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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

  • $91,970

    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
Consultant Architect Project Architect
Assistant Construction Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Control Supervisor
Assistant Quality Control Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Operations Vice President Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Project Manager Construction Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Assistant Project Manager Estimator Project Manager
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Property Manager General Contractor
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Senior Planner Production Control Supervisor
Material Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Construction Manager Regional Project Manager
National Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Chief Estimator Estimating Manager Estimator Project Manager
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Construction General Contractor General Foreman
Piping Superintendent
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Analyst Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Chief Estimator Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Project Manager-Manufacturing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Business Developer Business Development Manager
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Contracts Manager Contracts Administrator
Subcontracts Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Operations Vice President Construction Manager
Vice President Of Construction
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Estimator?

Senior Estimator Demographics

Gender

Male

89.1%

Female

8.1%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.2%

Carrier

8.7%

Hawaiian

4.3%

Romanian

4.3%

French

4.3%

Tagalog

4.3%

Cantonese

4.3%

Russian

4.3%
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Senior Estimator Education

Schools

Purdue University

8.9%

Ferris State University

6.3%

Auburn University

6.3%

Texas A&M University

6.3%

Arizona State University

5.4%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

Kansas State University

4.5%

University of Washington

4.5%

Boise State University

4.5%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.5%

San Diego State University

4.5%

University of Florida

4.5%

University of Houston

4.5%

University of Phoenix

4.5%

Louisiana Tech University

4.5%

Drexel University

4.5%

Oklahoma State University

4.5%

Lawrence Technological University

4.5%

University of Louisiana at Monroe

4.5%

Brigham Young University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

20.0%

Construction Management

15.8%

Civil Engineering

12.7%

Project Management

4.6%

Engineering

4.4%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Management

4.2%

Drafting And Design

4.0%

Mechanical Engineering

3.8%

Accounting

3.2%

Political Science

3.0%

Architecture

2.9%

Industrial Technology

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Property Management

2.3%

General Studies

2.1%

Construction Engineering Technologies

2.1%

Mathematics

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Engineering Technology

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.9%

Other

32.8%

Associate

11.1%

Masters

8.1%

Certificate

4.5%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.4%
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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--Engineering, Construction & Oper Recurrent Energy, LLC San Francisco, CA Dec 12, 2011 $130,000
Senior Estimator Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX May 02, 2012 $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 Bilfinger Tepsco Inc. Deer Park, TX Sep 10, 2014 $125,000
Senior Estimator, Industrial Construction Bilfinger Tepsco Inc. Deer Park, TX Jun 11, 2015 $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 Oct 01, 2013 $73,486
Senior Estimator San Juan Construction, Inc. Montrose, CO Sep 30, 2012 $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 San Juan Construction Inc. Montrose, CO Jul 21, 2014 $68,786

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Top Skills for A Senior Estimator

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  1. Contractors
  2. Proposals
  3. Project Scope
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinated Subcontractors, equipment delivery, priced change orders.
  • Provide financial cost information to Business Development Managers; identify cost drivers and provide recommendations needed for preparing successful bid proposals.
  • Coordinated estimate turnover to construction; coordinated with purchasing on project scope of work for buyout of equipment and subcontractors.
  • Meet with clients to review project requirements and develop project budgets as construction documents are being developed.
  • 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)

Top Senior Estimator Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Estimator Employers

Senior Estimator Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Trainee Quantity Surveyor by Rhona D (Full Version)

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