How much does it cost to hire an estimator for construction?

it cost to hire an estimator for construction

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Are you looking for a professional and skilled cost estimator to hire for your construction project? It’s probably that you’re unsure how much it costs to hire an estimator for the construction work. The good news is that we have you covered.

This blog will teach you how much it costs to hire a construction estimator, what they do, and some tricks to take your business to the next level. 

Even some information about the construction estimator company you will get from us.

Different Types of Estimators You Can Hire

A crucial part of the construction sector is estimators. Their key duties include estimating project costs. When executed correctly, they can aid in improving financial planning for both corporate and private clients. Here are the different types of estimators:

  • Landscape Estimator

Commercial and private clients use landscape estimators to get an idea of the potential cost of a landscaping project. 

A typical part of their analysis is evaluating variables like soil type and property size. Individuals with a strong interest in the environment and extensive knowledge of horticulture choose to work in this field.

  • Electrical Estimator

The role of an electrical estimator is to assess a building’s electrical work and project the cost needed to complete it. Knowing various industrial and commercial building sizes will help in the creation of more precise estimates. 

A basic understanding of electrical materials, including metals and wiring, is necessary for the position. 

  • Plumbing Estimators

Plumbing estimators come in useful when figuring out how much a project will cost. They can accomplish this because of their extensive understanding of plumbing systems, piping materials, and labor. 

By including area-based plumbing service pricing in their cost analysis, they can offer their clients a more precise estimate and even prevent them from going over budget.

  • Mechanical Estimators

A mechanical estimator’s job is to interpret mechanical designs to determine the project’s potential final cost. 

A basic requirement for this position is a thorough understanding of machine parts and their costs. The average salary of mechanical estimators is $40784.31 per year.

  • Building Estimators

The task of a building estimator is to calculate the cost of constructing the building’s remaining levels above the foundation. 

To provide the client with a thorough report, their analysis can incorporate the civil engineering estimator’s estimate. Quantity surveyors are another term for these experts.

Also Read, what does a construction estimator do

Difference Between In-house & Outsourced Estimator – Who is Better

When choosing whether to hire a third party or use an internal estimator, there are several things to take into account. Here are some crucial things to remember:

  • Precision:

An experienced estimator may be needed to provide a precise estimate if your project is large and complex. 

However, if your project is small and straightforward, you might be able to get away with using an internal estimator.

  • Resources Accessible:

Do you have the internal resources necessary to support an in-house estimator, such as staff and budget? If not, you should engage an outside estimator for your building project.

  • Returned time:

Do you require a quote right now? If this is the case, an external estimator might be able to provide results more quickly than an internal estimator.

  • Experience and knowledge: 

Is the in-house estimator equipped with the skills and knowledge required to manage the particular project you have in mind? If not, you might have to seek assistance from sources outside your company.

  • Cost:

While cost is always a factor in decision-making, it shouldn’t be the only one in this particular situation. When deciding whether to use an in-house or external estimator for your construction project, make sure to take into account all of the previously mentioned factors.

How is it Beneficial to Hire an Estimator for a Construction Project?

Managing project budget estimation while planning, carrying out, overseeing, and inspecting a building project presents difficulties for contractors. However, you can employ qualified cost estimators as a contractor. 

They can provide you with relief in several aspects. Let’s explore how you and your construction project can profit from the help of a skilled estimator:

1. Increased Profit Margin

Estimators improve your workflow while taking into account all relevant aspects, both large and small, of a building project.

 Also, they assist you in increasing your profit margins by utilizing the subsequent strategies:

  • Perfectly overseeing every activity.
  • Set goals and client expectations.
  • An engineering project’s value engineering.
  • Calculating the project budget with accuracy and precision.
  • Settling the difference between the bid and project budget.
  • Taking into account every aspect related to a building project.
  • Employing economical methods, supplies, and machinery.
  • Encouraging effective communication between all parties involved.

2. Avoid Overspending

Numerous factors contribute to a project budget’s major overrun during construction. These elements could consist of:

  • Improvements to the project’s scope.
  • Severe weather circumstances.
  • Major design errors.
  • Mismanagement of the project
  • Inaccurate estimation
  • Labor concerns

There is still no possibility of cost overruns, though, when taking all these variables into account when estimating the budget. Therefore, using a qualified cost estimator can help prevent construction budget overruns.

3. Increasing Win-bid Ratio:

The win-bid ratio is low for about 80% of contractors. There are several causes for this failure.

  • Poor-quality proposal
  • late submissions
  • Errors
  • Unrealistic evaluations

But you can resolve all of these problems and improve your win-bid ratio with the help of a knowledgeable estimator. Hiring an estimating specialist can raise your win-bid ratio to 98%, per a study.

4. Effective Time Management

Time management errors cause many contractors to lose bids. Due to its complexity, the construction industry demands that everything be completed on schedule. Even a small delay can result in large losses.

For example, you might lose the project, damage your reputation, and see a decline in sales. As a result, efficient time management is essential in the construction industry.

