Construction Estimators: An Evolving Position in Demand in Today’s Market

//Construction Estimators: An Evolving Position in Demand in Today’s Market

Construction Estimators: An Evolving Position in Demand in Today’s Market

Not all construction careers are recession-proof. Yet, we know that construction estimators are always in demand regardless of whether the market is strong or stagnant. Organizations require talented estimators to ensure ongoing profitability, but they can be hard to find, and it’s a role that continues to evolve. For instance, owners have more market data now than ever before. They can leverage this data to help predict if a project will succeed, and then rely on estimators to review comparable costs to guarantee the best design and return on their investment.

Labor Issues

We are also recruiting more candidates from the newest generation of workers as a growing number of seasoned estimators reach the age of retirement. Advances in estimating technology have made millennials a good fit for these construction careers because of their tech savviness. An ideal scenario is one that allows experienced estimators to share their knowledge with these younger workers before they exit the workforce. Tech savvy job seekers are at an advantage. Instead of providing owners with a single solution and dollar figure, now more than ever, estimators work with owners to save money through value engineering.

Technological Advances

Today’s owners want instant gratification. The cost prediction process has evolved to include a variety of integrated software solutions that enable real-time estimating, rather than waiting until the end of the design phase. From material costs to departmental needs, estimators must face an abundance of variables during the pre-construction phase. The best estimators are not only able to make accurate assumptions, but also to explain their expectations in the most understandable way to the owner. We are also seeing a movement toward more collaboration among the owner, contractor, architect, engineer, and other key players like estimators. Early collaboration not only increases estimate accuracy but can also help to prevent future issues.

Estimators in Demand

There is such a consistent demand for construction estimators. because it is such a low-profile job. Candidates who are interested in long-term construction careers often aren’t aware of these rewarding opportunities. We even recruit prospects who are specializing in project management and estimating at the college level. Since many of these students have taken on specific projects to earn their degrees, they already have real-industry experience that many owners are seeking.

Estimator Salaries

The low unemployment rates that we are currently experiencing have created a highly competitive hiring environment in the construction industry, causing many construction companies, and their in-house HR departments, to reevaluate their employee salaries. Here are the salary ranges for estimator positions across the country.

 

Junior Estimator

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $57.26 $75.15 $66.31 $64.35
Mid-Atlantic $57.98 $71.24 $64.04 $63.74
Northeast $58.80 $78.23 $68.67 $63.02
Northwest $57.98 $68.36 $65.48 $64.56
Southeast $59.32 $68.46 $65.79 $62.71
Southwest $60.24 $76.48 $69.08 $68.36

*salaries do not reflect bonuses

 

Junior Estimator is an entry level Estimating position, which requires either a BS or MS degree in estimating. They work under close supervision of a Senior Estimator, performing general/routine estimating duties.

 

 

Estimator I

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $69.90 $91.29 $82.45 $82.45
Mid-Atlantic $73.30 $98.89 $85.74 $81.01
Northeast $70.42 $147.11 $92.11 $88.31
Northwest $72.89 $91.70 $84.71 $81.93
Southeast $72.99 $92.62 $83.37 $82.75
Southwest $72.99 $92.73 $82.14 $82.03

*salaries do not reflect bonuses

 

Estimator I requires a minimum of 2 years’ experience. Job responsibilities are similar to that of Junior Estimator, however, they typically have developed at least one area of specialty that allows them to add additional value to the project at hand. They work under close supervision of a Senior Estimator, performing routine estimating job duties.

 

 

Estimator II

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $88.31 $118.22 $104.14 $103.62
Mid-Atlantic $87.38 $119.76 $104.34 $99.72
Northeast $98.79 $145.98 $123.15 $115.55
Northwest $106.09 $135.70 $121.61 $113.39
Southeast $89.13 $123.36 $106.60 $103.21
Southwest $90.98 $120.69 $108.56 $103.93

*salaries do not reflect bonuses

 

Estimator II requires a minimum of 4 years’ experience. Job responsibilities are similar to that of an Estimator I, however, an estimator is able to work with an increased level of responsibility and independence—and possibility has more than one level of specialty. They work under the close supervision of a Senior Estimator, performing routine estimating duties—but may be tasked with managing Junior Estimators.

 

The construction salary data generated above is compiled from multiple industry and salary sources, coupled with real-time data compiled by The Birmingham Group. As one of the leading recruiters in the nation, construction executive search firm, The Birmingham Group, interviews over 300 construction professionals each week.

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This is an exciting time in the world of construction. With this rapid turnaround over the past few years, many construction general contractors are being forced to reevaluate their construction salaries to stay competitive. We have compiled data from 4600+ individual construction management interviews performed by our staff.

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By | 2019-05-03T09:29:38-04:00 May 7th, 2019|Construction Blog|

About the Author:

The Birmingham Group has been serving the construction industry since 1967. Brian Binke took over the firm in 1995 and since that time, he has personally placed over 1200 construction managers and senior leaders, with company revenues ranging from $10 million dollars to the largest ENR 400 companies in the industry. Brian is an industry innovator, with a specialized skillset in construction. His keen understanding of business, the construction industry, and ability to effectively match and recruit top leaders has led to many accolades. He was ranked the #1 International Billing Owner in the construction industry for his own personal production and has been consistently recognized as one of the Top 10 International Billing Owners out of 800 owners worldwide. This includes owners across every industry. In 2013, Brian was awarded the #1 International Billing Owner within the entire network. For over two decades, Brian has been considered one of the most influential thought leaders in the construction industry. His business and construction knowledge are used as a resource for some of the nation’s most prominent publications. In the past year alone, Brian has been quoted in or authored articles for The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, MoneyWatch, Construction Today, ConstructionDive, United Rentals, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, American Express, Builder Magazine, and Human Resource Executive, among others. "I believe companies are a lot like sports teams. The team with the best players usually wins. It is my passion to deliver the absolute best talent to my client companies – the market’s top performers, the talent that every company wants to hire but which seldom seems available. To put it simply, I thrive on helping my clients build their Dream Team." - Brian Binke, The Birmingham Group
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