Staying profitable in the construction industry can be incredibly challenging to say the least. Owners often must deal with the fluctuating costs of materials, labor, and insurance among other things. That is why it is vital to hire the best senior and chief estimators on the market to ensure that you get accurate cost estimates for your planned projects. The main goals of our clients are to stay on time and under budget, so we help make that happen by delivering high performing estimators for their teams. Construction estimator salaries vary by region and according to other factors. Below are Senior Construction Estimator salary ranges and Chief Construction Estimator salary ranges.


Senior construction estimators should have experience with digital estimating systems, hard bidding of contract work, preparing take-off bid proposals, and performing successful contract negotiations. They may also need a degree in construction management, building science, or engineering. The following core skills are also needed:

  • Math
  • Organization
  • Data Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Tech Skills
  • Time Management
  • Writing Skills


Even though junior construction estimators and construction estimators require many of the same skills, senior and chief construction estimators have 10+ years of experience under their belt. Since they provide leadership and supervision to junior estimators, senior estimators need to be well-versed in multiple specialties like advanced estimating concepts. But chief estimators have the most responsibilities of them all. General contractors in most cases, are looking for candidates with 15+ years of experience because they rely on them when it comes to their largest and complex projects. Here are some other duties that chief and senior estimators are often tasked with:

  • Leadership or consulting in the pre-construction phase.
  • Working closely with the owner and architect.
  • Gathering project information.
  • Working with digital estimating systems.
  • Estimating products, events, and information.
  • Analyzing data and information.
  • Communicating with supervisors, colleagues, and subordinates.

Landing and retaining the most qualified senior and chief construction estimators requires offering competitive salaries and benefits. Here are salary ranges for senior estimators and chief estimators across the country.

Senior Construction Estimator Salary Ranges

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $106.30 $140.22 $124.59 $125.11
Mid-Atlantic $108.87 $150.29 $130.25 $128.60
Northeast $130.04 $178.05 $158.11 $155.33
Northwest $121.92 $154.82 $136.31 $133.23
Southeast $105.16 $143.92 $128.29 $128.60
Southwest $109.17 $141.97 $126.03 $127.06

*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 Ranges

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $132.92 $166.33 $149.06 $149.27
Mid-Atlantic $146.59 $186.58 $166.02 $160.78
Northeast $154.41 $213.10 $187.10 $185.66
Northwest $156.87 $185.97 $178.36 $171.98
Southeast $135.18 $187.30 $161.19 $160.37
Southwest $127.88 $174.86 $152.97 $152.97

*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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