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Become A Senior Estimator

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Working As A Senior Estimator

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Estimator Do

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry.

Duties

Cost estimators typically do the following:

  • Identify factors affecting costs, such as production time, materials, and labor
  • Read blueprints and technical documents in order to prepare estimates
  • Collaborate with engineers, architects, clients, and contractors
  • Calculate, analyze, and adjust estimates 
  • Recommend ways to reduce costs
  • Work with sales teams to prepare estimates and bids for clients
  • Maintain records of estimated and actual costs

Accurately estimating the costs of construction and manufacturing projects is vital to the survival of businesses. Cost estimators provide managers with the information they need in order to submit competitive contract bids or price products appropriately.

Estimators analyze production processes to determine how much time, money, and labor a project needs. Their estimates account for many factors, including allowances for wasted material, bad weather, shipping delays, and other variables that can increase costs and lower profitability.

In building construction, cost estimators use software to simulate the construction process and evaluate the effects of design choices. They often consult databases to compare the costs of similar projects.

The following are examples of types of cost estimators:

Construction cost estimators prepare estimates for a building project. They may calculate the total cost of building a bridge or commercial shopping center, or they may calculate the cost of just one component, such as the foundation. They identify costs of elements such as raw materials and labor, and they may set a timeline for how long they expect the project to take. Although many work directly for construction firms, some work for contractors and engineering firms.

Manufacturing cost estimators calculate the costs of developing, producing, or redesigning a company’s goods or services. For example, a cost estimator working for a home appliance manufacturer may determine a new dishwasher’s production costs, allowing managers to make production decisions.

Some manufacturing cost estimators work in software development. Many high-technology products require a considerable amount of computer programming, and calculating the costs of software development requires great expertise.

Other workers, such as operations research analysts and construction managers, may also estimate costs in the course of their usual duties.

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How To Become A Senior Estimator

A bachelor’s degree is generally required to become a cost estimator, although some highly experienced construction workers may qualify without a bachelor’s degree.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. A strong background in mathematics is essential.

Construction cost estimators typically need a bachelor’s degree in an industry-related field, such as construction management, building science, or engineering.

Those interested in estimating manufacturing costs typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, business, or finance.

Training

Some newly hired cost estimators may receive on-the-job training, depending on their experience. Training may include learning a company’s cost-estimating software and techniques.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some employers prefer that construction cost estimators, particularly those without a bachelor’s degree, have previous work experience in the construction industry. For example, experienced electricians and plumbers can become construction cost estimators if they have the necessary construction knowledge and math skills.

Candidates interested in becoming cost estimators can also gain experience through internships and cooperative education programs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Voluntary certification can show competence and experience in the field. In some instances, employers may require professional certification before hiring.

The following organizations offer a variety of certifications:

  • American Society of Professional Estimators
  • Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating International
  • International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association

Estimators must generally have at least 2 years of estimating experience and must pass a written exam to become certified.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Cost estimators consider and evaluate different construction and manufacturing methods and options to determine the most cost-effective solution that meets the required specifications.

Detail oriented. Cost estimators must pay attention to details, as minor changes can significantly affect the overall cost of a project or product.

Math skills. Cost estimators calculate labor, material, and equipment cost estimates for construction projects. They use software, such as spreadsheets and databases, and they need excellent math skills to accurately calculate these estimates.

Time-management skills. Cost estimators often work on fixed deadlines, so they must plan their work in advance and work efficiently and accurately.

Writing skills. Cost estimators write comprehensive reports, which often help managers make production decisions.

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Senior Estimator Jobs

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Senior Estimator Career Paths

Senior Estimator
Estimator Project Manager Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Contractor-Senior Project Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager
Vice President Of Construction
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Principal Superintendent
District Commercial Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Purchasing Manager
Subcontracts Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Superintendent Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Senior Operations Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Owner Maintenance Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Project Manager Project Manager/Design Manager
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Superintendent Operations Project Manager
Regional Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
General Contractor Sales Contractor
Contract Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Owner Project Superintendent Director Of Construction
Director Construction Services
11 Yearsyrs
Owner Project Superintendent Quality Control Supervisor
Assistant Quality Control Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Plant Engineering Manager Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Project Manager-Manufacturing
9 Yearsyrs
Manager Owner/Operator Construction Superintendent
Land Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Consultant
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Estimator?

Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$46,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$134,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
McDermott International
Highest Paying City
Santa Clara, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
5.0 years
How much does a Senior Estimator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Estimator in the United States is $79,455 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $46,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $134,000.

