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Cost Estimator

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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

Cost Estimators Career Video

About This Career

Prepares 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.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Collects historical cost data to estimate costs for current or future products.
  • Consults with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments, or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
  • Prepares estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
  • Analyzes blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Confers with engineers, architects, owners, contractors, and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Assesses cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
  • Prepares estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
  • Sets up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
  • Establishes and maintains tendering process, and conducts negotiations.
  • Prepares and maintains a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Acquisition Cost Estimator
  • Construction Estimator
  • Cost Analyst — Researches and analyzes costs for an organization's projects, departments and future ventures to provide information and insights about expenses and determine profitability margins.
  • Cost Consultant
  • Cost Engineer
  • Estimator — Analyzes blueprints, specifications, proposals, and other documentation to prepare time, cost, and labor estimates for products, projects, or services, applying knowledge of specialized methodologies, techniques, principles, or processes.