Real Estate & Construction

Estimator/ Project Manager

Rick works for Roy Strom Excavating & Grading. He has a COOL JOB as estimator/project manager.

His Gig:

"I like to be creative, and in this line of work I am able to figure out how to complete our jobs in the most proficient and profitable way. I became interested in this line of work because I think heavy equipment (i.e.. backhoes, end loaders, bulldozers, scrapers, and dump trucks) are a good way to be constructive."

A Day in the Life of:

A typical days work for Rick is to put an excavating bid or two together which range anywhere from $70,000.00 to $2,000,000.00 with the higher priced jobs obviously taking longer to pick apart. "I put in a lot of time at the office. I usually start at 7:00 AM and leave between 5:00 PM & 6:00 PM. The days fly by though and before I know it, it's the weekend."

Career Path:

His first big break came about three months after he started at Roy Strom. He received a job offer from a different contractor in the same line of work and the company he was working for saw that they needed to keep him and gave him a $12,000.00 raise in order to stay -- which it definitely did. "Competition is key I guess," Rick said. "I've worked for other contractors as a laborer and decided that pushing shovels and carrying forms was not for me, I liked the type of work though, so I thought why not put myself in a position where I could get the work rather than have to actually do it," he said.

High Five:

"The best part about my job is the people that I work with. They are all a bunch of nuts, and so am I, so we work great together. Plus, when I have little work to do, I get to hop in a company vehicle and just cruise around downtown and check on our jobs."

Down Low:

"The hardest part about my job is when an operator or laborer screws up."  He says that firing people is not fun.

Words From the Wise:

"If you want to survive in this line of work you need to be very versatile and be able to do almost any task that is thrown at you from the paperwork to laying out a 500,000 square foot building site. You need to have a good understanding of the way the business works if you want to be successful."


Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from Eastern Illinois University.

For more Information:

Construction Market Research
Perdue University - Construction Engineering Management

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