The demand for commercial construction estimators continues to grow as firms realize how vital the pre-construction phase is. Pre-construction is essential to the success of projects because it’s when the objectives, schedules, costs, procedures, scope, and logistical issues are all reviewed in detail.

Estimators are critical to the success of an active construction firm. Their business development and sales skills are essential to winning projects by accurately bidding on a variety of potential plans. Successful construction firms also turn to their senior estimators to take out all of the guesswork on their major projects. They help to ensure that all goals can be met and that the budget will be adhered to. Candidates that are interested in construction careers like this should have a variety of different skills and traits including:

  • Blueprint Reading – Estimators should be able to read drawings and project specifications effectively. If they can interpret the fine details, then they can help construction firms discover when a project might have hidden costs.
  • Analytical – Having an analytical mind is such an important trait in estimating because it helps estimators search for additional ways for firms to profit by adjusting logistics, assembly, scheduling, etc.
  • Perseverance – Successful estimators are persistent at tracking down the suppliers to get the required material quotes. They follow through on every aspect of the bid, meet deadlines, and ensure success regardless of the time needed.
  • Multi-tasking – Estimators are often required to manage multiple bids at the same time to help firms grow. Estimators that can balance several different tasks at once while ensuring accuracy are in the highest demand in the construction industry.

Firms can partner with construction recruiters to help them find qualified chief estimators that direct all of the activities within their estimating departments ranging from budgeting, staff scheduling and development to training, performance evaluations, and departmental goals.

Senior Construction Estimator Salary

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $103.4 $136.4 $121.2 $121.7
Mid-Atlantic $105.9 $146.2 $126.7 $125.1
Northeast $126.5 $173.2 $153.8 $151.1
Northwest $118.6 $150.6 $132.6 $129.6
Southeast $102.3 $140.0 $124.8 $125.1
Southwest $106.2 $138.1 $122.6 $123.6

*salaries do not reflect bonuses
Senior Estimator requires a minimum of 10 years’ experience. This is a lead position, with multiple specialties, and a strong command of advanced estimating concepts is required. Often requires the supervision and technical direction of Junior Estimators, as well as directly reporting to, and assisting the Chief Estimator.

Chief Construction Estimator Salary

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $129.3 $161.8 $145.0 $145.2
Mid-Atlantic $142.6 $181.5 $161.5 $156.4
Northeast $150.2 $207.3 $182.0 $180.6
Northwest $152.6 $180.9 $173.5 $167.3
Southeast $131.5 $182.2 $156.8 $156.0
Southwest $124.4 $170.1 $148.8 $148.8

*salaries do not reflect bonuses
Chief Estimator requires between 12 and 15 years’ experience. This position requires a strong command of large and complex projects and may require the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Chief Estimator must also possess strong communication and leadership skills, as they are responsible for leading, directing, and advising 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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