Construction Project Estimator: Responsibilities, Salary, Education, Experience

The construction project estimator collects and analyzes data to determine all necessary resources for construction projects. Their input is essential to a project. A construction project estimator can earn as much as $107k a year. A bachelor’s degree and specialty certifications help with higher income.

Construction Project Estimator Role

A construction project estimator plays a crucial role in any construction project. Their input can either make or break a project. Project estimators collect and analyze data to determine all necessary resources for projects. Such resources include the following:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Construction materials
  • Labor required to construct a building

This article highlights a construction project estimator’s responsibilities, salary, education, and experience.

Construction Project Estimator Responsibilities

Construction project estimators have a very complex job to fulfill. They may complete some or all the tasks listed below:

  • Review plans, analyze blueprints, specifications and other documentation to prepare estimates and construction bids
  • Use special formulas to calculate, record, and track estimates
  • Create, send, and track proposals for opportunities. (Check out the Construction Proposal Elements article to find out what to include in your proposals.)
  • Complete projects budgeting, scheduling and track them
  • Prepare clear detailed quantity take offs on assigned projects
  • Organize subcontractors quotations
  • Negotiate to ensure quotes meet contract documents
  • Issue proper documented sale orders
  • Track progress for on-going work
  • Identify potential risks for on-going work
  • Requisition price change orders for on-going work
  • Receive and reply to invitations to bid
  • Request bids from subcontractors and review bid schedule
  • Provide and maintain unit pricing and database for material and labor costing
  • Maintain relationships with subcontractors and clients
  • Meet with clients to discuss options for proposed services
  • Ensure site personnel have proper documentation for projects

Construction Project Estimator Education and Experience


Employers in the construction industry don’t always ask for a bachelor’s degree. Yet, to get to a higher level pay grade as a construction project estimator, it’s recommended to earn a degree. As a construction project estimator, you can get a degree in construction management. There are different organizations that offer certifications for construction project estimators. There are three organizations that offer such certifications:

  • American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE)
  • The Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating (AACE)
  • International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA)


Most employers will seek candidates who already have some experience in the field. Businesses provide on-the-job training to get new hires up to speed with their own standard procedures. This will give new hires the chance to learn organizational protocol for:

  • Writing proposals
  • Preparing estimates
  • Dealing with bids
  • Customer and client relationships

Project Estimator Salary

The average base salary for a construction estimator is $78,849 per year. Salaries range from $64,766 to $83,487. Currently, Minnesota, Arizona, Ohio, Washington, and Nevada are top payers for estimators. Project estimators can also earn bonus or profit sharing. The bonus can rage between $506 to $18,000 per year. Profit sharing can go from $49 to $12,000 per year. Salary and all other monetary incentives vary based on the location, project, skillset. Experience also plays a crucial role in the compensation factor. The more experienced the professional, the more income they earn.

Construction Project Estimator Role, Responsibilities, Salary, Education, Experience

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