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 185,400 cost estimators employed in the United States.


Quick Facts
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
Alternate Title(s) None
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Excellent
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide, with particular focus on government and large commercial areas
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
Related School Subjects
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
Experience Relevant experience in a specialty industry, such as mechanical engineering; on-the-job training
Skills
  • Business Management
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
Personality Traits
  • Organized
  • Realistic
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Recommended
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Chief Estimator
  • Cost Estimator
  • Construction or Production Worker

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