Landscape Estimator: Skills, Salaries and Education

Interested in becoming a landscape estimator? you’re at the right place.

We’ll show how the skills you require to get a job as an estimator in any landscaping company.

We’ll also give you the industry standard salaries so you can negotiate your salary with confidence.

Finally, we’ll show you what education you need to become a landscaping estimator that every company wants to hire!

Skills required to become an estimator

There are two types of skills that companies look for.

Hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are those skills that come from experience, training, education, and learning. Examples of hard skills for an estimator are – costing, measurements, material takeoffs, proposal writing, doing estimates using software like Planswift, etc.

Soft skills are those skills that are social and interpersonal. These help you fit into a company culture and help you excel professionally and personally. Examples of soft skills for landscape estimators are attention to detail, relationship building, communication, etc.

In-demand hard skills for landscape estimators

You need a few following hard skills in your resume to get hired as a landscape estimator:

Reading a blueprint

As an estimator, you need blueprints for doing material takeoffs and estimating costs.

Since accuracy is key in creating good estimates, you would need to learn how to read blueprints. This means understanding every line and shading in the plan and knowing what materials would be required for each activity in each section.

This is a hard skill that can be learned for free by watching videos and using a free blueprint maker to gain practical knowledge.

Your day-to-day would require you to read blueprints, understand project specifications, and then project those requirements onto the drawings.

Training video from Hunter showing how to read the blueprint plan (scale, symbols, installations, plan legends)

Using estimation software and tools

For landscaping jobs in the past, you would go to the site, measure the property area, and estimate costs.

With developing technologies and advancements in the industry, you now need a two-pronged approach for estimation.

You can use online property measurement tools to get a general idea of the land and then do finer estimates by using automated property estimation software while pricing a landscaping job.

There are a lot of estimation software available for estimators. The software depends on the company you’re applying for.

Most companies today use software like Bluebeam and B2W, Buildxact software, Planswift software, Sage Timberline, etc.

If you’re applying for a job as an estimator, you can learn how to use the software by watching training videos on YouTube.

Apart from that, you can request free training from the software makers. They are generally entertaining because if you know how to estimate in one software, you can influence your company to buy that software for landscaping project estimations.

Plaswit has training videos online – which you can freely access.

Similarly, you can also learn how to use estimation tools like measuring wheels, GPS/LiDar devices, Moasure, etc.

JS shows how to measure a lawn size using a measuring wheel and calculate the mulch required using an online tool

Procurement and vendor management

For every estimate, you need to know the material costs along with the knowledge of who sells what.

There are multiple shovels (10 according to the electronics hub)and there are more than 190 suppliers of shovels listed on Thomas. Each shovel variant would have an advantage over the other.

As an estimator, you would need to recommend the right shovel for the right job. You would consider what is available and when it can delivered. This would be procurement.

Apart from sourcing, you would need to call multiple vendors to get offers and the best price. Building a good relationship with vendors will get you the best price and good lead delivery times for the materials which is very important for project execution.

With the existing supply chain disruptions, you can expect delays for a lot of the things you might want on the site. With good procurement and vendor management skills, you will be able to do justice to the landscape project execution.

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Landscaping design and construction basics

Suppose you do not know that a good paver installation requires creating a slope, layering and compacting a base (not of dirt) and applying the right type of pavers. In that case, your estimates will never be good enough for a paver installation estimation.

Because if you miss on the slope, you would forget to add the additional gravel. If you forget about compacting, you will not add the cost of renting or running the compactor. If you forget about layering, you will not add the gravel cost, and the paving project is doomed before even the start.

Let’s consider a practical example:

Suppose a client wants to transform their backyard into a Japanese Zen garden. As an estimator with landscaping design skills, you should be able to understand the following from construction basics 101:

  • Understand the specific elements that make up a Zen garden, such as sand, rocks, and specific types of plants.
  • Use software to create a detailed design plan, which would help in visualizing the outcome and identifying potential challenges.
  • Analyze the site to understand the soil type, sunlight exposure, and other environmental factors that would influence the choice of plants and materials.

In this way, landscaping design skills can greatly enhance an estimator’s ability to provide accurate and comprehensive estimates for landscaping projects.

