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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 $35.26 an hour? That's $73,347 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.

Learn more about what an Estimator does

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 55.3% of estimators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.0% 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.

Estimator Career Paths

Average Salary for an Estimator

Estimators in America make an average salary of $73,347 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $103,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $51,000 per year.
Average Estimator Salary
$73,347 Yearly
$35.26 hourly
$51,000
10 %
$73,000
Median
$103,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Estimator Education

Estimator Majors

25.1 %

Estimator Degrees

Bachelors

55.3 %

Associate

23.5 %

High School Diploma

10.4 %

Top Colleges for Estimators

1. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

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 • Private

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 • Private

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

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571

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%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Estimator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Estimator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Estimator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Estimator Resume
Estimator Resume
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Estimator Demographics

Estimator Gender Distribution

Male
Male
82%
Female
Female
18%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among estimators, 17.9% of them are women, while 82.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among estimators is White, which makes up 80.4% of all estimators.

  • The most common foreign language among estimators is Spanish at 67.0%.

Online Courses For Estimator That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Projects Cost Management, Estimating, Budgeting and Control.
udemy
4
(955)

Learn how to estimate costs for any project, how to determine budget and how to use Earned Value Management tools. 3 PDU...

Quantity Surveying Building Estimation With Cad And Excel
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4.3
(1,945)

Quantity Surveying, Quantity Takeoff, Steel Estimation, Rate Analysis,B.O.Q,Payments To Contractor, Interim Payment In Excel...

Learn Estimating & Cost Control
udemy
4.6
(340)

Develop a good practical understanding of best practice estimating and cost control on building & construction Projects...

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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 Alaska, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Estimators make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $115,094. Whereas in Vermont and Massachusetts, they would average $106,719 and $94,582, respectively. While estimators would only make an average of $87,296 in Connecticut, 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:
$142,000
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. Alaska

Total Estimator Jobs:
9
Highest 10% Earn:
$131,000
Location Quotient:
1.08 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. Maine

Total Estimator Jobs:
15
Highest 10% Earn:
$105,000
Location Quotient:
1.13 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
Full List Of Best States For Estimators

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Top Estimator Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ estimators and discovered their number of estimator opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Gerber Collision & Glass was the best, especially with an average salary of $73,347. J.T. Magen & Company follows up with an average salary of $73,347, and then comes Kiewit with an average of $76,592. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an estimator. The employers include HNTB, Acuity Insurance, and Siemens

Most Common Employers For Estimator

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Turner Construction$81,959$39.4015
2Structure Tone$81,024$38.9524
3CyberCoders$80,492$38.7044
4Kiewit$76,592$36.8264
5AECOM$76,520$36.7918
6PCL Construction$75,521$36.3116
7Gerber NCS$73,347$35.26126
8J.T. Magen & Company$73,347$35.2688
9State Farm Insurance Agency$73,347$35.2616
10Fluor Corporation$72,309$34.7619

Estimator Videos

Becoming an Estimator FAQs

Do you need a degree to be an estimator?

Yes, you need a degree to be an estimator. While some employers will hire candidates who only have a high school diploma and on-the-job experience, most employers prefer to hire estimators with a college degree.

How long does it take to become an estimator?

It takes about five years to become an entry-level estimator. This position typically requires a four-year bachelor's degree and about one year of experience in construction to gain entry-level roles.

How much do estimators get paid?

Estimators get paid $65,000 per year, as a median salary. The bottom 10% earn around $55,000 a year, while the 10% percent earn close to $100,000 on average per year.

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on various key factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years spent in the profession. While some employers will hire estimators with only a high school diploma, having a college degree will ensure that an estimator will earn more money.

Is estimator a good job?

Yes, being an estimator is a good job. Construction estimating is a well-paying job in the construction industry and a fairly secure job expected to grow.

An estimator's job is to gather and analyze data to estimate the money, materials, labor, and time required for a project. Most estimators will work on construction sites and collaborate with contractors, architects, and clients.

What is an estimator example?

An estimator is a general term for any professional estimator who works in the construction field, providing data estimating the money, materials, labor, and time required for a project. Most estimators will work on construction sites and collaborate with contractors, architects, and clients.

What is the role of an estimator?

An estimator's role is to gather and analyze data to estimate the money, materials, labor, and time required for a project. Most estimators will work on construction sites and collaborate with contractors, architects, and clients.

What schooling do you need to be an estimator?

The typical schooling for an estimator is a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. While some employers will hire candidates who only have a high school diploma and on-the-job experience, most employers prefer to hire estimators with a college degree.

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