About four in five of Senior Estimators in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $54K to $129K per year, but median earnings come to around $84K per year. With some bonuses approaching $16K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $14K, overall incomes of Senior Estimators spread between $54K and $129K depending on individual performance. Residence and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to half. Most Senior Estimators report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$55,034 - $122,770
(Median)
$55K
$84K
$120K
MEDIAN: $83,746
10%
50%
90%

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$17.51 - $50.78
(Median)
$18
$27
$51
MEDIAN: $27.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$55,034 - $122,770  
   
Bonus
$650 - $15,609  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $13,750  
Commission
$1,973 - $49,493  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$53,512 - $129,001  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,113
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$17.51 - $50.78  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.37  
Overtime
$22.33 - $66.98  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$650 - $15,609  
   
Commission
$1,973 - $49,493  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $13,750  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$53,512 - $129,001  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 116
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Job Description for Senior Estimator

A senior estimator is responsible for predicting the cost of a construction project. To accomplish this, a senior estimator must gather all the data regarding materials, equipment, utilities and manpower required for a given project, figure out how long the project will take, adjust for economic conditions and perform a cost analysis to produce an accurate estimate. Once the estimate is complete, the senior estimator presents the estimate to senior management members. The senior estimator may also be expected to work with architects and other consultants to find ways to reduce costs without endangering the success of the project and could be expected to take part in soliciting and negotiating prices from contractors and suppliers. Senior estimators will often work a standard 40-hour work week, but emergencies and tight time restraints may require working additional hours to meet deadlines. The bulk of a senior estimator’s time will be spent in an office, but sometimes travel to work sites is required to meet with contractors, architects and other team members, and to meet with suppliers.

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Senior Estimator Tasks

  • Develop strategies to meet project goals, like setting work hours, sequencing tasks, obtaining materials, etc.
  • Develop and present cost estimates for internal and external audiences.
  • Evaluate risk and budgets for projects by considering RFP, blueprints, specs, or other documents.
  • Manage subcontractor bids and process.

Common Career Paths for Senior Estimator


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Senior Estimators often end up in upper-level roles like Chief Estimator. Chief Estimators bring home $95K annually on average. Many Senior Estimators choose to become Estimating Managers and Sales Estimators as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $12K less and $39K less, respectively.

Senior Estimator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Senior Estimator


Senior Estimators seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Contractor Management, People Management, and Contract Negotiation are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 21 percent, 19 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Those listing xactimate as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. accubid and AutoCAD also typically command lower compensation. Those proficient in Blueprints are, more often than not, also skilled in Microsoft Excel.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Estimator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Senior Estimators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $65K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $78K. Senior Estimators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $86K. Senior Estimators who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $92K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $85,243

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Senior Estimators, San Jose offers exceptional salaries, 47 percent above the national average. Senior Estimators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+45 percent), San Francisco (+32 percent), Boston (+26 percent), and Chicago (+19 percent). Trailing the national average by 10 percent, Minneapolis is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Phoenix and Orlando also lean toward paying below-median salaries (5 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Senior Estimator Salaries



National Average
$85,000



Skills That Affect Senior Estimator Salaries

Contractor Management
up arrow 21%

People Management
up arrow 19%


Preconstruction Budgeting
up arrow 6%

Construction Estimating
up arrow 2%

Scheduling
up arrow 2%

National Average
$85,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 2%

autodesk autocad
up arrow 2%

Blueprints
up arrow 4%

up arrow 8%

accubid
up arrow 8%

xactimate
up arrow 38%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 188 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
13%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
42%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 81%
dental benefits
Dental: 62%
medical benefits
Vision: 48%
dental benefits
None: 17%
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