A contractor faces difficulties in time management because he must manage multiple projects at once. However, thanks to construction estimators. They are capable of handling your time well.

So, effective utilization of time is one of the many advantages of working with a construction estimator. They track construction activities and update budgets to keep up with current plans using tools and software.

The services of a construction estimator are beneficial from the start of a project to its completion.

5. Important Growth in the Business

When everything proceeds according to plan, business growth is the ultimate result. The business expansion includes:

  • Increased win-bid proportion.
  • Several projects at once
  • Excellent time management
  • Important increase in income
  • Increased reputation

Therefore, you need to hire expert budget estimators if you want to raise the value of your construction company. They clear the way for you to succeed in business.

It will ensure that many project managers can relax knowing that their construction plans will proceed without an issue. 

Your estimator will be there to make sure everything is proceeding as planned, so you’ll always know where you stand in terms of your timeline and budget.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Hiring an Estimator

Here are the factors that can affect the cost of hiring estimators:

  • Scope of The Project

Big projects have wider scopes, requiring more materials, and longer turnaround times. An estimator now has more work to do, from beginning cost evaluations to continuing monitoring and budget adjustments.

Estimators are required to give detailed cost breakdowns for every step and part of large projects, including finishing, structure work, and site preparation. Costs increase because this level of detail demands more work and time.

  • Experience and Expertise

Expert estimators offer plenty of expertise and a strong record of accuracy. 

Their knowledge can reduce the chance of budget overruns and assure better project execution by helping identify possible problems and provide more accurate cost estimates.

More accurate and customized estimates can be obtained from estimators with specialized knowledge.

  • Project Complexity

Complete cost analyses and complete evaluations are crucial for complex projects like infrastructure developments or sizable commercial buildings. 

It requires the estimator to invest more time and knowledge in managing a range of factors, like complex construction techniques, specialized materials, and structural requirements.

  • Extra Work Time

Speed work is usually required for projects with short timelines because estimators have a short time to produce precise estimates. This sudden need may require more resources or extra hours, which will increase the cost.

To work within deadlines, an estimator may have to work extra hours or prioritize your project over others.

  • Market Condition

Construction projects are different in their requirements and difficulties. For instance, it’s usually easier and less expensive to estimate costs for residential projects. 

Commercial and industrial projects need more detailed evaluation, which can impact the fees. The cost of hiring estimators with the specialized skills needed for these projects may increase.

Typical Costs Associated with Hiring an Estimator

There are several expenses associated with hiring an estimator, and these can change depending on the industry, the complexity of the projects, the estimator’s experience level, and the location. The following presents the usual expenses related to hiring an estimator:

1. Salary and Compensation

Salary and compensation include:

  • Entry-Level Estimator:

Typically, they can earn between $40,000 and $60,000 annually.

  • Mid-Level Estimator:

Usually, the salary range of these estimators is $60,000 to $80,000 per year.

2. Benefits

Employers frequently offer benefits in addition to base pay that can increase overall compensation packages by 20–30%:

  • Health Insurance:

Estimators have insurance for dental, medical, and vision care.

  • Retirement Plans: 

Pension or 401(k) plan contributions are available for the estimators.

  • More Benefits:

They are provided with wellness initiatives, disability insurance, and life insurance.

3. Equipment and Software

The use of different tools and software can increase the cost of hiring and estimators. It can be more expensive than manual equipment and software. They include:

  • Estimation Software:

Software license costs such as Sage Estimating, Bluebeam, or PlanSwift.

  • Hardware:

These hardware include computers, monitors, and additional gear that is required.

  • Other Tools:

Industry publications, databases, and cost estimation resources are used as other helpful tools.

4. Rewards and Bonuses

If you provide rewards and bonuses according to estimators’ performance, it can be heavy on your pocket. Here are the bonuses that some companies give to their estimators:

  • Performance Bonuses:

Dependent on timeliness, project profitability, and estimate accuracy.

  • Sign-On Bonuses:

These bonuses are occasionally given to entice seasoned estimators.

  • Profit Sharing:

These bonuses depend on the policies of the companies. Not every estimating company provides this.

5. Recruitment Expenses

These recruitment expenses include:

  • Advertising:

These expenses are associated with posting job openings on job boards, trade websites, and social media.

  • Recruitment Agency Fees:

Generally, if utilizing a headhunter or staffing agency, 15–25% of the first-year salary.

  • Interview Costs:

The time and materials used to interview candidates, as well as any applicable travel costs.

6. Office Space and Overhead

Mostly, companies provide office space and overhead for their estimator’s convenience. It includes:

  • Workspace:

The price of renting an office if working on-site will be given by the company.

  • Utilities and Supplies:

These utilities and supplies include overhead costs, office supplies, and utilities.

Additional Costs to Consider When Hiring an Estimator

  • Hiring electrical estimating services may incur additional costs in addition to the estimator’s fee.
  • It covers costs for things like overhead, training, and software licensing.
  • For extra services like value engineering or project management support, some businesses might also charge.
  • To prevent any surprises later on, it is imperative to make these costs clear upfront.

