It’s no secret that the construction job market is booming. Hiring surged in 2018 with 38,000 new construction jobs created in December alone, and 2019 is expected to be another strong year for job creation.
If you’re considering a new career in preconstruction, the options abound — but what role is right for you? Here, we’ve compiled the most in-demand preconstruction jobs based on current active listings in the United States, along with salary data* for four major markets. Happy job hunting!
*Salaries listed are aggregate Glassdoor estimates as of January 2019. Individual compensation will vary based on experience and company size.
1. Bid Coordinator/ Preconstruction Coordinator
National Average Salary: $45,122
Dallas Average Salary: $48,244
NYC Average Salary: $54,378
Chicago Average Salary: $51,221
SF Average Salary: $65,218
The role: Bid Coordinators provide direct support to estimating and preconstruction teams as it relates to the preparation of estimates for new construction, renovations, and change orders. They’re responsible for logging, tracking, organizing, sourcing quotes, and performing material takeoffs throughout the bid process. They must have excellent attention to detail and project management skills.
This might be right for you if… you’re interested in exploring a career in preconstruction.
Education required: A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience; experience managing bids a plus.
Experience required: 1-3 years of relevant construction or administrative experience.
National Average Salary: $73,674
Dallas Average Salary: $74,344
NYC Average Salary: $83,918
Chicago Average Salary: $77,534
SF Average Salary: $90,240
The role: Estimators prepare work to be estimated by gathering proposals, blueprints, specifications, and related documents. They identify labor, material, and time requirements; compute costs; resolve discrepancies by collecting and analyzing information; and present prepared estimates by assembling and displaying numerical and descriptive information.
This might be right for you if… you’re extremely precise, data-driven, and ready to meet aggressive deadlines.
Education required: A bachelor’s degree in construction management, engineering, or a similar field.
Experience required: 3-5 years of relevant experience; many companies like to see experience managing projects above a certain budget threshold.
3. Senior Estimator
National Average Salary: $102,239
Dallas Average Salary: $103,349
NYC Average Salary: $117,073
Chicago Average Salary: $102,254
SF Average Salary: $125,738
The role: Senior Estimators develop and maintain relationships with all project managers, superintendents, subcontractors, and estimators in a given company. They meticulously attend to the details, from comparing contract specifications to submitted bids to vetting subcontractors. They also conduct gap analysis when projects close, make recommendations for future bids, and communicate lessons learned to all appropriate parties. This role often oversees hundreds of projects a year.
This might be right for you if… you’re an estimator ready to take on more responsibility and propel your career to the next level.
Education required: A bachelor’s degree in construction management, architecture, civil engineering, or mechanical engineering.
Experience required: 5-8 years experience; many companies like to see diversified estimating and construction experience.
4. Chief Estimator
National Average Salary: $113,416
Dallas Average Salary: $115,698
NYC Average Salary: $125,201
Chicago Average Salary: $118,452
SF Average Salary: $141,001
The role: Chief Estimators are senior level construction professionals who provide leadership and direction to the estimating team. They’re responsible for establishing processes, delegating workload, facilitating collaboration, and ensuring that the estimating process runs smoothly and efficiently. Together with the Director of Preconstruction, they work collaboratively with external clients to ensure expectations are met and exceeded.
This might be right for you if… you’re a hands-on leader who excels at switching hats from detail-oriented work to big-picture strategy.
Education required: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in construction management, engineering, or architecture; advanced skills in project management and estimating software preferred.
Experience required: 8-10 years of construction estimating experience with increasing levels of responsibility.
5. Director of Preconstruction
National Average Salary: $143,783
Dallas Average Salary: $129,790
NYC Average Salary: $146,166
Chicago Average Salary: $149,471
SF Average Salary: $169,019
The role: The Director of Preconstruction is responsible for directing and supervising estimates, designs, and all other preconstruction efforts. The ideal candidate is able to maintain vendor relationships, lead and manage staff, and ensure quality work for customers.
This might be right for you if… you’re a proven preconstruction professional skilled at leading teams, mitigating risk, and closing out successful projects.
Education required: A bachelor’s in construction management, engineering, or architecture (master’s preferred); advanced skills in project management and estimating software preferred; relevant industry accreditations a plus.
Experience required: 10-15 years of construction estimating experience with increasing levels of responsibility and proven success in preconstruction, estimating, and/or project management.
What makes a candidate stand out
Right now, there’s a hunger for eager, tech-savvy candidates who are ready to move the construction sector forward through technology adoption and creative problem-solving. Additionally, many of the job listings we saw mentioned that they appreciated field experience or accreditations — anything that proves you have a deep understanding of those you’d be working with onsite and that you’re eager to advance your own skills.
Finally, strong communication and presentation skills were mentioned in nearly every job listing. Your ability to clearly, effectively communicate with your team, suppliers, subcontractors, clients, and leadership is everything, so foster those talents to ensure lasting success in this exciting industry.