Most experts in the industry are quick to point out that the pre-construction phase is just as important as the actual building phase. Thus, accurate cost estimation is the foundation of every successful construction project because it removes any guesswork. Although it’s not very realistic for an initial estimate to match the final price tag of the project, developers rely on comprehensive estimates to guide their decisions along the way.

Construction estimator jobs are in high demand because they play a vital role to construction firms. The most successful estimators typically have a variety of different abilities ranging from field experience and blueprint reading skills to persistence and analytical skills. Construction estimators use both their knowledge of the market, along with modern technology and software, to help predict the costs associated with the following variables:

  • Labor Hours & Rates – Estimators determine how many labor hours it will take to complete a project along with providing a basic wage and benefits estimate for the different crafts involved.
  • Material Prices – They have to account for materials that fluctuate in cost greatly based on current market demand and supply, the quantity required and shipping.
  • Equipment Costs – Cycle times, equipment capacity, and the cost differential are all factors that estimators have to consider.
  • Indirect Costs – Including estimates for things like land acquisition, permits, design fees, office support and temporary on-site utilities.

Project financing is also dependent upon the estimate. Providing an accurate estimate not only helps to ensure that a project is delivered on time, but also under budget. If the developers and construction companies are consistently going over budget, then it’s probably time to bring in a more experienced estimator.

Junior Estimator

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $55.7 $73.1 $64.5 $62.6
Mid-Atlantic $56.4 $69.3 $62.3 $62.0
Northeast $57.2 $76.1 $66.8 $61.3
Northwest $56.4 $66.5 $63.7 $62.8
Southeast $57.7 $66.6 $64.0 $61.0
Southwest $58.6 $74.4 $67.2 $66.5

*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 $68.0 $88.8 $80.2 $80.2
Mid-Atlantic $71.3 $96.2 $83.4 $78.8
Northeast $68.5 $143.1 $89.6 $85.9
Northwest $70.9 $89.2 $82.4 $79.7
Southeast $71.0 $90.1 $81.1 $80.5
Southwest $71.0 $90.2 $79.9 $79.8

*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 $85.9 $115.0 $101.3 $100.8
Mid-Atlantic $85.0 $116.5 $101.5 $97.0
Northeast $96.1 $142.0 $119.8 $112.4
Northwest $103.2 $132.0 $118.3 $110.3
Southeast $86.7 $120.0 $103.7 $100.4
Southwest $88.5 $117.4 $105.6 $101.1

*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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