Construction basics by Procore for construction project management


Because you would primarily be responsible for assigning materials and labor hours for a job, you would need to align the material delivery along with the labor to make sure the labor is not sitting idle for the day while they wait for the material to come to the job site.

This means scheduling the materials and workers in a way that your project gets completed within the estimated time and your estimated range of labor hours and materials quantities.

From experience, you WILL need to factor in timings and costs for change orders. While doing projects, our subcontractors had a lot of rebars sent back because of the specification or a later realization during the project. And with change orders, there is always a cost involved and you can’t make the workers sit empty-handed while the new rebars arrive at the site.

Jason Schroeder shows how to schedule a project based on phases and critical path

Proposal writing and bid management

Creating estimates and pricing a lawn care job are not the only responsibilities of a landscape estimator.

After pricing, you need to create a detailed proposal or create a group of proposals for bidding purposes.

A proposal is a formal pledge to the client to provide certain services. It delves into the specifics and offers a thorough breakdown of the project scope and timeline. Proposals are more detailed than estimates.

Elements of a landscaping proposal:

  • Project information – location, size of property, site conditions, and all other introductory information
  • Scope of work – What services that need you will be delivered?
  • Timeline – estimated time to complete the activities under the scope of work
  • Material, Labour, equipment
  • Other expenses – Credit card processing fees (3%), permits, insurance, and additional charges.
  • Contingency plan – weather delays, unexpected repairs, change orders, faults you find at the site
  • Terms and conditions
  • Service diagrams
Video from SingleOps showing how you can create proposals using their software. The steps are similar to doing all of it on paper.

Computer basics along with Microsoft Office, Google docs

Since estimations, proposal writing, and projections are all done either on a spreadsheet or a doc, you need basic computer knowledge with intuitiveness to learn other computer programs quickly.

There are multiple digital options for a single task. But the fundamentals for all of these are the same.

Your MS Office/ Google Sheets knowledge comes in handy when a customer wants to price for a planting job with 5 different options. You should be able to project costs with 5 variations and interpret the data to suggest the most relevant option.

Apart from this, your regular day-to-day would include calling vendors to get prices and offers for materials.

After those calls, you would be updating the cost data of the materials for your company so it can be used later. This database is kept mostly in an Excel file or inside an estimation software.

In-demand soft skills for landscape estimators

You need the following soft skills in your resume to get hired as a landscape estimator:

Analytical skills

Good analytical skills mean you need to be more than just good with numbers. Apart from being able to play with numbers (prices and percentages), you need to understand how each component in an estimate affects the overall cost.

You need to understand the resource constraints you have as a company and adjust costs to labor and materials that bring in maximum profitability.

Fortunately, a lot of is intuitive and it is something you can get better with the more estimates you create.

Communication skills

One of your responsibilities will include keeping primary contact with suppliers, sub-contractors, estimators, designers, engineers, and architects to obtain the necessary information to prepare a comprehensive and accurate bid response.

The estimation process requires you to build relationships with multiple vendors and subcontractors for pricing. Apart from these external parties, you would need to collaborate with multiple people on your team and go back and forth on a variety of subproject estimates.

You would also need to negotiate with clients if you work in a mid-sized company.

You should be able to articulate yourself well and work well under pressure from other stakeholder. This often means keeping your attitude in check while still delivering what is best for the client and the company.

Labor hours is one area where you need to stay calm and deliver the best costing. If you overestimate the labor hours for an activity, your company stands at losing the bid. If you underestimate, you will need to face criticism from your fellow workers.

Detail orientation

Being a landscaping estimator requires you to see finer details while also looking at the big picture. While reading a blueprint, you would need to understand the project scope and estimate for every activity.

Even in a simple mow job, (even though you wouldn’t require a blueprint), you would account for elevations, slopes, obstacles, and structure in and around the total mowable area.

With that fine detail, you would estimate how the mowing might impact your mower blades and would include that cost in the estimate.

For some complex projects, you would need to do several variations for each activity.

For example, for a garden redesign project, you would estimate which focal point would cost how much, and what are the other options along with estimated pricing. You would also need to make the clients happy with the available options while keeping your project profitable.

