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Construction Estimator

Construction estimators analyze costs and prepare estimates for residential, commercial and industrial construction projects.

  • Avg. Salary $81,370.00
  • Avg. Wage $40.42
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 4,800
  • In Demand High
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Construction Estimators (2234) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Construction Estimators (C134) 
  • 2011 NOC: Construction estimators (2234) 
  • 2016 NOC: Construction estimators (2234) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Construction Estimator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Construction Estimators

Interest in establishing and maintaining tendering processes, in setting up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures, and in preparing and maintaining directories of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors


Interest in analyzing information to examine tenders and recommend tender awards, and to prepare economic feasibility studies on changes and adjustments to cost estimates


Interest in negotiating contracts; and in managing and co-ordinating construction projects and preparing construction progress schedules

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2017

Construction estimators usually specialize in estimating costs for particular types of projects or components of projects. For example, they may specialize in institutional, commercial or industrial projects, or focus on costs associated with specific scopes of work such as civil engineering or mechanical, electrical or drywall work. Estimates form the foundation of business plans for projects.

In the construction industry, estimators may perform some or all of the following duties:

  • visit construction sites and gather cost-related information about a project such as work site accessibility, surface drainage and the availability of electricity, water and other services
  • determine material, equipment and labour requirements, sequence of operations and projected timelines, and prepare a quantity survey (often called a takeoff)
  • prepare cost summaries that include subcontracts, overhead, taxes, insurance, markup and anything else that might affect the cost of a construction project including indirect or distributable costs
  • prepare documents and agreements of subcontracts or trade contracts
  • develop and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors
  • prepare appropriate types of tender (bid) proposals
  • provide advice on tendering procedures and make recommendations regarding tenders from subcontractors
  • track actual costs as a project progresses
  • maintain a database of material and equipment costs and labour productivity data from completed projects for future reference
  • make recommendations to owner or consultant on cost and constructability issues
  • consult with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractor
  • prepare construction progress schedules
  • conduct conceptual estimating for budgeting purposes
  • manage construction projects
  • conduct negotiations with subcontractors and suppliers
  • verify subcontractor and supplier payments
  • price and negotiate change orders
  • prepare monthly cost or cash flow forecasts and chart progress.

In small companies, owners often perform the duties of a construction estimator.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Construction estimators work primarily indoors in office environments and occasionally visit construction sites. Travel sometimes is required, particularly to construction sites in remote locations. Most estimators work a standard 40-hour week but overtime is common.

Estimators work under pressure to meet deadlines and to ensure their companies do not lose too many bids or lose money on successful bids. They must observe safety precautions to avoid injury while visiting construction sites.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Construction estimators need:

  • initiative and competitive spirit
  • good communication skills
  • numerical ability
  • analytical and problem- solving skills
  • the ability to pay close attention to details
  • the ability to work well with others while under pressure.

They should enjoy:

  • taking a methodical approach to tasks such as establishing and maintaining tendering processes, setting up cost- monitoring and reporting systems and maintaining directories of suppliers and contractors
  • checking details and analyzing information
  • negotiating contracts and co-ordinating projects.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Construction estimators
NOC code: 2234

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 23 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 28, 2021 and Jan 21, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Prepare estimates of labour and/or material costs
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Organized
Prepare estimates for general expenses and overheads
Liaise, consult and communicate with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Read and interpret blueprints, maps, drawings and specifications
Prepare and maintain directory of supplies and trade contractors
Personal Suitability: Client focus
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Construction estimators need a combination of related education and experience. For example, they must be knowledgeable about requirements for tender securities and about what questions to ask during the tendering process.

Employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have a related journeyman certificate, post-secondary diploma in construction technology (preferably with a specialization in economics) or a related engineering degree. The more education an applicant has, the fewer years of work experience may be required for entry- level positions.

Employers also may require applicants to have or be working toward certification.

  • The Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) awards the Construction Estimator Certified (CEC) designation to members who have completed 14 required courses or equivalent education and have 2 years of approved industry experience. The Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS) designation requires successful completion of 25 courses, an internship and an ethics exam.
  • The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) awards a Gold Seal Certificate - Construction Estimator designation to qualified applicants. Candidates who have over 5 years of relevant experience may become Gold Seal Certified (GSC) by challenging the Gold Seal exam. Individuals with less than 5 years of experience must first register as Gold Seal Interns and will have up to 5 years to meet the necessary requirements to become GSC.
  • AACE International awards internationally recognized certification to qualified individuals in the cost and management industry. There are 3 levels of certification: Technical Level, Professional Level, and Expertise Level.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Construction estimators may be employed by or work on a contract basis for:

  • residential, commercial or industrial construction companies
  • electrical, mechanical or other trade contractors or subcontractors
  • engineering or architectural consulting firms
  • real estate developers
  • large utility companies
  • government organizations that own large properties
  • property insurance companies.

Experienced estimators may move into management positions or start their own businesses.

In Alberta, 82% of people employed as construction estimators work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions )
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 2234: Construction estimators occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 78 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 78 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017
Construction estimators

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $43.27 $30.94 $28.85
Overall $24.53 $57.57 $40.42 $37.62
Top $27.02 $79.49 $49.29 $45.67

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2017

AACE International website:

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website:

Association of Quantity Surveyors of Alberta (AQSA) website:

Build Force Canada website:

Calgary Construction Association website:

Canadian Construction Association’s Gold Seal Certification website:

Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) website:

Edmonton Construction Association website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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