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.
A bachelor’s degree in construction management, civil engineering, architecture or a related field is usually the educational requirement to become a senior estimator. Also, prospective applicants are generally expected to have at least five years of experience in the planning or managing of engineering design or construction, or experience in overseeing large engineering projects. While no certification is required, a senior estimator must be well versed in the construction industry and must keep current with the latest estimating technology and techniques.
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.