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Education, Courses, and other requirements

Below are some education/course certification options for getting selected for a landscape estimator role:

Education and knowledge

Below are the most common education that an employer asks for a landscape estimator job role.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, Architecture, or a related field.
  • Knowledge of both landscape and hardscape installation practices
  • Basic math skills, including calculating volume, area, percentages, ratios, etc.
  • Degree in Landscape Design, Architecture, or equivalent experience.


There are a few courses or certificates that help fast track your path for your new role.

  • Certified Estimating Professional (CEP) – by AACE
  • Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) – by ASPE
  • Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (CCE/A) – by ICEAA
  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM) – By CMCI
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) – By PMI
  • Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) – By CSI



It is challenging to directly become an estimator right after college. Because you need design understanding, you should know the products and materials available on top of your mind, etc.

Employers ask for experience in the field because a project manager or a supervisor would have seen multiple projects to complete and would have a general sense of all the required skills for the role.

You can easily become an estimator if you already are in these roles:

  • Supervisor
  • Project manager
  • Procurement manager
  • Landscape designer

Additional courses and certifications ensure that you know industry best practices and know estimating apart from other hard skills required to be an estimator.

Other requirements

Below are some other requirements that employers ask for. These are required so that you can go to the job site and are legally compliant to work at the site.

  • WHS White Card (US) or equivalent for other countries
  • Drivers license
  • Estimating or Purchasing Manager with a construction company may be a substitution for Education.

Job responsibilities of an landscape estimator

Below are some job responsibilities that you would have as an estimator.

Some of these would depend on the size of the company and some on the level of your role.

For example, in a small landscaping business, there would not be multiple junior roles, and you would wear multiple hats to get the job done.

In a large landscaping company, you would need to be an expert in a particular area to work with other estimators and stakeholders.

  • Pre-construction duties
  • Analyze project plans, blueprints, and specifications to determine project requirements.
  • Review the scope of work and contracts upon project award to ensure alignment with estimates.
  • Update costs database regularly
  • Coordinate with vendors and subcontractors to obtain quotes and finalize terms.
  • Ordering required materials at the relevant stages of the project
  • Collect bids from subcontractors
  • Maintain accurate records on projects including job cost, change orders, crew travel time, installation time, material, and daily job reports
  • Performing site visits to meet with clients and do a site assessment.
  • Plan, scheduled and supervised daily/weekly production for the assigned construction crew
  • Preparing commercial and residential landscape bids/estimates- accurately detailing the scope of work, labor, and materials
  • Resolve customer complaints concerning the quality of plant materials, installation, and change orders.
  • Stay updated on industry trends and landscape construction practices.

Landscape estimator salaries

The average salary for a Landscape Estimator varies across different countries. In the United States, the average salary for a Landscape Estimator is approximately $45,147 per year.

In Canada, the national average salary for a Landscape Estimator is around CAD 43,933.

In Australia, the average annual salary for Landscape Estimator jobs ranges from AUD 70,000 to AUD 110,000.

In UK, Entry level positions start at £25,000 per year while most experienced workers make up to £50,000 per year.

Please note that these figures are averages and actual salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, skills, and location

Sample job descriptions

Job Title: Landscape Designer/ Estimator

Pay: $18-24 an hour

Job Description

Maplyscapy Lawn Care is a family-based Lawn Care and Landscape company that has been serving the Greenish County area for more than 30 years. Our company is growing and we are looking to add another Landscape Designer/ Estimator to our team.

Tasks include but are not limited to, meeting with potential customers, preparing designs, estimates, and contracts, managing projects, ongoing customer contact, answering phones, updating spreadsheets, and other duties as needed.

Required Experience/ Skills:

  • Background in Horticulture, Landscape Design, Landscape Architecture, and/or Landscape Installation and Maintenance
  • Customer service experience
  • Experience with computers in programs such as Microsoft Office Suite and Google Calendar
  • Able to follow direction
  • Detail oriented
  • Willingness to learn
  • A great attitude!

