What is the job of a Cost Estimator?

Cost Estimator


Who is a Cost Estimator?

A Cost Estimator is a professional who focuses on assessing and calculating the time, resources, and labor required for projects. This can be construction, manufacture, or production of services. He or she does this by data collection and analysis. This implies that they work with project managers, construction superintendents, and similar staff.

Their job description is very important for businesses. With their analysis, companies can also successfully secure contracts with trusted information.

Also, in their estimates, they are very open and give allowances for positive and negative adjustments in cases of any unforeseen circumstance. They are also good to record keepers, as recorded experiences of the past go a long way in simplifying future analysis. 

Their duties also require the use of certain software and databases to make proper estimates, especially in construction projects. Additionally, they work with Engineers and other building contractors as well.

Furthermore, Cost Estimators can choose an area to specialize in, such as Manufacturing or Construction. They are usually graduates of fields around Business or Construction. Also, most professionals get to practice with just a Bachelor’s degree.

To find out more about these hardworking staff, keep reading till the end.

Responsibilities of a Cost Estimator

Cost Estimator

The duties and responsibilities of Cost Estimators include but are not limited to the following:

  • Working together with the project, construction, or manufacturing staff in harmony.
  • Calculating how much is left for new projects.
  • Calculating the time required for a new project.
  • Researching on ways to prepare better estimates that are best for the company at her current level.
  • Holding meetings with architects, engineers, and other core professionals involved in building projects to get the best information.
  • Ensuring proper documentation of past works as they’ll be very useful in similar future works.
  • Making provisions for positive and negative adjustments in estimates.
  • Recommending better ways of securing or attaining certain goals for the company based on research, etc.

Qualifications for practice as a Cost Estimator

As stated earlier, most companies employ staff with Bachelor’s degrees for this position. As seen from their responsibilities, the position is quite sensitive as it can help secure contracts and even facilitate projects.

A list of the qualifications for practice in the United States include:

  • Firstly, a bachelor’s degree in Construction or Business related field.
  • Secondly, work experience in the construction or manufacturing industry.
  • Thirdly, training such as cost estimation techniques and software, computer-aided design (CAD), or building information modeling (BIM).

Moreover, certain skills are also necessary to succeed well in this position. Employers also look out for them. Some of these include:

  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Time management skills.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Precision and accuracy.
  • Ability to work well under pressure.
  • Ability to pay attention to details.
  • Good observation skills.
  • Mathematical skills.
  • Proficiency in the use of related computer software.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Problem-solving skills, among others.


Cost Estimators earn about $71,450, a year in the United States. They can also earn more, depending on the company size and their competency, among other reasons. It can also be as high as $144,360. Generally, those in construction companies earn more than those in manufacturing industries.  

Job Opportunities

Cost Estimators can work in different places Some of them include:

  • Manufacturing industries.
  • Construction Companies.
  • Construction sites.
  • High technology engineering companies among others.

Mostly, they work full time, which is up to 40 hours a week. This, however, does not include weekends and public holidays. Their job description can also require them to do market surveys, hold meetings, and go to construction sites. 

Career Path

Cost Estimators get to practice with just a Bachelor’s degree. Because it is not a promotional position, there’s usually no rush for improvement in educational qualification. Even if this happens, staff end up delving into other careers with better pay. Moreover, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 1% job growth by 2030.


Cost Estimators perform very important duties in construction or manufacturing firms. Their job is more of forecasting and employing results in helping the company achieve more goals. 

Also, it can be attained with just a Bachelor’s degree in addition to relevant skills. For this reason, it is worth considering, particularly for starters. 

Furthermore, it also offers on-the-job training for skills that can also be applied in other careers.

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