We've been freelance estimating for 100 years, and teaching drywall and painting estimating for 45 years. My grandfather started estimating jobs for clients in his local community, back in 1921. My Dad joined him in 1957. I joined my Dad in 1979.
In a nutshell, we are three generations in the estimating/teaching business. My grandfather would often mentor one person at a time. In 1976, my Dad put the Carter School of Estimating on the map, so to speak.
Our freelance estimating beginnings were in the painting industry, performing freelance estimating for painting and wall coverings...but my Dad added drywall and metal framing (as well as insulation, acoustical ceilings and other trades) to the list.
I was also very lucky to have been a part of my father's pioneering efforts when he created the world's first commercial estimating program for the painting and drywall (plus other trades) industries.
When I joined my father back in 1979, I was taught the "old school" form of estimating, meaning we priced everything without the aid of computers. Little did I know just how important my knowledge of knowing production rates, man hours and creating unit prices would be. My father would constantly send me to projects, having me time workers on many individual tasks such as walls, ceilings, installation of door frames, etc. My father wanted accurate numbers, no guessing.
Fast forward almost 100 years and here we are, still providing quality estimates. Oh, we don't estimate manually anymore but we haven't lost the meaning behind the word "estimator".