Cost Estimators
SOC: 13-1051.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
213,500 employed

Projected (2024):
232,300 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Building Construction Estimator
  • Building Estimator
  • Construction Estimator
  • Construction Job Cost Estimator
  • Contract Analyst
  • Cost Analyst
  • Cost Estimator
  • Cost Recovery/Investment Recovery Technician
  • Crating and Moving Estimator
  • Design Consultant
  • Electrical Estimator
  • Environmental Marketing Specialist
  • Estimator
  • Estimator Project Manager
  • Job Cost Estimator
  • Job Estimator
  • Operations Manager
  • Procurement Technician
  • Production Cost Estimator
  • Project Estimator
  • Project Manager
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Sales Engineer
  • Service Advisor

  • 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.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • 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.
  • Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
  • Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
  • Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
  • 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.
  • Prepare and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.
  • Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
  • Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
  • Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
  • Visit site and record information about access, drainage and topography, and availability of services such as water and electricity.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Desktop computers
  • Notebook computers
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Scanners
  • Tablet computers
  • Apple AppleWorks
  • Assured Software JPP
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Choice Job Cost
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
  • ConEst BidTrac
  • ConEst Electrical Formulas
  • ConEst Intellibid
  • ConEst IntelliBid Design Build
  • ConEst JobTrac
  • ConEst Permit Trac
  • ConEst SureCount
  • ConEst T&M Billing Manager
  • Construction Management Software ProEst
  • Corel QuattroPro
  • Cost accounting software
  • Cost estimation software
  • CPR International GeneralCOST Estimator
  • CPR Visual Estimator
  • Decisioneering Crystal Ball
  • EFI Hagen OA
  • Galorath SEER software
  • Galorath SEER-SEM
  • HCSS HeavyBid
  • HCSS HeavyJob
  • Hyperion software
  • IBM Costimater
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Intuit QuickBooks software
  • JD Edwards software
  • Laserfiche Avante
  • Logic Software Easy Projects.NET
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Business Contact Manager
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Word
  • National Job Cost software
  • Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management software
  • Oracle software
  • Palisade @Risk
  • PRICE Sytems TruePlanning
  • Primavera Cost Management
  • Resources Calculations Incorporated SoftCost
  • Sage 100 Contractor
  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate
  • SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports
  • SAP software
  • Softstar Costar COCOMO II
  • Software AG software
  • WinEstimator WinEst
  • Xactware Xactimate

  • business and financial operations

    industry stats

    SOC: 13-0000

    Total Employed: 7,032,560

    Average Annual Salary: $73,800