Tips for Reducing the Cost of Hiring an Estimator

  • Use Technology:

To share your project plans and documents, use digital tools. This technique can increase the speed of the estimation process and reduce printing and delivery costs.

You can increase the estimator’s efficiency, which could result in cost savings, by utilizing online platforms for file sharing and communication.

  • Ask for Discounts from Estimators

Talk to the estimator about possible discounts and payment conditions. Professionals who can work on long-term projects or retainer agreements may charge less.

 If you’re willing to commit to continuing work, negotiating can cause an outcome that benefits everyone where you get the services you require at lower prices.

  • Try to Hire a level but Skilled Estimator

Paying for travel can be reduced by hiring an entry-level estimator. When compared to professionals from more expensive regions, entry-level typically charge lower rates. 

Also, an entry-level estimator will have a good and fresh understanding of the laws and market conditions in the area, which could result in more significant, precise, and economical estimates for your project.

  • Give Enough Time to your Project

Allow enough time for the estimator to finish their work. If you insist your estimators to do their work quickly than the usual time, they can make more mistakes. 

To correct these mistakes, you can spend more money and they will charge more for additional work.

Quick projects result in additional costs because they require fast services. 

You can avoid these rush fees by being prepared and giving the estimating process enough time. Proper planning can also lead to improved project management and more precise estimates.

How Much Should I Pay to an Estimator for Construction Cost Evaluation?

The cost of hiring a qualified estimator varies considerably in our area, but generally speaking, you should budget between $70 and $80 thousand per year. Your company will expand quickly if the estimator can fulfill his or her commitments.

How to Hire a Construction Estimator

Breaking down the hiring process into distinct steps is helpful when talking about the process.

1. Choose When to Hire a Professional Estimator First

Examine your calendar to determine the best time to hire an estimator. To ensure you make the best choice, keep the following things in mind while you do this:

  • Where do you spend the hours of the day and night?
  • What is the duration of your estimation process?  
  • Are you proficient at hitting with accuracy and precision?
  • What is the plan for your future business?

It is time to seek help from a qualified building estimator if your schedule is hectic, you are spending a lot of time on estimation, you are unable to provide exact and accurate 

estimates, and you desire rapid business growth. 

Also, you should take the opportunity to hire an estimator for your construction projects when things get tight.

2. Second, Decide How to Hire a Professional Estimator

After deciding to use an estimator in your company, you need to choose the hiring strategy that works best for you. Do you want job boards, recruiting agencies, or word-of-mouth support?

Experts advise starting with word-of-mouth marketing. Using this approach, one talks to colleagues and friends about what they need. An estimator is taken into consideration when they are referred by a reliable source. It is also an affordable method of locating a qualified estimator.

The other two methods are more expensive. The other approaches involve hiring a company to locate a qualified estimator for your building project.

3. Look Up Several Estimators in Your Area

Once you decide which approach to take, look for a qualified, experienced, and skilled estimator. Never choose the only option available. Make a list of the best estimators, then select the one that most fits your construction project.

4. Take Interview

Select an estimator based on the strategies listed above, then call him for an interview. To find out whether the candidate can meet your needs, ask them all of the questions listed below.

  • How efficient are you?
  • When and why did you lose a bid, if ever?
  • What method do you use to estimate takeoff?
  • What is the fee for estimation services?
  • What is the estimated duration of my project?
  • How do customers feel about the services you provide?
  • Which type of workplace is practical for you?
  • How can you provide the most precise approximations?
  • How do you handle several things at once?
  • How do you feel about innovation and technology in the construction sector?

5. Assess Candidates and Choose an Estimator

After completing each of the mentioned steps, evaluate each candidate’s professional qualities. 

Assess them based on their experience, education, qualifications, and response to your query. When you and your partner are both prepared to begin estimating a construction project, make your final choice.

Final Words:

In this age of technological advancement and creativity, construction estimators are receiving a lot of attention. Their important role in the construction project is the reason behind it all. 

Construction estimators find the budget needed to complete a project effectively. They take into account every aspect, such as labor, supplies, machinery, backup plans, overhead costs, and transportation costs. 

It implies that you may benefit from their help in a variety of ways. So, choose it wisely. Get started today!


What exactly does a construction estimator do?

Estimators consider labor, material, and equipment costs when estimating the cost of construction projects. They will gather quotes from subcontractors and bargain with suppliers to create comprehensive cost proposals for a client.

Why are construction estimators so important?

You can lower the risks and prevent such incidents with the aid of construction estimates. Estimates also help to prevent delays, resource shortages, and budget overruns.

Are there differences in pricing based on project size and complexity?

In general, the initial cost of a project increases with its complexity. This is because complex projects call for a higher level of coordination, management, and specialized knowledge, tools, and technology.

What are the typical hourly rates for construction estimators?

The average estimator makes $35.90 an hour, or $70,000 a year. The starting salary for entry-level jobs is $52,500 annually, while the average salary for experienced workers is $95,653.