Senior Estimators in the United States tend to be well-versed in their field, and over four-fifths have more than 10 years of experience. Average salary is expected to be around $84K annually, but may range from $54K to $130K per year. Overall compensation packages to Senior Estimators range from $54K on the low end to $130K on the high end; this includes bonuses that peak near $16K and profit sharing that approaches $13K, with some high rollers snagging commissions as high as $49K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Most enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to half. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$55,426 - $123,067
$55K
$84K
$120K
MEDIAN: $83,848
10%
50%
90%

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$16.00 - $51.16
$16
$29
$51
MEDIAN: $28.00
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
$55,426 - $123,067  
   
Bonus
$965 - $15,519  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $12,913  
Commission
$1,949 - $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).
)
$53,885 - $129,626  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,072
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
$16.00 - $51.16  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.37  
Overtime
$21.13 - $66.38  
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
$965 - $15,519  
   
Commission
$1,949 - $49,493  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $12,913  
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).
)
$53,885 - $129,626  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 114

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United States (change)

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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

  • Evaluate risk and budgets for projects by considering RFP, blueprints, specs, or other documents.
  • Manage subcontractor bids and process.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Senior Estimator


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Senior Estimators who go on to become Chief Estimators may see somewhat stagnant compensation. On average, a Chief Estimator, an upper-level role, pays $94K. Senior Estimators most frequently become Estimating Managers and Sales Estimators even though median compensation is $12K lower and $39K lower, respectively.

Senior Estimator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Senior Estimator


Survey takers working as Senior Estimators report using a large range of professional skills. 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, 18 percent, and 7 percent, respectively. Those listing xactimate as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. AutoCAD and Preconstruction Budgeting also typically command lower compensation. Most people who know Blueprints also know Microsoft Excel.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Estimator

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


For Senior Estimators, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $64K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $79K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Senior Estimators see a median salary of $86K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $91K.

Pay Difference by Location

49%

47%

25%

21%

19%

-2%

-2%

-5%

-6%

National Average: $85,445

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, 49 percent above the national average. Senior Estimators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+47 percent), San Francisco (+33 percent), Seattle (+25 percent), and Boston (+21 percent). The lowest-paying market is Orlando, which sits 6 percent below the national average. Workers in Phoenix and Dallas earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (5 percent less and 2 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Senior Estimator

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 186 votes.
Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
13%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
43%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Estimator Salaries



National Average
$85,000



Skills That Affect Senior Estimator Salaries

Contractor Management
up arrow 21%

People Management
up arrow 18%



Scheduling
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Excel
0%

autodesk autocad
0%

National Average
$85,000





Preconstruction Budgeting
up arrow 7%

accubid
up arrow 7%

up arrow 8%

xactimate
up arrow 39%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 186 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
13%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
43%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 81%
dental benefits
Dental: 62%
vision benefits
Vision: 48%
dental benefits
None: 18%
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