Minneapolis, MN

Senior Estimator

Knutson Construction is accepting applications for an Senior Estimator to join our Minneapolis office. “Together We Make Dreams Real” – that’s our purpose as a company and we exist to work in concert with each other, owners, design professionals and subcontractors to make the journey as stress-free as possible. Together, we’ve created a dynamic, fun, inspiring environment where we can be ourselves and grow each day. At Knutson, opportunities to shine happen daily. We value what makes you different and empower you to act on your ideas. Our culture is one that encourages, supports, and feels like a family.

This position is responsible to provide and oversee timely and accurate estimates along with preconstruction services to secure profitable construction projects for Knutson Construction on hard bid and negotiated projects.

The key job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Prepares and oversees accurate takeoffs for self perform work to increase the probability of providing profitable work for Knutson Construction.
  • Reviews and / or provide quantifies for concrete, masonry, demotion and carpentry self-perform.
  • Reviews and prices labor, material and equipment using historic data, past experience, supplier and rental firm pricing.
  • Leverages supplier relationships and Knutson experience to win profitable Self Perform work.
  • Leads the Self-Perform “SOP” Standard Operating Procedures in a team environment with both operations and site staff.
  • Sells Self Perform and its advantages to the project. Works with Senior Preconstruction Manager, Director of Preconstruction and Operations to identify Self Perform opportunities to pursue outside of negotiated work.

Hard Bid / Negotiated Projects:

  • Works with all stakeholders to successfully manage the estimating process and helps prepare projects for the start of construction.
  • Works with Operations and Business Development to successfully pursue and secure profitable negotiated and Hard Bid work for Knutson Construction.
  • Serves as the office in-house point of contact for projects appointed to for estimating services for negotiated work from Conceptual to GMP.
  • Completes Conceptual/Program estimates from RFP responses and conceptual documents.
  • Works closely with Operations and Marketing to develop estimates and bids for Best Value and Negotiated pursuits.
  • Develops accurate cost estimates and GMP’s including the equipment, general conditions, materials, labor and subcontractor backup using 2D & 3D software while ensuring estimates are coordinated with project managers’ front-end specifications, scopes of work, schedules, phasing and logistics plans.
  • Provides real time feedback on budgets and programs to all stakeholders.
  • Trains Preconstruction Managers and Estimators.
  • Prepares cost models as needed for schematic, design development, and GMP estimates.
  • Oversees the documentation that should be included for presentations.
  • Performs real time estimating, system analysis, long term maintenance studies and value engineering processes.
  • Evaluates bid time win/losses at time of bid.
  • Prepares and oversees accurate estimates for project Hard Bids to secure profitable work for Knutson Construction.
  • Leverages subcontractor relationships and the Knutson Experience to win profitable Hard Bid work. Researches and builds relationships with new subcontractors and vendors.
  • Reviews project schedules with senior level operations and preconstruction staff on hard bid projects.
  • Manages bid takers, analyzes bids, leads decision process and enters the correct subcontractor bid on hard bid and negotiated projects.
  • Completes subcontractor solicitation in a professional manner to meet goals for winning profitable new work in both the hard bid and negotiated market segments.
  • Works closely with Preconstruction Manager and Operations on subcontractor bid analysis.
  • Develops accurate quantity takeoff and cost models using 2D and 3D software.
  • Attends interviews on project pursuits as estimator.
  • Identifies and communicates opportunities to enhance projects.
  • Helps with developing the “Means and Methods” of construction that will be used to construct the project on both negotiated and hard bid projects.
  • Complete first pass at General Conditions and Fee Calculator on Hard Bid and Best Value Projects. Review and develop General Conditions and Fee Calculator on CMR, CMA and Design Build projects with Preconstruction Manager and Operations.
  • Lead bid-day processes as it relates to subcontractor analysis and selection. On negotiated projects work closely with Preconstruction Manager and Operations on bid analysis and buyout.
  • Reviews all Front-End Specifications and Scopes of Work completed by operations staff on negotiated projects. Review hard bid Front-End Specifications while documenting and including all cost required to meet the risk on projects along with all Division 01 costs.
  • Provides training to Estimators and Preconstruction Managers to enhance their skills and promote the preconstruction process.

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Attends post mortem reviews on projects to determine reasons for profitability or reasons for financial losses, and incorporates lessons learned in future bids.
  • Conducts risk evaluation reviews with the Senior Operations and Preconstruction staff.
  • Maintains databases to track historical costs with Senior Project Manager and Director of Preconstruction.
  • Develops and maintains positive relationships with stakeholders to promote profitable project wins and position Knutson Construction for future opportunities.
  • Develops and executes plans to continuously improve subcontractor relationships.
  • Keeps senior level staff informed of key issues/opportunities that impact project success.
  • Promotes the Knutson Construction name through community involvement.
  • Delivers the Knutson Experience.
  • Continuously works to enhance personal skills/abilities to retain a motivated, professional workforce for Knutson Construction.
  • Provides training and development opportunities to lower level staff and continuously works to enhance personal skills/abilities to retain a motivated, professional workforce for Knutson Construction.
  • Works closely with senior level staff to promote and leverage the use of technology by staff; attends training to stay abreast of available technology for 3D estimating and other preconstruction needs.
  • Respond to and complete all other duties, tasks and/or projects as assigned

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent management and organization skills in leading our teams through the bidding and self-perform processes.
  • Strong multi-tasking skills allowing them to work on various projects on the same day.
  • Strong planning, problem solving, and troubleshooting skills in a cross functional environment
  • Individual must be collaborative and positive
  • Highly organized, able to prioritize and multi-task
  • Ability to travel to various construction sites; ability to physically review project sites which may involve use of stairways and mobilizing around the existing landscape.
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time using a computer and reading plans/specifications.
  • Ability to lift bid documents (plans and specifications) as needed, which can weigh up to 50 pounds.

Minimum Education and/or Experience Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Construction Management, Architecture or a related field and 7+ years of preconstruction experience or Associate’s Degree in a construction related field and 10+ years of preconstruction experience.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.