Cost Estimators

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$71,200 Median Wage (2022)
18,000 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
-2.80% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 year, up to and including 2 years

Detailed Work Activities

  • Analyze business or financial data.
  • Estimate costs of goods or services.
  • Monitor financial indicators.
  • Assess the cost effectiveness of products, projects, or services.
  • Confer with personnel to coordinate business operations.
  • Confer with others about financial matters.
  • Prepare financial documents.
  • Maintain data in information systems or databases.
  • Develop business or financial information systems.
  • Establish business management methods.
  • Negotiate agreements to resolve disputes.
  • Collect data about project sites.
  • Inspect work sites to determine condition or necessary repairs.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors, and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Collect historical cost data to estimate costs for current or future products.
  • Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
  • Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments, or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
  • Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
  • Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
  • Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
  • Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
  • Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.
  • Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.
  • Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to reduce cost.
  • Visit site and record information about access, drainage and topography, and availability of utility services.
  • Prepare and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.