Preferred Skills:

All of the above, as well as:

  • Experience preparing estimates or in the landscaping/ building trades

Ideal Skills:

All of the above, as well as:

  • Experience in Quickbooks
  • Experience with CAD drafting software, preferably Dynascape
  • Hand drawing and rendering
  • Experience with 3D software, such as SketchUp

Wages are based on experience

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $18.00 – $24.00 per hour


  • Employee discount
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan


  • Monday to Friday

People with a criminal record are encouraged to apply


  • Bachelor’s (Preferred)


  • Landscape Design: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Customer Service: 1 year (Preferred)


  • Indiana Driver’s License (Preferred)

Work Location: In person

Job Title: Landscape Construction Coordinator/Estimator

Pay: $65,000 – $85,000 a year

Job Description

We are seeking an experienced Landscape Construction Estimator to join our growing green-industry team. The ideal candidate must possess excellent customer service and communication skills and have a proven track record of success in submitting accurate bids promptly while meeting deadlines of requesting parties, and meeting company expectations and goals.

The Landscape Construction Estimator will be responsible for:

  • – Ensuring expectations are set correctly with all clients regarding a proposal.
  • – Accurately producing estimates, designs, and proposals on time, and within deadlines.
  • – Assisting the Construction Department in reaching its sales goal.
  • – Learning current statistics for average job size, win rate, and dollars required to be bid per week, per year, and execute to a sales goal.
  • – Achieving gross profit according to the Construction Department Budget.
  • – Leading and understanding the business philosophy and influencing others toward the team’s goals.
  • – Producing high-quality hand-off packages for production that result in the work being produced as it was sold to the customer while reducing the amount of time the sales team must spend involved with production.
  • – Ensuring specialty materials are ordered before handoff and on-site when needed at the correct price.
  • – Ensuring handoff meetings are performed timely to set crew leaders up for success.
  • – Managing construction files, photos, plans, proposals, etc., so they can be retrieved as needed.
  • – Developing and improving estimating templates to improve the efficiency and accuracy of bids.
  • – Maintaining client and important vendor relationships
  • – Ensuring completion of accurate and timely paperwork.
  • – Participating when needed in the collection of overdue invoices
  • – Playing a lead role in the company snow operation.


  • – Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • – Excellent problem-solving and analytical abilities
  • – Proven track record in business development, sales, and/or proposal/estimating process.
  • – Ability to build relationships with clients and vendors
  • – Ability to read and interpret blueprints, drawings, and specifications
  • – Self-motivated and results-oriented
  • – Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills
  • – Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite & G Suite
  • – Experience with construction estimating software helpful
  • – Experience with ERP software desired

We offer competitive compensation, including a base salary plus bonuses and a company vehicle as well as benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, 401k & 401k matching, and professional development opportunities. Join our team of dedicated professionals and take your career to the next level!

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter highlighting your relevant experience.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $65,000.00 – $85,000.00 per year


  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) 4% Match
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Paid time off

Compensation package:

  • Bonus opportunities
  • Performance bonus


  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday
  • Weekends as needed

Work Location: In person

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Job Title: Estimator – Landscape

Pay: Industry rates

Job Description

Maplio specialises in commercial landscape and civil works across NSW and VIC. Our dedicated team has been delivering award-winning projects for over 50 years.

Maplio offers a stable and consistent working environment with a friendly and supportive team who work together to ensure our projects are completed to the highest standard.

An opportunity has arisen for an experienced Estimator in commercial landscaping and civil works to join our passionate, friendly, and hands-on team, based in Brisbane. Our teams work on commercial landscape projects for Government Bodies through to Tier 1 Builders in a variety of disciplines.

About the Role

  • Complete estimates for landscaping and civil projects
  • Seek pricing from suppliers and subcontractors
  • Interpret drawings and complete take-offs
  • Reporting to management
  • Potential client liaison

Skills and Experience

  • Excellent computer skills in Microsoft Excel, Word
  • Previous experience in Buildsoft/Cubit preferred
  • Strong literacy and numeracy skills
  • Construction white card 
  • CAD skills and landscape architect exposure are desirable 
  • Outstanding communication, negotiation, and organization skills

Salary and any allowances for the position will be negotiated depending on the skills, experience, and qualifications of each candidate.

