Cost Estimators

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.

Median Annual Wage: $60,050

Education: Bachelor's degree (64%); Associate's degree (14%); Some college, no degree (7%)

Projected Growth: Much faster than average (22% or higher)

Related Job Titles: Project Manager; Operations Manager; Estimator; Cost Estimator; Estimator Project Manager; Construction Estimator; Cost Analyst; Design Consultant; Sales Engineer

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Cost Estimators.

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  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
  • Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
  • Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.
  • 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.
  • Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
  • Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.
  • Prepare and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.
  • Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Cost Estimators.

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Management of Financial Resources - Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Cost Estimators.

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