What is a Cost Estimator?
Job 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.
Daily Life Of a Cost Estimator
- Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
- Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
- Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
- Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
- Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
- Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
What a Cost Estimator Should Know
When polled, Cost Estimators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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.
Related Job Titles
- Cost and Risk Analysis Manager
- Acquisition Cost Estimator
- Quantity Surveyor
- Cost Engineer
Is There Job Demand for Cost Estimators?
There were about 217,900 jobs for Cost Estimator in 2016 (in the United States). 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. The BLS estimates 24,400 yearly job openings in this field.
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 salary for Cost Estimators ranges between about $38,060 and $107,940 a year.
Cost Estimators who work in District of Columbia, Hawaii, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.
How much do Cost Estimators make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$93,880|
What Tools do Cost Estimators Use?
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
- 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
Learn what Cost Estimator education requirements there are.
What work experience do I need to become a Cost Estimator?
Where Cost Estimators Work
Cost Estimators work in the following industries:
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those thinking about becoming a Cost Estimator might also be interested in the following careers:
- Tax Preparers
- Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products
- Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products
Are you already one of the many Cost Estimator in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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