Real Senior Estimator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Estimator-Engineering, Construction & Operations Recurrent Energy, LLC San Francisco, CA Dec 12, 2014 $145,000
Senior Estimator III Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 01, 2013 $142,070 -
$158,880
Senior Estimator Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX May 02, 2012 $130,000
Senior Estimator--Engineering, Construction & Oper Recurrent Energy, LLC San Francisco, CA Dec 12, 2011 $130,000
Senior Estimator Technip USA, Inc. Claremont, CA Jun 30, 2015 $129,629
Senior Estimator HIIT Contracting Inc. Falls Church, VA Aug 12, 2013 $129,000
Senior Estimator, Industrial Construction Bilfinger Tepsco Inc. Deer Park, TX Jun 11, 2015 $125,000
Senior Estimator Bilfinger Tepsco Inc. Deer Park, TX Sep 10, 2014 $125,000
Senior Estimator Empire Control Abatement Inc. NY Feb 23, 2015 $110,000
Senior Estimator McDermott, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 13, 2016 $109,505
Senior Estimator McDermott, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 17, 2011 $105,000
Senior Estimator KBR Technical Services, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 22, 2016 $90,689
Senior Estimator Raad Construction Group, LLC Perth Amboy, NJ Feb 27, 2012 $90,000
Senior Estimator Benjamin R Harvey Co Inc. Ocean, NJ Jan 15, 2015 $89,710
SR. Estimator KBR, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2012 $89,559
Senior Estimator Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation Reston, VA Nov 16, 2015 $89,066 -
$108,000
Senior Estimator/Scheduler Skanska USA Civil Inc. Atlanta, GA Aug 13, 2010 $88,000
Senior Estimator LCG Pence Construction, LLC Salem, OR Mar 03, 2013 $85,000
Senior Estimator San Juan Construction, Inc. Montrose, CO Sep 30, 2012 $73,486
Senior Estimator San Juan Construction, Inc. Montrose, CO Oct 01, 2013 $73,486
Senior Estimator, Mechanical San Juan Construction, Inc. Montrose, CO Jul 07, 2016 $72,966
Senior Estimator San Juan Construction, Inc. Montrose, CO Sep 30, 2012 $72,093
Senior Estimator/Scheduler I Atkins North America, Inc. Austin, TX Nov 07, 2011 $69,500 -
$82,000
Senior Estimator Powell Electrical Systems, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 05, 2016 $69,150
Senior Estimator, Mechanical San Juan Construction, Inc. Montrose, CO May 22, 2015 $68,786

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Top Skills for A Senior Estimator

  1. Subcontractor Bids
  2. Bid Proposals
  3. Project Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed subcontractor bids and Created detailed subcontractor scopes of work for all trades.
  • Review plans and written specifications to obtain pertinent information in preparing complete and concise bid proposals.
  • Developed client relationships for follow-on project opportunities as well as project management support.
  • Contributed in the development of cost estimates, marketplace pricing studies and financial analysis to develop optimal purchasing and manufacturing strategies.
  • Provided quantity take-off and pricing in all construction divisions for new construction and facility modifications.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Estimators

  1. Alaska
  2. Texas
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Hawaii
  5. Wyoming
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Washington
  8. North Dakota
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Utah
  • (9 jobs)
  • (290 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (51 jobs)

Senior Estimator Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,733 Senior 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.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Senior Estimator Resume

View Resume Examples

Senior Estimator Demographics

Gender

Male

81.9%

Unknown

10.0%

Female

8.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

17.9%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

French

6.7%

Carrier

6.7%

Hawaiian

3.3%

Romanian

3.3%

Tagalog

3.3%

Cantonese

3.3%

Russian

3.3%

Polish

3.3%
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Senior Estimator Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.1%

Texas A&M University

6.8%

University of Phoenix

6.8%

University of Florida

6.4%

University of Houston

6.4%

Arizona State University

5.9%

Pennsylvania State University

5.9%

Kansas State University

5.0%

Oklahoma State University

5.0%

Colorado State University

5.0%

New York University

4.5%

Clemson University

4.5%

Eastern Michigan University

4.1%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.6%

Ferris State University

3.6%

Auburn University

3.6%

Temple University

3.6%

Lawrence Technological University

3.6%

Brigham Young University

3.2%

University of Washington

3.2%
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Majors

Business

22.4%

Construction Management

16.8%

Civil Engineering

14.3%

Project Management

4.2%

Drafting And Design

3.8%

Management

3.6%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Engineering

3.4%

Electrical Engineering

3.3%

Architecture

3.3%

Accounting

3.1%

Industrial Technology

2.5%

Construction Engineering Technologies

2.5%

Property Management

2.3%

Mathematics

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Political Science

1.9%

Architectural Technology

1.9%

General Studies

1.6%

Marketing

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.0%

Other

29.9%

Associate

11.8%

Masters

9.5%

Certificate

3.9%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Senior Estimator Videos

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