Cost Estimators

Cost estimators use standard estimating techniques to calculate the cost of a construction or manufacturing project. They help contractors, owners, and project planners determine how much a project or product will cost to decide if it is economically viable. There are approximately 216,270 cost estimators employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Plan and troubleshoot projects with owners, architects, engineers, and contractors; identify all cost items (e.g., site preparation; labor, materials); gather information and measurements; prepare estimates using job notes, blueprints, and supporting documentation; calculate estimates using software programs
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide, with particular focus on government and large commercial areas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship or co-op
Personality Traits
  • Organized
  • Realistic
  • Technical
Skills
  • Business Management
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Excellent
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Chief Estimator or Consultant
  • Cost Estimator
  • Construction or Production Worker