Archives for April 2024

The Outlook for Estimator Jobs in California

Any given project is only as successful as its budget allows. Poorly budgeted projects result in low quality or incomplete work. Heavily padded budgets result in unhappy clients, or a total lack of a project altogether (i.e., losing the project). 

This is why every budget needs a skilled estimator behind it, and why construction staffing agencies are always on the lookout for good estimators. This blog explores why estimators are important to projects in California. 

California Needs Estimators 

Construction estimators, at the core of their job, calculate costs and prepare estimates for civil engineering or construction projects. In general, estimates encompass materials, labor, mobilization/demobilization, and equipment. 

Estimators also undertake an administrative role in handling quotes, tenders, and a list of suppliers and contractors. Estimators aren’t only predictive, however. It’s up to them to continuously keep on top of costs and spending during a project. 

Many estimators specialize in particular kinds of construction or engineering projects, such as electrical estimators, heavy civil estimators, and vertical construction estimators. This means companies and staffing agencies often have multiple estimators posting at any given time.

The need for estimators seems fairly self-evident. A project can’t go ahead without knowing how much it will cost. However, California finds itself with a growing need for estimators. 

California has continually been rated as one of the most expensive places to build in the United States. Partially, this is because of the high cost of land in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, construction companies also tend to charge top dollar in California. The state is often the site of high levels of innovation in construction, which doesn’t come cheap. 

What You Need to Become an Estimator

Being an estimator is a popular position in California for those who specialize in accounting, have attention to detail, or have some desire to work with numbers and want to move into the construction industry. If you do have a degree in a relevant field, you could potentially be a candidate for the position of estimator. 

In particular, being an estimator requires excellent mathematics, accounting, and computer skills. You will need to be proficient in most Microsoft Office programs, know how to use (or be willing to learn) estimating software, check quantities and price quotes for accuray, have good presentation skills, and handle reports and bid letters. 

You also need to have excellent problem-solving and communication skills to constantly be on top of the budget and consistently keep all relevant parties informed of the budget. Estimators need to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing with a variety of people, including the project manager slated to run the project, the superintendent that will be directing the field crews, subcontractors working on the project, vendors (for materials and supplies), and the client.

An understanding of the construction industry as a whole is important. You can’t simply rely on your accounting skills; you need to read and understand blueprints and specs, as well as have a good understanding of construction materials, methods, and equipment. 

Estimators in California

California always has exciting opportunities in the construction sector, and every construction staffing agency is going to be looking for good estimators to help provide the expertise those construction projects require. Certis Solutions is here to help you connect with the jobs you need to make the most of your career. 

How to Become a Construction Engineer in California

Working on buildings of the future is a dream for many. But how do you go about becoming a construction engineer in California? And how do you find work as one? We’ll explain the essentials here. 

Why California Needs Engineers

The Golden State is the most populous American state, and that population is growing faster. The need for new building projects to house this population and give them a place to work, shop, and entertain themselves is significant.

In particular, the major cities of San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles have a large need for new workers in the construction industry. This makes the state an excellent place to undertake an engineering career.

An Education for Construction Engineering 

To work in construction and civil engineering in California, a good first step is to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (or another engineering related field). 

Certain businesses may look more favorably on your job application if you also have a masters in engineering and/or a professional engineering license. Becoming licensed as a professional engineer is a well-earned honor, as well as an indication to employers and clients of the skills you bring to your work.

Construction Engineering Licensing in California 

While becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) isn’t a requirement or needed for every engineering job, it generally allows for faster career advancement and a higher salary. 

Moreover, if you want to directly sell your services in the state of California, operate your own engineering firm, or bid for contracts, you must be a licensed PE. Attempting to sell your services or bid for contracts without this license is illegal. Though the specific requirements for licensure can differ from state to state, licensure candidates follow the same basic steps throughout the United States and its territories.

