements change in the future).
  • See upcoming courses when you log into your student account.
  • Track your progress.

Enrolling in a program doesn’t mean you’re registered for courses. You’ll still need to register and pay for each course you wish to take.  

Want To Learn More?

Tell us who you are, the best way to reach you, and your message and we'll be in touch to answer all your questions and explain the next steps in the process.

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2022 Spring2022 Summer2022 Fall2023 Winter
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Course Date(s)