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Cost Estimator

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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.

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

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.

Salary Ranges for Cost Estimators

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
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

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
  • 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

Becoming a Cost Estimator

What kind of Cost Estimator requirements are there?

Cost Estimator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Cost Estimator Work Experience

Cost Estimators Sector

Cost Estimator Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Cost Estimators work:

Cost Estimator Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Cost Estimator might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Cost Estimator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Mike Moore via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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