NEXT PROS: Maria Garcia, Construction

By Arkansas Next staff on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jacob Slaton
“The drafting courses that I took in high school sparked my interest in architecture and construction. Having an opportunity to be involved with a project from the initial design, and witnessing it being built from the ground up is satisfying.” – Maria Garcia

Maria Garcia

High school: Rogers High School  | Age: 29  | Where I trained: NorthWest Arkansas Community College  | What I earned: Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design with an emphasis in Architectural Design and an Associate of Applied Science in Construction Technology  | Job title: Construction Estimator  | Employer: Nabholz Corporation in Rogers

What does a construction estimator do?

Construction estimators calculate the estimated costs of construction projects to bid on jobs or to determine the price of products or services.

“[I love] new projects! It’s exciting to open a new set of drawings without knowing what to expect.” - Maria


• Analyze business or financial data.

• Estimate costs of goods or services.

• Assess the cost effectiveness of products, projects or services.

• Keep track of costs.

• Communicate with owners, architects and subcontractors.

• Attend pre-bid meetings and job walks.

Job Outlook

Expected growth from 2016 to 2026 in Arkansas.

Average annual construction job openings in Arkansas.

Construction jobs in Arkansas by 2026.

Related Occupations

• Carpenter

• Mason

• Construction Manager

• Laborer

• General

• Contractor

• Painter

• Drywall Installer

• Concrete Finisher

• Glazier

• Ironworker

• Sheet Metal Worker

• Building Inspector

• Elevator Installer

• Elevator Repairer

"What people would find surprising about my job is the amount of collaboration, interaction and hours that needs to be invested by all — architects, engineers, owner, estimators, project managers, superintendents and subcontractors — prior to the start of construction in order to meet the owner’s needs, provide quality work and [create] a safe environment."Maria, on what surprised her most about construction

This option is for you if:
You like making things or working with your hands.
You’re a problem solver.
You’re willing to show up early and stay late.
You’re a good communicator.

High-end earners in construction estimation (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$56,410 Annual
$27.12 Hourly


Arkansas Construction Education Foundation
Arkansas Northeastern College
Arkansas Tech University–Ozark Campus
East Arkansas Community College
North Arkansas College
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College


Arkansas Electric Cooperatives
Lexicon Inc.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and CareerOneStop,org

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