The first step in becoming licensed as a PE in California is to register for and take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE exam). After passing the FE exam, you can apply to get your engineer-in-training (EIT) certification. In California, to get this certification you need to show you have three or more years of engineering-related work experience, have a clean background, and pass the FE exam. Achieving EIT status signals you have mastered the fundamental requirements and taken the first step toward earning your PE licensure.

Once you obtain the EIT certification, all states require that candidates complete four years of qualifying engineering experience, typically under the supervision of a professional engineer. Once complete, the final step in obtaining licensure is successfully completing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam in your state. 

Note that each state (as well as the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories) has its own licensure board, administering its own exam and required qualifications. To find out more about your state’s licensure requirements, visit the website of your state licensing board state-by-state summary.

To speed up the process, check if any engineering work you did while taking your education counts toward the years of experience requirement. Often, engineering work done at American schools will count for this six-year requirement. Foreign education may be capped for how much it can count. 

Note that if you specifically want to become a civil engineer in California, you’ll also need to pass the California Civil exams. You can also get specific licensing if your work experience is specialized (e.g., structural engineering). 

Becoming a licensed professional engineer in California is a long and expensive process, but is a worthwhile endeavor if you aspire to lead projects, run an engineering division, or own your own engineering company. By working with a staffing agency that has partnerships with many prominent firms in the AEC industry, you can be ensured you’ll gain access to a robust database of jobs in the environmental services space. 

Our Certis project coordinators will work alongside you to help you access job opportunities for numerous desirable projects with dynamic companies. Certis Solutions is here to help you connect with the jobs you need to make the most of your career. 

Top Environmental Consulting Companies Hiring in California

With deteriorating environmental conditions worldwide, it has become critical to manage and oversee different commercial, governmental, and industrial projects that may negatively impact the environment. Hence, this increases the demand for environmental consulting services that will ensure the physical environment isn’t harmed due to overexploitation of resources, deforestation, industrial pollution, and other activities.

According to the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs related to environmental scientists and specialists are expected to grow by 8 percent in the next seven to ten years. Professionals looking to build a career in this field would do well collaborating with a technical staffing agency that can help them reach out to the ideal employer. This article will touch on the types of services environmental consultants provide, along with companies in California looking to hire for different environmental consulting jobs.

Types of environmental consulting services

The role of environmental consulting agencies is to provide insights on various issues that may affect the environment through scientific knowledge, technical expertise, and in-depth research. Professionals working in the environmental consulting arena assist organizations and businesses by providing guidance to ensure projects maintain compliance with current environmental regulations at the local, state, and federal levels. The services may include the following outlined below.

1. Assessments

The property or area proposed for commercial/industrial development is assessed based on different regulations and environmental impacts. An environmental consultant may inspect the property for potential contaminants, including chemical hazards and overexploitation of resources.

2. Remediation

Environmental remediation deals with the removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, groundwater, sediment, or surface water. Environmental consultants focused on remediation encourage companies to restore sites that have been contaminated due to prior or current activities or business operations. For example, if a nearby water bank gets contaminated because of rigorous use, the company will take the necessary steps to clean the water bank.

3. Compliance

Every industrial or commercial project must comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. An environmental consultant may work closely with a company to ensure they’re following building and safety standards and thus ensuring human safety and maximum protection of the environment.

4. Monitoring

Environmental consultants and resource managers monitor construction sites to mitigate the risk of potential permit violations or negative environmental impacts from construction activities.  Professionals in this field ensure all development and construction projects follow laws and regulations with due diligence.

5. Industrial hygiene

Industrial hygiene ensures the health and safety of individuals working on a development or infrastructure project. Industrial hygienists and consultants recognize, evaluate, and communicate potential threats to prevent unwanted accidents.

