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Become A Cost Engineer

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Working As A Cost Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $86,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Cost Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Cost Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Cost Engineer Career Paths

Cost Engineer
Project Controls Engineer Project Manager
Contract Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Engineer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Business Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Project Scheduler
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Project Leader Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Project Scheduler Master Scheduler
Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Project Planner Project Analyst
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Manager Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Construction Manager Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Accountant Senior Finance Analyst
Cost Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Team Leader Group Leader
Section Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Office Manager Assistant Controller
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Purchasing Manager Manufacturing Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Estimator Superintendent Quality Control Manager
Controls Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Development Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Estimator Estimator Project Manager Operations Project Manager
Deputy Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Cost Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$86,000
Show Salaries
$60,000
Min 10%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$123,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Chevron
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Cost Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Cost Engineer in the United States is $86,310 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $60,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $123,000.

Real Cost Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Cost Engineer Cockram Construction Inc. Cambridge, MI Jan 02, 2016 $216,735
Cost Engineer Estimator NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Sep 30, 2013 $215,000
Cost Engineer Estimator NES Global, LLC Spring, TX Jun 19, 2014 $215,000
Principal Cost Engineer Rio Tinto Services Inc. South Jordan, UT Dec 05, 2014 $139,725 -
$159,725
Cost Engineer (Quantity Surveying) Turner & Townsend Inc. Houston, TX Jul 21, 2014 $130,000
Lead Cost Engineer SK E&C USA, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 04, 2015 $126,000
Project Cost Engineer Taurus Project Controls Consulting, Inc. Andover, MA Jul 25, 2016 $120,000
Cost Engineer (Aerospace) Price Systems, LLC Mount Laurel, NJ Jul 11, 2016 $110,000
Cost Engineer Moody International Americas, Inc. Anchorage, AK Sep 04, 2013 $108,900
Cost Engineer Intertek Industry Services Anchorage, AK Aug 28, 2013 $108,900
Drilling and Completions Cost Engineer Talisman Energy USA Inc. The Woodlands, TX Jan 15, 2015 $107,920 -
$142,720
Cost Engineer Cockram Construction Inc. Oceanside, CA Mar 21, 2016 $106,124
Cost Engineer Cockram Construction Inc. Lexington, MA Jan 06, 2016 $106,124
Cost Engineer Kyyba Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Aug 03, 2016 $91,811
Project Cost Engineer Currie & Brown, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Jan 12, 2016 $91,790 -
$150,000
Cost Engineer Citgo Petroleum Lemont, IL Jan 16, 2015 $91,270
Cost Engineer Skanska USA Civil Northeast, Inc. NY Oct 01, 2014 $91,000
Cost and Schedule Engineer Exxonmobil Research and Engineering Company Fairfax, VA Sep 01, 2013 $90,923 -
$109,500
Cost Engineer Citgo Petroleum Corporation Lemont, IL Sep 18, 2014 $90,800
Schedule/Cost Engineer JCMS, Inc. Mercerville, NJ Sep 11, 2015 $89,648
Schedule/Cost Engineer JCMS, Inc. New York, NY Oct 16, 2014 $89,559
Cost Out Engineer Electrolux Home Products, Inc. Anderson, SC Oct 01, 2015 $76,680
Cost Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Portland, TX Aug 02, 2016 $75,540 -
$78,000
Project Cost Engineer Cintra Us Services LLC Austin, TX Nov 01, 2014 $75,000
Project Cost Engineer Cintra Us Services LLC Austin, TX Aug 26, 2015 $75,000
Project Cost Engineer Cintra Us Services LLC Austin, TX Feb 18, 2015 $75,000
Vehicle Cost Engineer Altair Productdesign, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Aug 20, 2016 $73,588
Cost Engineer Technology Resource Group, LLC Auburn Hills, MI Dec 09, 2016 $72,800
Project & Cost Engineer Turner Construction Company Boston, MA May 09, 2016 $71,386 -
$82,342

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Top Skills for A Cost Engineer

  1. Project Management
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Project Cost Reports
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in monthly Project Management meetings with Project Managers and Cost Engineers providing any necessary support and documentation as needed.
  • Consolidate information to prepare financial statements in order to quote new programs for the automobile industry.
  • Reviewed project cost reports with management identified the problem areas for corrective action.
  • Specialized in improving forecasting accuracy, implementing cost control processes and establishing reporting structures.
  • Project engineering- Cost Savings Projects throughout Organization.

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Top 10 Best States for Cost Engineers

  1. New Mexico
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New Hampshire
  4. California
  5. Alabama
  6. Texas
  7. Vermont
  8. Washington
  9. Virginia
  10. District of Columbia
  • (246 jobs)
  • (1,567 jobs)
  • (318 jobs)
  • (6,731 jobs)
  • (510 jobs)
  • (2,925 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (1,196 jobs)
  • (1,560 jobs)
  • (274 jobs)

Cost Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,072 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.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Cost Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

Cost Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

64.4%

Female

23.7%

Unknown

11.9%
Ethnicity

White

56.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

10.3%

Unknown

5.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.4%

Mandarin

7.1%

Chinese

5.9%

German

5.9%

French

5.9%

Arabic

5.9%

Portuguese

4.7%

Korean

4.7%

Russian

3.5%

Turkish

2.4%

Italian

2.4%

Swedish

1.2%

Hawaiian

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Dari

1.2%

Polish

1.2%

Thai

1.2%
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Cost Engineer Education

Schools

University of Houston

12.0%

Pennsylvania State University

7.9%

University of Phoenix

7.9%

Texas A&M University

6.2%

Colorado State University

6.2%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.8%

Clemson University

5.8%

Purdue University

5.4%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.7%

Lamar University

3.7%

New York University

3.3%

Wayne State University

3.3%

University of Washington

3.3%

Auburn University

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.3%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.3%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.3%

Mississippi State University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

25.6%

Civil Engineering

12.5%

Mechanical Engineering

11.0%

Construction Management

7.8%

Accounting

6.4%

Industrial Engineering

5.8%

Finance

5.0%

Project Management

4.3%

Engineering

3.0%

Management

2.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.7%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Industrial Technology

1.8%

Economics

1.8%

Marketing

1.4%

Construction Engineering

1.3%

Drafting And Design

1.2%

Chemical Engineering

1.1%

Computer Science

1.0%

Education

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.5%

Masters

26.6%

Other

13.5%

Certificate

3.9%

Associate

3.8%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.2%
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