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Working as a Cost Engineer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a cost engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $36.91 an hour? That's $76,768 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 2% and produce 8,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Cost Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many cost engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed speaking skills, initiative and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a cost engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.3% of cost engineers included project management, while 10.6% of resumes included construction projects, and 6.9% of resumes included cost analysis. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the cost engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most cost engineers actually find jobs in the construction and technology industries.

How To Become a Cost Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a cost engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 55.6% of cost engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 30.8% of cost engineers have master's degrees. Even though most cost engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a cost engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a cost engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on cost engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a cost engineer. In fact, many cost engineer jobs require experience in a role such as project engineer. Meanwhile, many cost engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as project controls engineer or cost analyst.

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Average Salary$76,768
Job Growth Rate2%

Cost Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Cost Engineer

Top Careers After Cost Engineer

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Cost Engineer

Cost Engineers in America make an average salary of $76,768 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $105,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $55,000 per year.
Average Salary
$76,768

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range77k - 125k$99k$98,646
Austin, TX
Salary Range72k - 117k$92k$91,883
Washington, DC
Salary Range68k - 103k$84k$84,118
Anchorage, AK
Salary Range61k - 100k$78k$78,275
Arlington, VA
Salary Range62k - 94k$77k$76,995
Washington, MI
Salary Range62k - 92k$76k$76,254
$48k
$125k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Cost Engineer
Cost Engineer
Aerotek
Aerotek
11/18/2020
11/18/2020
$45,91411/18/2020
$45,914
Usa-Cost Manager/Cost Engineer/Planning Manager Chattanooga, Tenn REF
Usa-Cost Manager/Cost Engineer/Planning Manager Chattanooga, Tenn REF
ESR Healthcare
ESR Healthcare
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$60,52310/27/2020
$60,523
Cost Engineer
Cost Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
10/15/2020
10/15/2020
$62,61010/15/2020
$62,610
Cost Engineer
Cost Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
10/06/2020
10/06/2020
$104,35010/06/2020
$104,350
Cost Engineer
Cost Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
09/19/2020
09/19/2020
$62,61009/19/2020
$62,610
See More Recent Salaries

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Cost Engineer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Cost Engineer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Cost Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Cost Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Cost Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

68.6 %

female

25.2 %

unknown

6.2 %

Ethnicity

White

67.7 %

Asian

15.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.4 %

Mandarin

7.1 %

Chinese

5.9 %
See More Demographics

Cost Engineer Education

Majors

Business
24.5 %

Degrees

Bachelors

55.6 %

Masters

30.8 %

Associate

5.1 %

Top Colleges for Cost Engineers

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

2. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

7. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

8. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

9. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

10. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Cost Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.3% of cost engineers listed project management on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and initiative are important as well.

  • Project Management, 13.3%
  • Construction Projects, 10.6%
  • Cost Analysis, 6.9%
  • Project Controls, 6.6%
  • Cost Data, 4.6%
  • Other Skills, 58.0%
  • See All Cost Engineer Skills

Best States For a Cost Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a cost engineer. The best states for people in this position are Texas, Rhode Island, California, and Massachusetts. Cost engineers make the most in Texas with an average salary of $91,324. Whereas in Rhode Island and California, they would average $90,068 and $90,001, respectively. While cost engineers would only make an average of $87,313 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Texas

Total Cost Engineer Jobs:
2,925
Highest 10% Earn:
$142,000
Location Quotient:
1.04
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Massachusetts

Total Cost Engineer Jobs:
1,567
Highest 10% Earn:
$127,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Cost Engineer Jobs:
318
Highest 10% Earn:
$118,000
Location Quotient:
1.43
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Cost Engineer Employers

1. Bechtel
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$71,033
Cost Engineers Hired: 
122+
2. Jacobs Engineering Group
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$84,881
Cost Engineers Hired: 
99+
3. Exxon Mobil
5.0
Avg. Salary: 
$90,896
Cost Engineers Hired: 
36+
4. Turner Construction
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$80,883
Cost Engineers Hired: 
34+
5. Fluor Corporation
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$98,836
Cost Engineers Hired: 
28+
6. General Motors
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$81,265
Cost Engineers Hired: 
24+
Updated October 2, 2020