Top environmental consulting companies hiring in California 

Top companies currently looking to hire skilled professionals for different environmental consulting services or environmental resource management roles in and around California include:

  • ECM Group
  • Montrose Environmental Group, Inc.
  • Surf to Snow Environmental Resource Management, Inc
  • Ahtna, Inc
  • Emerald Site Services
  • GSI Environmental Inc.
  • Geo-Logic Associates
  • Central Environmental Inc.
  • Environmental Synectics, Inc.
  • Omega Environmental
  • Bancroft Construction Company

Technical staffing agencies: Your best bet for getting hired

With growing market competition, it isn’t easy to find the perfect job in your desired field. Technical staffing agencies can help as they serve as an intermediary to connect employees with their dream employer. Staffing agencies have strong relationships with various companies and hiring managers, and in many cases can assist you with applying for positions that are not typically listed on job portals. You get a fair opportunity and industry-standard remuneration without any hassle. These agencies also help refine your work competencies to stand out among other applicants. From technical to soft skills,  staffing agencies highlight your qualifications and ensure your resume is tailored to your ideal role at your dream company. 

To be successful in your respective field, it’s important to build a strong network, and a staffing agency helps with that. It connects you with professionals that can provide industry insights and tips to become the ideal candidate for a job. You also get continuous guidance and assistance from experienced consultants that help you be better prepared for a job.

Need help finding a job in the environmental, construction, engineering, or emergency management industry? Visit Certis Solutions, a one-stop destination to find your next project or your next career. 

Certis Solutions has a dedicated team of technical recruiters and staffing consultants that work diligently to connect you with your ideal employer. Contact us today to learn more about our end-to-end staffing services. 

Land Development Engineering Companies Hiring in California

As any civil engineering staffing agency in California will tell you, there’s a desperate need for new land development engineers. Before any other construction or engineering project can begin, the land development engineers need to get to work. 

If you have skills in design or development, there are engineering staffing agencies interested in you. The following are some examples of land development agencies hiring engineers as of the time of this writing. 

#1 Fuscoe

Fuscoe Engineering’s business is in creating remarkable places. It does this by being at the cutting edge of new development and engineering technology. Founder Pat Fuscoe is an innovator in ecologically friendly engineering, technology, and leadership development. The company is noted for its deployment of technology, such as drones, 3D scanning, and artificial intelligence during its land development projects. 


Fuscoe is involved in the following industries:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Surveying and Mapping
  • Stormwater Management
  • Sustainable Design
  • Geospatial Survey

Generally, Fuscoe is involved in surveying and site development both for construction projects, as well as environmental maintenance. 


Fuscoe has worked on a variety of projects for both commercial and residential purposes. This includes design work for the Kaiser Permanente Medical Office building in Hesperia, the Middle Earth residential towers for UC Irvine, and the Lumen retail and commercial space in Los Angeles. 

#2 Sandis

Sandis was established by Tim Sandis in 1965 in Mountain View, who helped develop that community. Sandis was a Greek survivor of the Second World War who moved to California to study engineering. Today, President Jeff Setera continues a legacy of experience, quality, efficiency, and accuracy.


Sandis is involved in a variety of engineering and development disciplines:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Stormwater Management
  • Building Information Modeling
  • Land Surveying
  • Construction Staking 
  • Laser Scanning
  • Utility Locating
  • Structural Steel Surveying 

The company is also heavily involved in professional development in the engineering space, as well as in thought leadership and community charity work. 


Sandis has worked in a variety of fields. They’ve helped with development to expand the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus, and the County Government Center of Monterey. 

#3 Owen Design Group 

The Owen Design Group was founded in 1981 and has a reputation for outstanding consultation services. Owen works across a variety of construction and development fields, and has multiple divisions across California, including Irvine, Pasadena, Sacramento, and San Diego. 


