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March 28, 2024 A Day in the Life: Estimator Trainee, Katrina Wilmot

Meet Katrina Wilmot, an estimator trainee for MYR Group subsidiary E.S. Boulos. After attending university for a year, then doubling up at a trade school and completing a two-year associate degree in just 11 months, she immediately entered the wind industry. With roots in the field, she commissioned wind turbines across the country for four years. Her day-to-day included climbing, programming, and trouble-shooting the turbines.

From there, Katrina became interested in schematics which led to her interest in her current position- electrical estimates from drawings for E.S. Boulos. This month, she is celebrating her one-year anniversary at the company!

Read on to learn about Katrina, her role as an estimator trainee, and her experience working on the MYR Group team.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am originally from Michigan, but I’ve been living in Maine for almost two years now with a fiancé and two dogs. I love reading fantasy world books, gardening on my land, and big bonfires. I also really like cooking new things, canning jams and jellies and baking desserts of all kinds. I am currently in the process of remodeling my house, and eventually I would like to have chickens and maybe a cow!

Please describe your position. What responsibilities do you have?

I am an electrical estimator. Our estimating team gets invites to bid new and renovation projects all over Maine, New Hampshire, and occasionally Vermont. We receive drawings and are usually given a week or two to finish the estimate. I count all the site lights, building lights, fire alarm devices, receptacles, telecom devices , mechanical devices, electrical panels, conduit runs, site work- anything that needs a power connection.

Then I send what we need quoted to our vendors and answer any questions they might have. If things don’t make sense in the drawings, I reach out to the general contractor or engineer to get answers. I make an Accubid take off and put everything in it including labor and job specific things. I have to review the vender quotes and make sure they have everything I need in them with the right counts. Once the job is done, I set up a meeting with upper management to review the entire job and finalize our number. After that, I send it and hope we get the job!

“I believe a strong community helps build stronger people.”

Katrina Wilmot

What does your typical day on the job look like?

My typical day usually starts with hot coffee or tea and a self-made plan for the day. Usually as an estimator we all work solo. I check my email for any updates on projects I am working on. I split my day by researching the job specifications for key information in the morning. I take a walk at lunch then focus on the drawings and counts in the afternoon.

Things change all the time, so you have to stay flexible. You could have to go back on an old job and break out something the general contractor is asking for which takes up time from the new job you are working on.

 What is your favorite aspect of your job?

Every job is different which keeps me on my toes. There are always new things coming out, so I am constantly learning new things. Estimators are first to know of new projects happening in the area.

What does it take to be a good project estimator? What sorts of traits help make you successful?

Knowing the electrical code extremely well helps, which I am still very much learning as a trainee. Architects and engineers will draw things that are not to code on the plans. It is up to me to try and catch those. Being a good estimator involves time to learn all the parts and pieces, and they are never ending. I am eager to learn from anyone willing to teach me. I am a note taker, so I have a binder of notes that I add to when I learn a new thing. That way, I can refer back to it when needed.

What do you like about working for E.S. Boulos/MYR Group? How would you describe the company culture?

I love working for E.S. Boulos. Everyone in this whole office is nice and easy to talk to. It is a friendly place to work. Everyone seems to show up happy. People that have a lot of knowledge – whether from the field or from books – are willing to share their knowledge. The people here want to see each other succeed. I also really like the fact that E.S. Boulos does a fundraiser every year. I believe a strong community helps build stronger people.