Cost Estimators helps professionals in cost estimator careers find better opportunities across all specialties and locations.

Also known as:  Construction Estimator, Construction Job Cost Estimator, Crating and Moving Estimator, Electrical Estimator, Job Estimator, Production Cost Estimator


Accurately predicting the cost of future projects is vital to the survival of any business, and that is why a good cost estimator is a valuable employee. Estimators analyze cost factors like materials, labor, location, and machinery. Then they report this information to company management.

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st cost estimators have college degrees, but many have years of related job experience. Sixty percent of the jobs are in the construction industry, where managers prefer degrees in building construction, construction management, civil engineering, or architecture. Another 26% work in manufacturing, and the rest in areas like design or consulting.

In the manufacturing sector, employers look for a college degree in mathematics, business administration, operations research, or engineering. Cost estimators rely on mathematical skills and the ability to quickly analyze detailed information, plus communication and interpersonal skills. They use computer software for complex calculations and to organize their data.

Although estimators normally work a 40-hour week, overtime and deadline pressure are common. In construction jobs, they may visit dirty work sites; in manufacturing, the factory floor. Frequent travel is common. Talented estimators are company heroes who win new accounts, earn profits, and gain rewards in higher pay and prestige.
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.
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
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Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
Prepare and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.
Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.
Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
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.
Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
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.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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.
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.
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