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 202,600 cost estimators employed in the United States.

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 computer 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
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Organized
  • Realistic
  • Technical
  • Business Management
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Excellent
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Chief Estimator
  • Cost Estimator
  • Construction or Production Worker

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