What Does a Cost Estimator Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More


Before committing to mission, whether or not it entails construction or manufacturing, maximum entities want to recognize how an awful lot it'll fee and the way lengthy it's going to take to complete. This is in which a price estimator comes in. He or she calculates the approximate fees of completing a undertaking, taking into consideration production time and assets together with exertions, raw materials, and gadget.

Cost Estimator Duties & Responsibilities

As a part of their day's ordinary obligations and obligations, a cost estimator can also carry out some or all the following:

  • Obtain material pricing and arrange all the data important to create and post proposals to customers
  • Use particular spreadsheets and organisation-accredited formulas to calculate the projected fees of proposed projects
  • Review blueprints and product specs to as it should be determine the quantities of substances wished
  • Solicit and overview subcontractor proposals and assist with settlement negotiations
  • Document total materials needed, including element regarding all codes, manufacturers, and speak to records essential to procedure orders
  • Work with numerous involved events, along with designers, architects, owner's reps, and popular contractors

Cost Estimator Salary

A value estimator's earnings varies based totally at the vicinity of know-how, level of experience, training, certifications, and different elements.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

Education, Training & Certification

The cost estimator role entails pleasant schooling, training, and other requirements as follows:

  • Education: You do not need a bachelor's diploma to work on this discipline, but given that many employers choose to lease activity applicants who've one, incomes a university diploma makes experience. It may be in a topic associated with the industry in which you plan to paintings. For example, if your intention is to become a creation fee estimator, get a degree in creation management, but if you want to paintings in manufacturing, you could earn a diploma in engineering, statistics, or bodily sciences. Alternatively, you might decide, instead, to get a enterprise-associated diploma. Some alternatives to consider are finance, accounting, or economics. A sturdy historical past in math is likewise vital.
  • Training: A degree can also get you a task, however don't count on to paintings independently until the business enterprise who hires you trains you to estimate projects the manner it does it. Every agency has its personal technique for doing things, and that they want their personnel schooled in it. This on-the-activity schooling can also take several months or maybe a few years.
  • Experience: Most employers will hire only process candidates who have already labored in the industry wherein they may be searching for a process as a fee estimator. You can get this experience via doing an internship or running inside the enterprise in another ability.
  • Certification: Although one does not ought to be certified to work as a price estimator, some employers will handiest rent activity applicants who're. Three businesses that provide certification are the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE), the Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating International (AACE), and the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA). All three businesses require applicants for certification to pass a written examination. To come to be licensed by way of the ASPE, individuals have to pass assessments as well as write a technical paper. For an individual to preserve certification, the three agencies require persevering with education or re-examination.

Cost Estimator Skills & Competencies

In addition to schooling and different necessities, applicants that possess the following capabilities may be capable of perform more efficiently in the activity:

  • Analytical competencies: You need to have the ability to analyze venture requirements to appropriately estimate prices for every factor.
  • Listening and verbal verbal exchange competencies: You'll need to speak efficiently, virtually, and successfully with numerous clients, colleagues, suppliers, and different events.
  • Critical questioning: Critical thinking and stable decision-making capabilities are a ought to on this job.
  • Time management capabilities: You ought to be capable of juggle more than one obligations and offer cost estimates in a well timed manner to assist projects live on time and on budget.
  • Detail orientated: Project plans involve a huge diploma of specific facts, and value-estimating errors may be potentially expensive.

Job Outlook

The task outlook on this area is promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts activity increase could be 11%, that is faster than the common of seven% for all occupations among 2016 and 2026. This growth is driven by way of persevered boom in the creation enterprise.

Work Environment

Employers include strong point change contractors, building creation firms, producers, automotive restore and protection businesses, and civil engineering companies.

Work Schedule

Most jobs are complete-time positions, and 25% of fee estimators work over forty hours in keeping with week. 

How to Get the Job


Highlight relevant enjoy in your resume and consider completing any additional coursework or certifications that might help you benefit an area inside the hiring process.


 Attend industry and change employer events to community and meet capability hiring managers and referral resources.


Look at job-seek resources like Indeed.com, Monster.com, and Glassdoor.com for available positions. You also can go to your college career center to locate process openings.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People interested in a value estimator profession also recollect the following career paths, listed with their median annual salaries:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018