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Estimator Careers

An estimator draws up an assessment of the overall expenses a project would require, taking every possible aspect into consideration. Material costs, labor hours, expenses of equipment, production venue, or transportation all go into the mix. After collecting information and analyzing metrics and customer specifications, the estimator will present findings and propose the final budget of the project to the management.

Estimators generally work for the construction business. They need to be able to read blueprints, plan ahead, and take notice of every foreseeable occurrence that might take money or take time during the implementation of the project. A good estimator is well aware that the devil is in the details, and is able to accurately communicate with everyone involved in the process.

Along with the growing construction business, the demand for estimators is expected to steadily grow over the coming years. Average annual salaries fall between $61,589 and $75,304, depending on your education, certificates, and years of experience on the job.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an estimator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $29.05 an hour? That's $60,432 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 9% and produce 18,700 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Estimator Do

There are certain skills that many estimators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an estimator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.8% of estimators included customer service, while 7.5% of resumes included project management, and 6.1% of resumes included cost estimates. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the estimator job title. But what industry to start with? Most estimators actually find jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries.

How To Become an Estimator

If you're interested in becoming an estimator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 44.8% of estimators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.1% of estimators have master's degrees. Even though most estimators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an estimator. When we researched the most common majors for an estimator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on estimator resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an estimator. In fact, many estimator jobs require experience in a role such as estimator project manager. Meanwhile, many estimators also have previous career experience in roles such as project manager or owner.

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Average Salary
$60,432
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
9%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
2,870
Job Openings

Estimator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Estimator

Owner
5.9 %

Top Careers After Estimator

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Estimator

Estimators in America make an average salary of $60,432 per year or $29 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $79,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $46,000 per year.
Average Salary
$60,432

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range59k - 93k$75k$74,536
Seattle, WA
Salary Range56k - 92k$73k$72,579
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range52k - 98k$72k$71,789
Hampton, VA
Salary Range52k - 81k$66k$65,850
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range52k - 82k$66k$65,682
Commerce City, CO
Salary Range51k - 81k$65k$64,567
$41k
$98k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Civil Structural Architectural Estimator
Civil Structural Architectural Estimator
Randstad
Randstad
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$85,00001/30/2021
$85,000
Estimator
Estimator
Randstad
Randstad
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$40,00001/28/2021
$40,000
Piping Estimator
Piping Estimator
RK Mechanical
RK Mechanical
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$80,00001/27/2021
$80,000
Sales Estimator | Molly Maid of Temecula Valley
Sales Estimator | Molly Maid of Temecula Valley
Molly Maid, LLC
Molly Maid, LLC
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$40,00001/27/2021
$40,000
Lead Estimator
Lead Estimator
Randstad
Randstad
01/26/2021
01/26/2021
$85,00001/26/2021
$85,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Estimator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Estimator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Estimator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Estimator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Estimator Demographics

Gender

male

77.7 %

female

18.1 %

unknown

4.2 %

Ethnicity

White

82.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.2 %

Asian

3.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.0 %

French

5.6 %

German

3.2 %
See More Demographics

Estimator Education

Majors

Business
24.7 %

Degrees

Bachelors

44.8 %

Associate

19.7 %

High School Diploma

16.9 %

Top Colleges for Estimators

1. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

2. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

9. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571
See More Education Info
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Estimator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.8% of estimators listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 17.8%
  • Project Management, 7.5%
  • Cost Estimates, 6.1%
  • Construction Projects, 5.0%
  • Repair Process, 4.3%
  • Other Skills, 59.3%
  • See All Estimator Skills

Best States For an Estimator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an estimator. The best states for people in this position are Vermont, Mississippi, Washington, and Hawaii. Estimators make the most in Vermont with an average salary of $75,233. Whereas in Mississippi and Washington, they would average $72,934 and $71,813, respectively. While estimators would only make an average of $69,635 in Hawaii, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Estimator Jobs:
40
Highest 10% Earn:
$113,000
Location Quotient:
2.38
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Estimator Jobs:
93
Highest 10% Earn:
$113,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Colorado

Total Estimator Jobs:
115
Highest 10% Earn:
$99,000
Location Quotient:
1.93
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Estimator Employers

1. Gerber Collision & Glass
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$54,825
Estimators Hired: 
90+
2. Randstad USA
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$57,351
Estimators Hired: 
74+
3. Menards
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$58,121
Estimators Hired: 
63+
4. Kiewit Corporation
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$72,038
Estimators Hired: 
62+
5. CyberCoders
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$63,104
Estimators Hired: 
38+
6. Servpro
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$57,495
Estimators Hired: 
36+

Estimator Videos

Updated October 2, 2020