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Cost Estimators

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What Does it Take to Be a Cost Estimator?

Cost Estimator Definition 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.

Life As a Cost Estimator

  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
  • Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
  • Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.
  • Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.
  • Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.

Cost Estimator Required Skills

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

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

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

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

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

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.

Types of Cost Estimator Jobs

  • Project Estimator
  • Contract Analyst
  • Civil Estimator
  • Job Estimator
  • Mechanical Estimator

Is There Job Demand for Cost Estimators?

There were about 217,900 jobs for Cost Estimators in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.5% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 22,900 new jobs for Cost Estimators by 2026. There will be an estimated 24,400 positions for Cost Estimator per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Cost Estimators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Cost Estimators are California, Florida, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Cost Estimators Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Cost Estimators is somewhere between $38,060 and $107,940. A Cost Estimator median salary is $64,040.

Salary Ranges for Cost Estimators

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

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$93,880

Alaska

$83,450

Hawaii

$82,390

California

$78,190

Massachusetts

$77,670

Washington

$77,510

Wyoming

$76,670

New York

$75,730

New Jersey

$75,340

Connecticut

$74,910

Virginia

$74,160

Texas

$73,950

Colorado

$73,110

Maryland

$71,650

Oregon

$71,490

North Dakota

$69,010

Delaware

$68,690

Louisiana

$67,650

Missouri

$67,620

New Hampshire

$67,610

Rhode Island

$67,470

Pennsylvania

$67,330

Georgia

$67,190

Nevada

$66,650

Kansas

$66,500

Illinois

$66,480

Arizona

$66,410

Utah

$65,940

Indiana

$65,790

Vermont

$65,790

Minnesota

$65,520

Kentucky

$65,460

Ohio

$64,700

Oklahoma

$64,300

West Virginia

$63,890

Michigan

$63,810

Tennessee

$63,770

South Carolina

$63,520

North Carolina

$62,590

Iowa

$62,410

Florida

$62,370

Maine

$61,960

Arkansas

$61,500

Idaho

$60,400

Mississippi

$60,360

Alabama

$59,870

New Mexico

$59,580

Nebraska

$59,160

Montana

$58,960

Wisconsin

$57,990

South Dakota

$54,860

What Tools & Technology do Cost Estimators Use?

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

  • Microsoft Visio
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Trimble SketchUp Pro
  • Autodesk Revit
  • ConEst IntelliBid Design Build
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Dynamics

Where do Cost Estimators Work?

Cost Estimator Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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

  • Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products
  • Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products
  • Tax Preparers

Are you already one of the many Cost Estimators in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Transportation Engineers
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Actuaries

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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