Senior Estimator Salary
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.Read More...
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
- 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
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
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).
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Key Stats for Senior Estimator
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