Owen is involved in a vast array of projects relating to architecture and development:

  • Architectural Design
  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • MEP Engineering 
  • Commissioning
  • Energy Design
  • Facility Condition Assessment
  • Project and Construction Management
  • Compliance Management
  • International Projects
  • Technology and Software


Owen has worked on a variety of projects within California, across a variety of industries. They’ve helped provide development engineering work for the Port of Long Beach, the City of Los Angeles, and the Department of Defense. They’ve also done development work for a variety of commercial projects in cities and communities across California

Work in land development with Certis Solutions

The need for land development engineering and design is always high in California. However, this also means competition is high. 
If you’re looking for a job as an engineer in any field of construction in California, partnering with Certis Solutions will take your career to the next level. Our industry connections give us the tools that will help you find success in your job search and your career development.

10 Largest Construction Companies in the Golden State

California recently had a boom in the construction of commercial and residential properties. As per a report in 2021, multi-family construction increased by 17 percent, with more than 52,000 new units built. The same year, single-family residential (SFR) projects were up by 7 percent, with 64,500 structures built.

The primary reasons contributing to the increasing number of renovation and construction projects include rising housing demands, growing transportation needs, numerous destructive wildfires, and seismic events. Consequently, more architecture, construction, and engineering (ACE) companies are looking for skilled professionals. Read on for reasons for this growth of the construction industry and the ten most prominent companies in the state that hire professionals across different job titles.

Why the California Construction Industry Won’t Be Slowing Down

The global pandemic largely affected the world’s economy, especially at the beginning of 2021. The construction industry also suffered due to COVID-19 with an increase in construction material prices, supply-chain problems, and a lack of workers. As a result, many projects got canceled or delayed.

Despite the delays, construction projects were completed across the state, including San Diego, the Los Angeles metro area, and Sacramento. This encouraged construction companies in California to continue bidding for work and resuming business-as-usual activities. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California is one of the top two states with maximum employment opportunities in the construction industry. More than 670,000 construction jobs across different sectors are available throughout California. Some of the top construction jobs in California likely to rise in upcoming years include:

  • Construction Supervisors (2.4%)
  • Construction Laborers (3.2%)
  • Operating Engineers (3.6%)
  • Highway Maintenance Workers (4.8%)
  • Construction and Building Inspectors (6.7%)
  • Brickmasons and Blockmasons (15.8 %)
  • Stonemasons (24.6%)
  • Floor Sanders and Finishers (35.1%)
  • Insulation Workers, Mechanical (38.4%)

There are other job titles, including Heavy Civil Estimators, Project Managers, Ready-mix Drivers, Pile-driver Operators, Tile and Stone Setters, and Glaziers Experiencing a rise in demand in the state. 

Top Construction Companies in California

California is home to some of the biggest construction companies in the country, working on an array of exciting projects in the public and private sectors. These companies offer unprecedented opportunities to upskill your knowledge and work competencies to thrive in your career. 

Ten construction companies in California to keep your eye on include:

1. Ahtna Design-Build

Ahtna is one of the thirteen Alaska Native Regional Corporations established under Congress’s Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. Apart from design-build and construction services, this company also has established other business lines focused on other fields, including environmental consulting, government services, marine construction,  engineering,  logistics and procurement, and geomatics and technology.

2. Deacon

Deacon is a renowned construction company with offices in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, and Pleasanton. It offers various services, including general construction, remodel improvement, repair and renovation, and collaborative project design. Deacon’s popular construction projects include Hyatt House and Hyatt Palace, The Waymark Apartments, and Logistic Center at Southport. 

3. DesCor Builders

Based in the greater Sacramento area, DesCor Builders is a licensed contractor that provides different preconstruction, construction, and maintenance services across North California. The company aims to provide top-notch construction services at affordable prices. DesCor Builders completed some of the biggest construction projects in the state, including

  • Elica Health Center 
  • South Sutter Charter School
  • Bruceville Point Senior Community
  • Sacramento River Cats | Western Health Advantage’ Legacy Club

4. Brown Construction

Situated in West Sacramento, Brown Construction was founded in 1964 by William (Bill) Brown. This general contractor brings over fifty years of experience to Northern California and focuses on single and multi-family housing projects, as well as commercial construction. Yolo Food Bank, Folsom Corporate Center, George Sim Community Center, and Aggie Stadium at UC Davis are among some popular construction projects led by the company. 

