2021 Florida Construction Industry Compensation- Vertical Building

Job Seekers:

If you are considering a new job look at the total compensation package; challenge, growth and stability of the position.  In addition, the track record of the employer should be evaluated.  Compare where you would be in two and five years if you stay with your current employer in comparison to what you will achieve by making a move.  Your move should be based on achieving something to build your career and not just getting paid more.


How do your benefits compare?

Health Insurance

This is often the deal breaker to even get qualified candidates to the table. Many times, candidates turn companies down that do not offer healthcare.  Candidates like the convenience of a company managed plan. The cost and hassle of independent plans are often not an option.    If you want to stay competitive in the market for the top talent budget healthcare as part of the hiring package and policies that have lower deductibles and out- of- pocket, make a big difference.  We are seeing most companies offer at least 80% of the cost of the employee paid and we are seeing an increase in companies that pay the full individual and self-insured companies paying for family plans. Cobra is unaffordable so participation within 30 days or cobra covered (difference between out of pocket and cobra costs reimbursed) until eligible for company plan.

Dental Insurance

This has not changed much and is usually offered for around $35/month for an individual, if not included, no matter what size of the company. It’s the coverage that varies and dental is a nice option to give for little cost to the employer.

Life Insurance

Life insurance at 1-2 x annual salary is very standard for any decent size company. Some companies have a flat benefit amount verses calculated by salary.

Short-Term (ST) and Long-Term (LT) Disability

ST is usually covered by the employer with LT as an option for contribution. AFLAC has become more and more popular.

Auto Allowances

Auto allowances are still across -the -board, but we no longer seeing the crazy auto allowances in lieu of raising someone’s base salary accordingly. Typical now is 500 and a gas card for Project Management and Superintendent. Executive level is up to $1000/month. Mileage reimbursement at the IRS going rate is common for all others.


The best plans offer enrollment before completing a full year and the matches vary, but whatever the match is, the employee looks at the time for vesting. The fully vested out of the gate works to the employer’s advantage.

Profit Sharing

All plans are different. The companies that seem to have profit sharing are also doing the 401K and paying bonus also.


These are still all- across the board. The best are the written plans and the average is 10% on low end and 20% on high end of the base salary paid annually.  We still see many discretionary bonus plans. Project completion bonus plans are typically paying a prorated amount annually.  We are seeing more companies get away from paying bonus at Holiday time and give a holiday token of a week or two pay and then pay bonus by end of first quarter.


Two weeks per year accrued the first year is the best received. One week per year rarely will someone accept as they like to have the two weeks available whether they use it or not.  We are seeing 15 days, accrued Paid Time Off (PTO) policies more popular which include the Personal and Sick with the Vacation.  Some companies are doing one week at employee’s choice and the second a given at the holidays if they close their offices.

Personal/Sick Leave

Personal and sick time is usually up to 5 days per year paid and some companies. PTO policies including sick, personal and vacation in one are becoming more of the norm.

Title & Salary – Below Reflects Base Salary only

Project Engineer/Assistant Project Manager

This position ranges from a recent college intern or recent college graduate to an individual with several years’ experience in the construction industry who is still not qualified for sole responsibility of a project on their own:

While in school obtaining a Construction or Engineering degree:

Entry level $15-$18/hour

$40,000 – $50,000/year with 2-3 years experience.

After obtaining the degree:

$60,000 – $85,000/year.

More experience/larger projects:

as high as $90,000/year.

  • Some companies will add the level of Assistant Project Manager and some companies do not have Project Engineering title, but have only Assistant Project Manager
  • We do see more APM’s coming off the big projects who have 5+ years industry experience, but can not run a project on their own. They are sometimes as high as 100K+.

Project Manager

A diversely used title.  The below numbers are for a management professional with a Construction Management or Engineering degree responsible for the full project including contractual, scheduling and budgetary components of a project and not project managers who are part of a team over specific divisions.  The below reflects PM’s responsible as project lead under an Executive. Or Owner.

Tenant Interior Project Manager

Projects do not involve structural.  They usually handle multiple projects with a Superintendent working with or under them at each location.  $75,000 – $100,000/year.

Ground Up (1 to 4 story, up to $10 million dollar projects).

$85,000 – $100,000/year.

Mid / High Rise and/or $30 million dollar and above projects.

$100,000 – $135,000/year. (mid-rise and garden style) $140,000- $180,000 (High-rise)

Senior Project Managers usually add People Management along with Project Management to their resume and are at the higher dollar range of the above.

