How Much Does an Engineer Charge for their Services?

An engineer’s fee is likely the smallest of all of those involved throughout the course of your project.
According to HSH Associates, your lender will charge anywhere from 4% – 14% of your loan amount to fund your project (based on historical data). The architect will require nearly the same, 4.5% – 16% (includes engineering) of your construction cost (according to the 1996 Means Construction Cost Index, or MCCI ), to provide you with a design concept. Depending on whether your project is a remodel or new construction, your contractor will mark up their costs (including profit margin) by 20% – 52% or more. This translates into about 16% – 35% of your construction cost (source:
If you decide to sell prior to building or buying, the services of a realtor will set you back around 5% – 7% (source: of the sales price of the structure and parcel (or possibly more, depending on the market).
So how much can you expect to pay an engineer for their services? It’s probably a lot less than you think. Again, according to the 1996 MCCI , an engineer may charge as much as 1.0% – 2.5% of your construction cost, depending on the type of project and on their scope of work. Very small projects may have a higher fee than this.
What do all of these numbers tell us?
Your time may be better spent shopping for a less expensive contractor than a less expensive engineer. If an engineer reduces their fee by 10%, you could be saving as little as one-tenth of one percent of your total cost of construction. If a contractor reduces their fee by 10%, you’d be saving anywhere from 1.6% – 3.5% of your construction cost (16 to 35 times as much as the engineer). With the potential for savings like this, you may be better off to hire a more expensive engineer that can provide an efficient design and more complete plan set that is easier and less expensive for the contractor to build.

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