5. Teichert Construction

Teichert is a family-owned and operated construction company based in Sacramento, California. The company has been helping develop the state’s infrastructure for more than 125 years, since its inception in 1887. Teichert features a diverse line of business operations that offer different public and private services, including construction and site development, solar installation and design, aggregate supply, joint trench, and utilities. 

6. Z Squared Construction

Situated in El Dorado Hills, Z Squared Construction is a women-owned small business offering exceptional quality, dedication, and commitment to its vertical construction projects for local, state, federal, and private entities. They provide preconstruction and construction services, including permitting, material acquisition, and change order negotiation. The project portfolio of Z Squared Construction includes top projects like:

  • Folsom Middle School
  • DB Childcare TI
  • Sierra Army Depot 
  • Sacramento International Airport

7. Colin Construction Company

This company focuses on construction projects related to health care in California. Some of its notable projects include Children’s Hospital Oakland Nuclear Medicine CT, Mercy Imaging Center Roseville, St. Joseph’s Medical Center Expansion and Remodel, and UCSF Interventional MR.

8. Blue Northern Builders

Blue Northern Builders was established in 2002 in Rocklin by Marc Davis (retired founder). The company provides different services, including 3D scanning, remodeling and renovation, designing, and general construction of commercial buildings. Some of the top construction projects led by Blue Northern Builders include Burlingame Pediatric Dentistry Office, Southern Marin Dermatology Office, Clear Choice Healthcare Centre, and Foothill Bible Church in Lincoln.  

9. Flory Construction

Flory Construction has completed some of the most eye-catching and popular construction projects in and around California, including the Heart of the Bay Christian Center, Destiny Church, Cal Oils, Minnesota Corn Products Manufacturing Plant, and Strong Tower.

10. SB James Construction

SB + James has a diverse pool of talented designers, project engineers, and managers that work together on different construction and design projects across the State. This company has a diverse project portfolio but excels in health care and education projects. Some of  their notable projects include: 

  • Placer High Music Hall
  • Kaiser DOCO Family Medicine Residency Lounge
  • UC Davis Health Point West Specialty Clinic
  • River Oaks Elementary School 
  • St. Mary’s Dormitory 

How to Set Yourself Up for Success

If you’re searching for construction jobs in California, consider reaching out to a construction staffing agency. A staffing agency can be your biggest advocate and set you up for success by helping to connect you with some of the top construction companies in California.

Construction staffing agencies like Certis Solutions have strong partnerships with prominent companies in California and provide candidates exclusive access to work on high-profile and desirable projects across the state. Staffing agencies connect you with experienced recruiting professionals that guide and prepare you to find your dream job. Want to learn more about the impeccable staffing services of Certis Solutions? Visit our website or contact us today!

How to Prepare for a Civil Engineering Job Interview

Civil engineering is one of the most in-demand branches of engineering on the market. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States, jobs in civil engineering are likely to grow by 8 percent in the next few years. But getting these jobs is challenging due to increasing job demands and rising market competition.

Many candidates opt for higher degrees while others work on developing a diverse skill set to get their dream civil engineering job. In this process, many neglect to prepare for the job interview, assuming they’ll get through it on education and expertise alone.

Preparing and focusing on interview skills is as important as enhancing your technical skills. The interview is an initial interaction with a potential employer, meaning you need to prepare and give your best to create a positive first impression.

To help you get your dream civil engineering job, we’ve curated an interview preparation guide with some result-orientated tips. Read on to find out some common questions asked in a job interview.

Preparing for a civil engineering job interview

Civil engineering is a demanding and highly competitive field, which means you’re required to showcase much more than a distinction in your transcript. The interviewer may judge you based on your technical knowledge, engineering skills, experience level, and soft skills, including communication, attitude, interpersonal abilities, and decision-making.