Project Executive

Oversees multiple teams on multiple projects and has bottom line financial responsibility for building of the projects.  Will usually also be somehow active with business development for the company.

These base salaries range from the low of $125,000/year to the high of $200,000/year or more based on the rest of the infrastructure of the corporation and the added perks. The new trend is we are seeing this title used in place of VP-Ops Manager/Division Manager for mid-size companies and we have seen the base/package higher in the 200K range

Operations Manager

This title sometimes overlaps with the Project Executive, but ultimately an Operations Manager or Vice-President of Operations oversees all departments within the company, monitors and sets goals, coaches and directs the team wanting to build projects within budget and on time allowing the rest of the Executive team the ammunition to attract more business and grow the company.  $125,000 to as high as $200,000/year+ a year   The title is also sometimes DOC –Director of Construction that works well driving home the fact that these individuals are responsible for all Construction operations and profitability on the delivery side.

The higher a person goes in Project Management, usually the base salary start to level; however, incentive grows.



Responsible for taking off each aspect of bid documents, writing scopes of work and establishing the building budget.  Keep in mind that some companies don’t use the Estimating word at all, but do Preconstruction Manager title and do Precon I, Precon II etc..

Jr. Estimator

This classification is due to lack of experience in the department.  $60,000 – $75,000/year.


Three to five plus (3 – 5+) years experience.  $75,000 – $100,000/year.

Lead/Senior Estimator

Five to seven plus (5 – 7+) years experience.  Can assemble an accurate bid on project involving all 16 CSI divisions.  May oversee or lead a team.  $95,000 – $150,000/year.

Senior Lead Estimator

Title gaining popularity- Basically all the capabilities of a Chief, but not the Title.

Chief Estimator/Estimating Manager

Oversees team of estimators on multiple projects and helps in business development/presentations, sub-contractor/vendor relations and is key contact between estimating and other departments within the company.  Has a track record of top estimating, people management and interpersonal skills and usually has strong conceptual capabilities.  $125,000 – $250,000/year.+

Vice-President of Estimating

Usually this designation is for larger companies with a team of 10+ Estimators or is sometimes given to a Chief after many successful years of service.  Does all a Chief does and then some.  Usually responsible for bringing deals to the table and closing the deal.  $150,000 – $300,000/year.

Pre-Construction/Purchasing are overlapping and related positions and departments in which the salary ranges are in line with Estimating.



Oversees groups of Superintendents on multiple projects.  Monitors, trains, mentors and is eyes and ears for the office.  $150,000 – $250,000/year or more.

Lead/Senior Superintendent

Typically, is the one leading the building in the field and overseeing the sub or self-performing trades to build a job along with managing and directing a team of supers under them.  $85,000 – $175,000/year or more, dependent on the project size, team size, and the Superintendent’s ability and proven track record.  Most common until you get to high rise is $85,000 – $120,000


This may be a sole Superintendent on a job under $10 million dollars to a Superintendent on a team on a larger job responsible for a portion of the project.  Area Super, etc… Most small – mid size companies just use the Superintendent title and assign more responsibility/pay to someone who is a stand-out vs a new title.  $90,000- $125,000

Assistant Superintendent

Not yet ready for a project of their own under $10 million dollars or may be trade specific making a move to the General Contracting side.  Still needs direction and mentoring from more experienced Superintendents.  $55,000 – $80,000/year.

MEP Superintendent

This individual is well versed in coordinating the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing trades on a job or helping the team of Superintendents on multiple projects, focusing on the MEP trade coordination and monitoring.  $85,000 – $100,000/year.+

Support Positions:

Plans Coordinator

$50,000 – $55,000/year

Project Coordinator (must read blueprints)

$50,000 – $65,000/year

Job Site Administrator

$55,000 – $80,000/year

Project Administrator

$55,000 – 80,000/year+

Main Office Executive Administrator

$40,000 – $70,000/year (If the full deal C level admin and construction admin background we are seeking 65-70K or higher more often

Office Manager

$55,000 – $75,000/year

Cost Accountant

$55,000 – $90,000/year

Accounting Manager/Assistant Controller

$75,000 – $90,000/year


$90,000 – $150,000+/year (small to mid- size)

Controller/Divisional Controller

100 Million + company: $125,000 – $175,000+

VP of Accounting and Finance

$150,000 +

Heavy Civil and Infrastructure run within 10% of the above ranges

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