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.
List of Cost Estimator Job Duties
- Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
- Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
- Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.
- Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
- Visit site and record information about access, drainage and topography, and availability of services such as water and electricity.
- Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments, or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
Things a Cost Estimator Should Know How to Do
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.
Other Cost Estimator Job Titles
- Chief Estimator
- Cost and Risk Analysis Manager
- Estimator Project Manager
- Project Estimator
- Job Estimator
Cost Estimator Employment Estimates
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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 24,400 job openings in this field each year.
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.
Cost Estimator Average 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 & Technology 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
Becoming a Cost Estimator
What kind of Cost Estimator requirements are there?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Cost Estimators Sector
Below are examples of industries where Cost Estimators work:
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
Career changers with experience as a Cost Estimator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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