Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Construction Cost Estimators in Riverside

Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Construction Cost Estimators in Riverside

Current Environment

Construction Cost Estimators fulfill a crucial role in the construction process. A key responsibility of the cost estimator is to practice foresight and anticipate delays, risks, and/or excessive costs. Construction cost estimators work closely with individuals involved in all other aspects of the construction process, including developers, architects, clients, vendors, and many more. The role of a construction cost estimator should not be underestimated as the overall success of a project can depend on the initial cost estimations. In addition to providing this collection of free hiring guides, Amtec can also help with construction estimator and construction manager recruitment.


The construction industry is quickly enhancing the science of construction project estimating. These enhancements and improvements have been made necessary due to an industry history of losing significant money, in large part due to a lack of proper cooperation between various construction-related positions and lack of appropriate technologies to help with cost estimations and projections. As such, significant changes have been, and are currently being, made to the field.

Will COVID-19 Affect the construction cost estimating Field?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected employment and the job market, however, while construction in some areas has seen a slight slow down, other areas have held steady or seen a slight uptick in activity.

2021 has seen a mix of responses as economies start to open up once again now that the distribution of the vaccine has increased. There is much to be hopeful about. If history is any indication, when the economy improves (as many economists are predicting), there is usually a direct correlation between new construction activity; thus reinforcing the need for Construction Cost Estimators and other Construction Professionals.

How will Recruiting construction cost estimators Help Your Company?

How will Hiring construction cost estimators Help Your Company?

Recruiting and onboarding top Construction Cost Estimators, not only can, but will ensure your company has the expertise and know-how necessary to ensure that your construction projects are completed in the most cost-effective manner. Construction projects are often, if not always, completed with very thin financial margins. Hiring a qualified Construction Cost Estimator can make a significant difference and get your project off to the best start possible.

Construction estimating is a position that requires a high amount of skill and knowledge to be done correctly and accurately. It helps if an estimator has a broad background in the construction industry and can understand the complexity of construction purchasing needs and processes. Attention to even the smallest details provide accurate projections and cost estimates, which can set up a construction project to succeed from the very beginning

construction cost estimator Details


Before we get to exactly how to hire the best Construction Cost Estimators, let’s review some of the details of the job.

  • Prepare detailed cost estimates by analyzing plans and specifications and performing quantity take-offs for select trades. Be technically savvy. Utilizing on-screen takeoff software is a positive.
  • Develop and prepare conceptual estimates with minimal subcontractor assistance using limited preliminary design documents/information.
  • Develop subcontract interest in projects and manage the subcontractor RFP process.
  • Qualify and level subcontractors’ proposals according to project specifics.
  • Itemize trade specific scopes and prepare bid packages.
  • Prepare detailed critical path job schedules.
  • Continually Marketing the company and looking for future opportunities to grow the business.
  • Ability to maintain discretion and confidentiality at all times.
  • Growth/compensation potential for the right candidate.
  • Interact with clients, architects, engineers and Local Jurisdictions to understand and incorporate project
    objectives, schedules, permits, costs, etc.
  • 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

Looking for another position? View other positions we place in Riverside, California.


Most positions require a Bachelor’s degree, though candidates with significant experience in the construction industry may be able to use their years of experience to replace the degree. While candidates can complete a degree in Construction Management, a wide variety of degrees (including mathematics, engineering, economics, accounting, etc.) can qualify someone for the role.

US News & World Report ranked the top 3 undergraduate college programs for cost estimating.

Top Schools

  • Arizona State University

  • Wentworth Institute of Technology

  • Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College

Salary Range

construction cost estimators in the U.S.


Total construction cost estimators Employed in the U.S.





construction cost estimator Salary Comparison


Nationally, compensation for construction cost estimators ranges between $39,000 for entry-level positions and $111,000 for those with more experience and in higher-level positions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 127,000 cost estimators employed in 2019, with about 14% of those positions being women. The ethnic makeup of the field is estimated as 90% white, 8.1% Hispanic or Latino, 3.1% African American, and 5.8% Asian.

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for cost estimators in 2019 was $65,250.


The average annual salary for construction cost estimators in California was 80k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $38.27.

For more detailed compensation information for construction cost estimators in Riverside, download our free compensation/salary report below.

Working in Riverside

Do construction cost estimators consider Riverside, California a great place to work? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are recruiting for construction cost estimators in Riverside.

