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A bachelor’s degree is generally required to become a cost estimator, although some highly experienced construction workers may qualify without a bachelor’s degree.Education
Employers generally prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. A strong background in mathematics is essential.
Construction cost estimators typically need a bachelor’s degree in an industry-related field, such as construction management, building science, or engineering.
Those interested in estimating manufacturing costs typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, business, or finance.Training
Some newly hired cost estimators may receive on-the-job training, depending on their experience. Training may include learning a company’s cost-estimating software and techniques.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Some employers prefer that construction cost estimators, particularly those without a bachelor’s degree, have previous work experience in the construction industry. For example, experienced electricians and plumbers can become construction cost estimators if they have the necessary construction knowledge and math skills.
Candidates interested in becoming cost estimators can also gain experience through internships and cooperative education programs.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Voluntary certification can show competence and experience in the field. In some instances, employers may require professional certification before hiring.
The following organizations offer a variety of certifications:
Estimators must generally have at least 2 years of estimating experience and must pass a written exam to become certified.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Cost estimators consider and evaluate different construction and manufacturing methods and options to determine the most cost-effective solution that meets the required specifications.
Detail oriented. Cost estimators must pay attention to details, as minor changes can significantly affect the overall cost of a project or product.
Math skills. Cost estimators calculate labor, material, and equipment cost estimates for construction projects. They use software, such as spreadsheets and databases, and they need excellent math skills to accurately calculate these estimates.
Time-management skills. Cost estimators often work on fixed deadlines, so they must plan their work in advance and work efficiently and accurately.
Writing skills. Cost estimators write comprehensive reports, which often help managers make production decisions.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Project Estimator
Top Careers After Project Estimator
Hispanic or Latino12.1%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix10.8%
Texas A&M University6.9%
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona4.9%
Kansas State University4.9%
University of Houston4.9%
Eastern Kentucky University4.9%
Florida International University4.9%
University of Miami4.9%
University of Alabama3.9%
University of North Florida3.9%
Ferris State University3.9%
Arizona State University3.9%
Texas Tech University3.9%
California State University - Sacramento3.9%
University of Utah3.9%
Louisiana State University and A&M College3.9%
Baton Rouge Community College3.9%
Louisiana Tech University3.9%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Senior Project Estimator||Safway Atlantic, LLC||Carlstadt, NJ||Apr 17, 2015||$172,682|
|Project Estimator Principal||Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc.||Glendale, CA||Aug 15, 2016||$140,000|
|Senior Project Estimator||Foster Wheeler USA Corporation||Houston, TX||Oct 25, 2010||$110,000|
|Project Estimator||Reidy Contracting Group LLC||New York, NY||Mar 17, 2014||$107,510|
|Project Estimator||Reidy Contracting Group LLC||New York, NY||Mar 21, 2014||$107,510|
|Senior Project Estimator II||Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 01, 2010||$102,107 -
|Project Estimator||Sky Materials Corp.||NY||Sep 03, 2015||$100,000|
|Project Estimator||Willbros United States Holdings, Inc.||Houston, TX||Aug 26, 2013||$100,000|
|Construction Project Estimator||FLBE Inc.||Herndon, VA||Feb 20, 2015||$97,739|
|Project Estimator||J.T. Magen & Company, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 23, 2013||$95,000|
|Project Estimator||Richter and Ratner Contracting Corp.||New York, NY||Jul 15, 2015||$92,000|
|Project Estimator||Kitchell Contractors||Del Mar, CA||Sep 05, 2016||$90,000|
|Project Estimator||Kitchell Contractors||Del Mar, CA||Apr 04, 2016||$90,000|
|Project Estimator||Kitchell Contractors, Inc. of Arizona||Phoenix, AZ||Sep 25, 2015||$90,000|
|Project Estimator I||CB&I Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 01, 2012||$80,534 -
|Integrated Project Delivery Estimator||Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.||Irving, TX||Nov 07, 2014||$80,230|
|Project Estimator||FH Martin Constructors||Warren, MI||Jun 04, 2008||$80,000|
|Project Estimator||Black & Veatch Corporation||Overland Park, KS||Dec 14, 2015||$77,397 -
|Project Estimator Lead||Contico Corp||Edison, NJ||Oct 02, 2012||$75,000|
|Project Estimator Lead||Contico Corp||Edison, NJ||May 07, 2012||$75,000|
|Project Estimator||Cg Power Solutions USA, Inc.||Albany, NY||Oct 26, 2013||$72,481|
|Project Estimator||Benchmark Construction Company, Inc.||Brownstown, PA||Sep 18, 2014||$60,000|
|Project Estimator||Nathelyne A. Kennedy & Associates, LP||Houston, TX||Aug 09, 2015||$60,000|
|Project Estimator||Minkoff Company Inc.||Beltsville, MD||Mar 02, 2012||$57,593|
|Junior Project Estimator||Ks Engineers, P.C.||Newark, NJ||Sep 20, 2012||$56,432|
|Infrastructure Project Estimator||Keller & Kirkpatrick, Inc.||Morris Plains, NJ||Sep 06, 2012||$56,000|
|Project Estimator||J.T. Magen & Company, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 20, 2010||$55,000|
|Project Estimator||J.T. Magen & Company, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 23, 2010||$55,000|
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