Senior Estimator Salary

With approximately four-fifths of Senior Estimators in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Senior Estimators is $81K per year and can range from $53K on the lower end to $125K per year near the higher end. Overall cash earnings of Senior Estimators stretch from $53K near the bottom to $125K at the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $15K each from bonuses and profit sharing. Geography and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Senior Estimators. A large number enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just under a half. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$53,983 - $118,751
(Median)
$54K
$81K
$120K
MEDIAN: $81,474
10%
50%
90%

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$16.37 - $45.72
(Median)
$16
$26
$46
MEDIAN: $26.00
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
$53,983 - $118,751  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,170  
Profit Sharing
$203.73 - $14,580  
Commission
$740 - $54,442  
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).
)
$53,047 - $125,185  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,843
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
$16.37 - $45.72  
   
Overtime
$23.04 - $62.33  
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
$0.00 - $15,170  
   
Commission
$740 - $54,442  
Profit Sharing
$203.73 - $14,580  
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).
)
$53,047 - $125,185  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 162
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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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Although it's unusual, some Senior Estimators transition into jobs as Chief Estimators. The latter group reports earning a slightly lower median of $94K per year, though.

Senior Estimator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Senior Estimator


Survey results imply that Senior Estimators deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Contract Negotiation, Preconstruction Budgeting, and Scheduling are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 24 percent, 8 percent, and 5 percent, respectively. Those listing xactimate as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. AutoCAD and Blueprints also typically command lower compensation. Most people skilled in Construction Estimating are similarly competent in Blueprints.

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. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $63K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $75K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $84K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $92K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $82,953

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

With a pay rate for Senior Estimators that is 37 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Senior Estimators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+33 percent), Los Angeles (+29 percent), Chicago (+18 percent), and Houston (+18 percent). In Minneapolis, salaries are 18 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers in Atlanta and Pittsburgh also lean toward paying below-median salaries (8 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Senior Estimator Salaries



National Average
$83,000



Skills That Affect Senior Estimator Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 24%

Preconstruction Budgeting
up arrow 8%

Scheduling
up arrow 5%

Contractor Management
up arrow 4%

Construction Estimating
up arrow 2%

Project Management
0%

National Average
$83,000

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Blueprints
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%

xactimate
up arrow 37%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 390 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
41%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 82%
dental benefits
Dental: 61%
medical benefits
Vision: 47%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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