The city is considered a desirable place to live and work, especially for professionals looking to live in Southern California with a slightly lower price tag for housing. It’s the most populous city in the Inland Empire, with approximately 330,000 residents, it’s considered much more affordable relative to other So Cal communities, and it’s also known for being family-friendly.

Riverside’s scenic hills and valleys, along with its enviable location between the beaches and the mountains, make this city a nice choice for living and working. However, even though housing is a little less costly than other California cities, it’s still expensive compared to many other places in the U.S., so compensation needs to be commensurate.


    A few reasons for candidates to pursue careers with companies located in or near Riverside, California include:

On the other hand, there are a few common complaints about living and working in Riverside.


    • Some people report that although the city has many great qualities, it lacks the clean and upscale feel when compared to neighboring Orange County.
    • Summer weather. The thermometer can soar a bit in the summer, but with the mountains and the beaches nearby, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat.
    • Nonexistent nightlife. The city goes to sleep after 9 pm, and there are not many options for late-night munchies or live music.

Current Weather

Not your city? View other cities where we place construction cost estimators.

Demand for construction cost estimators in Riverside

Demand for construction cost estimators in Riverside

According to the BLS, the demand for cost estimators is projected to decline 1% from 2019 to 2029 due to the improvements in technology and software which is improving productivity. This may reduce the employment demand, however, the need to estimate and costs and provide projections will always be needed.

Knowledge of building information modeling (BIM) and computer-aided design (CAD) software may improve job prospects, especially for those seeking employment in construction.

The supply of candidates and demand for open positions have a direct correlation to a company's ability to hire. Download a free Supply and Demand report for construction cost estimators in Riverside, California below.

How to Hire the Best construction cost estimators

Finding and hiring the best construction cost estimator candidates can save you money right away and well into the future.

The costs of making a bad hire are well documented. The cost can run as much as 30% of the employee's first-year earnings according to the US Department of Labor. Bad hires can cost a whopping $240,000 in expenses related to hiring, compensation, and retention per The Undercover Recruiter. 74% of companies who admit they've hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire according to CareerBuilder. These statistics support our long-held position that behavioral questions are the best way to get to know your candidates and past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.

Recruiting Best Practices

The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.

Defining the Position

When defining the role you are creating, we recommend a position profile to fully evaluate the position you are hiring for. You must decide if the engineer can work remotely or must work in California. If working in Riverside is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.

How to Source the Best Candidates

When you are looking to source the best quality candidates for your open positions, make sure you have done the legwork to hire an "A Player". You can do this by making sure your company's perspective is aligned with the current market, you have taken into account the job responsibilities, as well as what type of characteristics you are looking for to fit your company culture. Then proceed to write a job posting to attract high-quality candidates.

Characteristics of construction cost estimators

Cost estimators are a vital part of any construction project. While it’s not always possible to prevent things from going wrong in a project, a quality cost estimator will help to limit this by accurately researching materials and costs involved right at the planning stage. Becoming a cost estimator requires a lot of skill, but a rewarding career for someone that thrives by working in a challenging environment.

How to Screen Candidates

You wrote a job posting, posted the position online, and received a lot more resumes than you’d bargained for! Next comes the enormous task of sorting through those resumes to eliminate the ones that are clearly not a good fit. Now, you have a stack of resumes for candidates who have potential. So how do you go about screening the remaining candidates?

It starts on the phone! As a recruiter, the goal of your telephone screening is to learn more about your candidates. You can confirm that they have the educational qualifications and relevant experience, but you also need to determine if they would fit into your company's culture. To make this job easier, use a system to consistently evaluate results. This way you can equally and objectively compare candidates and evaluate their "soft skills", like communication and thinking process. Download Amtec's Professional Assessment Questionnaire below to help with screening candidates.

Free Professional Assessment Questionnaire

An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.

How to Interview Candidates

At Amtec, we believe in the power of behavoral interview questions to go beyond the experience and skills listed on the candidate's resume. Although you will want to confirm in the interview that the candidate does indeed have the experience listed on their resume, your assessment needs to go much deeper than that. An interview using behavioral questions can help you determine how well the candidate will fit with your company culture.

Download Amtec's best practices on conducting super effective interviews to find the best candidates and fill your open jobs.

Behavioral Interview Guide

Get the info you need to hire the best construction cost estimators

Free Interview Guide