Employer questions

Your application will include the following questions:

  • Which of the following Microsoft Office products are you experienced with?
  • Do you hold a Construction Induction Safety Certificate (White Card)?
  • Which of the following statements best describes your right to work in Australia?
  • How many years of experience do you have as an Estimator?
  • Do you have experience preparing and submitting tenders?
  • Do you have customer service experience?

Job Title: Estimator Landscaping Company

Pay: 36000 pounds

Job Description

We are recruiting an Estimator who will join a well-established landscape services company that works within the newly built housing sector. On offer is a permanent job paying 36000 per year with five weeks’ holiday plus all bank holidays company benefits and a pension scheme.

As the Estimator you will be:

  • Leading the production of priced tenders and estimates that are accurate comprehensive competitive and completed by set deadlines to help promote further tender invitations.
  • Establishing and developing relationships with Clients Architects Sales Managers and Operational Directors.
  • Providing clear commercial reports and price build-ups for the operational team to help with project delivery.


To be considered as the Estimator you will need:

  • To be an experienced Estimator who has costed a range of soft landscaping fencing hard landscaping or construction works.
  • To have excellent mathematical ability and an analytical mindset.
  • To possess a good understanding of risk management.
  • Good commercial awareness.
  • Experience with contractual structure frameworks and contract negotiation.
  • Strong IT skills and experience in using software packages and using Excel.


On offer is:

The opportunity to join a well-established and growing landscape services provider that offers a landscape design-build and maintenance service focused on the new build sector and has preferred supplier status with many of the national and regional house builders.

  • A salary of up to 36000 per year.
  • 25 Days Holiday plus all Bank Holidays.
  • Contributory Pension Scheme.
  • Career Development.
  • A company benefits scheme that includes retail discounts.
  • Continued support to develop your knowledge and skills to enable career progression.

To be considered as the Estimator you will need: To be an experienced Estimator who has costed a range of soft landscaping fencing, hard landscaping, or construction works. To have excellent mathematical ability and an analytical mindset. To possess a good understanding of risk management. Good commercial awareness. Experience with contractual structure, frameworks, and contract negotiation. Strong IT skills, and experience in using software packages and using Excel.

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Job Title: Project Estimating Intern


  • Freshman: $13/hr
  • Sophomore: $15/hr
  • Junior: $17/hr
  • Senior: $19/hr

Job Description

The Project Estimator evaluates bid documents, drawings, plans, and specifications, ensuring that we have the information required for a successful bid and project win. The Estimator will work with the Design Team, Subcontractors, and Project Team to ensure bidding timelines are met. Through successful and reliable bids, the Estimator helps build relationships that are positive, long-term relationships.

This internship will teach you how to:

  • Understand and evaluate all bid documents and proposal requirements.
  • Gain further understanding of drawings, plans, specifications, scopes of work, and other necessary construction documents to ensure a complete and thorough estimate.
  • Compile an organized, accurate, concise takeoff and estimate.
  • Assist in managing contractual commitments for contractors including costs, quality, schedule, and field activities.
  • Source materials needed for projects while negotiating prices
  • Ensure all documents required for a full bid proposal are obtained, including project insurance and builder’s risk and bonds.
  • Understand how to track, manage, and follow up on submitted bids

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of industry language and terminology is preferred.
  • Critical thinker and problem-solver.
  • Familiarity with industry-specific computer programs is preferred.
  • High-level organizational skills with the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced changing environment.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

This Career path is Ideal for Someone Who Is:

  • Dependable — more reliable than spontaneous
  • Adaptable/flexible — enjoys doing work that requires frequent shifts in direction
  • Detail-oriented — would rather focus on the details of work than the bigger picture
  • Achievement-oriented — enjoys taking on challenges

Education and Experience:

  • Engineering, Horticulture, Construction or similar relevant field experience required.
  • Intermediate knowledge of Excel, Word, and Outlook is preferred.


  • Freshman: $13/hr
  • Sophomore: $15/hr
  • Junior: $17/hr
  • Senior: $19/hr


  • Monday-Friday 
  • Part-Time/Full Time

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