What does a Cost Estimator do in 2019?

Becoming a Cost Estimator


Cost Estimator Salary



Job Growth






High School

Overview: What does a Cost Estimator do?

Cost estimators develop the cost information that business owners or managers need to make a bid for a contract or to determine if a proposed new product will be profitable. They also determine which endeavors are making a profit. Regardless of the industry in which they work, estimators compile and analyze data on all of the factors that can influence costs—such as materials, labor, location, and special machinery requirements, including computer hardware and software.

Advancement Opportunities: 97% of Average This calculation shows your opportunity for increases in earnings over time. It shows the relative strength of different careers as compared to each other
Average Starting Median income: $60,390
Return on Educational Investment: 100% of Average Shows the relative return on investment of an education beyond high school. The calculation uses potential earning levels over time adjusted for the cost and the time of additional education.
Job Growth: 3/5
Benefits: Yes
All scores range from 1-100. Higher scores are better with the exception of stress.
Bragging rights: 58/100 Based on prestige and social approval, fame and public recognition, high income, highly educated, clean versus “dirty” industry, and level of people you deal with.
Interesting Job: 30/100 Based on exciting subject or environment, variety of activities, fun interaction with people, creating versus completing, and learning interesting things.
Personal Freedom: 23/100 Based on controlling your work, not closely managed, choosing your assignments, tolerable rules and regulations, creative freedom, and setting your own hours.
Stress: 63/100 Based on Intense responsibility (life/death), continuous rejection, dealing with people’s problems, lack of control, quota or sales pressure, and work volume/time pressure.

This is a hypothetical illustration of how long it takes to earn millions of dollars in each job. The calculation is complex, but uses earnings at various points in each career from entry level to mature performer. Individual performance will vary.

Years to make $1,000,000 - 20 Years
Years to make $2,000,000 - 32 Years
Years to make $3,000,000 - 43 Years

Competency Fit: Financial

#1: Analysis: examining and investigating data in detail

#2: Attention to Detail: concentrating on small elements

#3: Complying with regulations: adhering to rules and laws

#4: Financial aptitude: knowledge and skill with money

#5: General mathematics: algebra, finance, business

Top Cost Estimator Books for beginners:

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