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Cost Estimator

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All About Cost Estimators

Career Description Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.

List of Cost Estimator Job Duties

  • Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Collect historical cost data to estimate costs for current or future products.
  • Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
  • Visit site and record information about access, drainage and topography, and availability of services such as water and electricity.
  • Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.

Skills Needed to be a Cost Estimator

These are the skills Cost Estimators say are the most useful in their careers:

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Project Estimator
  • Crating and Moving Estimator
  • Procurement Technician
  • Production Cost Estimator
  • Cost Analyst

What Kind of Cost Estimator Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 217,900 jobs in the United States for Cost Estimator. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 22,900 new jobs for Cost Estimator by 2026. There will be an estimated 24,400 positions for Cost Estimator per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Cost Estimator are Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Cost Estimators Salary

The typical yearly salary for Cost Estimators is somewhere between $38,060 and $107,940.

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Cost Estimators who work in District of Columbia, Hawaii, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Cost Estimators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $59,870
Alaska $83,450
Arizona $66,410
Arkansas $61,500
California $78,190
Colorado $73,110
Connecticut $74,910
Delaware $68,690
District of Columbia $93,880
Florida $62,370
Georgia $67,190
Hawaii $82,390
Idaho $60,400
Illinois $66,480
Indiana $65,790
Iowa $62,410
Kansas $66,500
Kentucky $65,460
Louisiana $67,650
Maine $61,960
Maryland $71,650
Massachusetts $77,670
Michigan $63,810
Minnesota $65,520
Mississippi $60,360
Missouri $67,620
Montana $58,960
Nebraska $59,160
Nevada $66,650
New Hampshire $67,610
New Jersey $75,340
New Mexico $59,580
New York $75,730
North Carolina $62,590
North Dakota $69,010
Ohio $64,700
Oklahoma $64,300
Oregon $71,490
Pennsylvania $67,330
Rhode Island $67,470
South Carolina $63,520
South Dakota $54,860
Tennessee $63,770
Texas $73,950
Utah $65,940
Vermont $65,790
Virginia $74,160
Washington $77,510
West Virginia $63,890
Wisconsin $57,990
Wyoming $76,670

Tools & Technologies Used by Cost Estimators

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Cost Estimators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Oracle Hyperion
  • Sage 50 Accounting
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Trimble SketchUp Pro

How to Become a Cost Estimator

Education needed to be a Cost Estimator:

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What work experience do I need to become a Cost Estimator?

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Where Cost Estimators Work

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Those interested in being a Cost Estimator may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Cost Estimator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Mike Moore via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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