Before an interview, spend time reading about the company and the job you’re applying for, think about how your education and previous experiences make you an ideal candidate for the position. The interview process is unique to each company, it may be simple and consist of a single phone call, or it may be a multi-step process involving several interviewers, screening tests, or homework assignments. Whatever the case may be, always be prepared and always ask questions.  

Interviewers look for candidates that demonstrate a holistic knowledge and understanding of their respective fields. As such, candidates need to showcase both practical and theoretical knowledge of their field. Providing details of previous projects and roles/responsibilities is a great way to demonstrate specialization and an in-depth understanding of the field.

Six interview preparation tips 

Apart from mastering interview skills, there are a few other things you need to work on to get your ideal job in civil engineering. We outline them below.

1. Resume and cover letter

Make sure your resume is up-to-date. It should be search engine optimized, meaning you need to incorporate important industry-standard keywords to score better in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Another essential item is your cover letter. It’s an additional document that helps employers learn more about you apart from what’s written in your resume. You can add a memorable experience from your internship or how hard you worked to turn around your thesis/dissertation. The cover letter should talk about things you can do for a company or how you can prove beneficial to them.

2. Research the company 

Interviewers often ask candidates why they want to join their company. In-depth company research will help you answer this question if you don’t already know. Read the “About Us” section on their website, as well as every other web page they have, and go through news articles and press releases to understand their history, the types of projects they work on, their values, work culture, and reputation. Your answer to the “why us?” question should circle back to something you discovered in the company research you did.  You can also follow and browse the company’s social media pages/accounts to know their target audience, corporate social responsibility practices, and audience engagement. 

3. Practice common interview questions

You’ll never know what you’ll be asked in an interview beforehand, but there are a few common questions interviewers ask, regardless of the field and position:

  • Why did you opt for civil engineering?
  • Please tell us about your experience working with your previous company (if applicable).
  • Why are you looking for a new opportunity? 
  • What do you consider a strength? 
  • Tell us about a challenge or problem you have faced in the workplace, how did you overcome it? What software and tools are you familiar with? 
  • What area would you say is a weakness for you?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What motivates you?

4. Do a mock interview

Through mock interviews, you can determine areas of improvement and refine them to perform better during the interview process. Reviewing answers to possible questions out loud with a partner can help ease nerves and make you feel more confident.

5. Ask questions 

In an interview, ask questions about the role, expectations, work culture, work-life balance, annual bonus/salary increment, growth in the specific role, and other policies. In any role, job satisfaction is important, and by asking these questions, you demonstrate what you want from an organization, rather than just showing what you can do in an interview. Dig in and ask them all the questions you need to feel confident that this role could be the position for you.

6. Dress professionally

The rule is to dress one step above what you might wear when you start working with that company. Learn the culture and dress code of the company beforehand. Avoid casual and bright clothes, and opt for formal trousers, a blazer, a button-down shirt, and classy, closed-toe shoes.

How Certis Solutions’ civil engineering staffing agency can help you prepare

At Certis Solutions, a team of dedicated professionals works closely with each candidate to give a personalized candidate experience. We offer candidates an opportunity to work with many of the top Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (ACE) firms in the country. Along with providing access to a variety of project-based roles, Certis Solutions also offers a platform for finding long-term career opportunities. 

We operate as the primary contact to ensure you seamlessly go through each process,  from resume and interview prep to onboarding paperwork and first-day details. With pay rate transparency, Certis Solutions ensures all candidates receive a fair remuneration rate, meaning you don’t need to negotiate every time you get involved in a project. As a dedicated AEC staffing agency, we ensure all projects and careers we promote are aligned with your professional and personal requirements.Want to learn more about the employment opportunities and services by Certis Solutions? Then contact us now or write to us at [email protected].