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Cost Estimator

Cost estimators collect and analyze data to estimate the time, money, resources, and labor required for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services. Some specialize in a particular industry or product type.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

Estimator, Cost Estimator, Estimator Project Manager, Project Manager, Construction Estimator, Cost Analyst, Design Consultant, Operations Manager, Sales Engineer



Cost estimators figure out how much a project or product will cost. This helps business owners and managers decide whether to build a structure or manufacture a product. If a business doesn't think it can make enough money, it will not do it. Cost estimators also find out which jobs are making a profit. The exact method of figuring out the cost varies, depending on the industry in which you work. Cost estimators study information on all of the things that can change the cost of a project. This includes supplies, labor, location, and special equipment, like computer hardware and software.

The following are the two primary types of cost estimators:

  • Manufacturing cost estimators calculate the costs of developing, producing, or redesigning a company’s goods and services. For example, a cost estimator working for a home appliance manufacturer may determine whether a new type of dishwasher will be profitable to manufacture.

  • Construction cost estimators estimate construction work. More than half of all cost estimators work in the construction industry. They may, for example, estimate the total cost of building a bridge or a highway. They may identify direct costs, such as raw materials and labor requirements, and set a timeline for the project. Although many work directly for construction firms, some work for contractors, architects, and engineering firms.


Educational Requirements

Those interested in estimating manufacturing costs typically need a bachelor's degree in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, or statistics. Construction cost estimators generally need a bachelor's degree in an industry-related field, such as construction management or building science. Some employers prefer candidates with backgrounds in business-related disciplines, such as accounting, finance, business, or economics.


Salary Information 2022

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a Cost Estimator in 2022 was $71,200.


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Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics: Cost Estimators.

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