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Cost Estimator Salary

Cost Estimators in the United States can expect to earn an average of $52K per year. In the world of Cost Estimators, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $6K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $5K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $32K and $82K. Geography and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Cost Estimators who answered the questionnnaire. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and more than half earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$35,601 - $82,820
(Median)
$36K
$52K
$83K
MEDIAN: $51,542
10%
50%
90%

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$12.83 - $30.58
(Median)
$13
$18
$31
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$35,601 - $82,820  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,030  
Profit Sharing
$194.89 - $5,083  
Commission
$0.00 - $14,544  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$32,367 - $81,697  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 805
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$12.83 - $30.58  
   
Overtime
$16.81 - $41.80  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,030  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $14,544  
Profit Sharing
$194.89 - $5,083  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$32,367 - $81,697  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 289

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Cost Estimator

Whether the final product is a skyscraper or a tube of toothpaste, most companies need a professional to estimate the production costs for their products. A cost estimator predicts manufacturing price of a product using their analytical and technical skills. Their typical day includes analyzing labor, material, and time requirements for manufacturing proposals or construction blueprints to calculate the costs of production; they may also occasionally visit the site of production. As they are tasked with preparing cost estimates to ensure a projected project can be successfully and efficiently completed, they create cost-estimate reports and often make presentations to other members of the production team. Additionally, a cost estimator normally work alongside other professionals such as designers, architects, contractors, construction managers, and engineers.

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Cost Estimator Tasks

  • Make new cost estimates as project progresses, and discuss changes with engineers, contractors, and clients.
  • Conduct research to determine needs for personnel, machinery, materials, and other factors which affect costs.
  • Produce cost estimates for a project based on project plans and discussions with clients and engineers.
  • Analyze current processes, personnel, and materials to identify methods for reducing costs.

Common Career Paths for Cost Estimator


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Cost Estimators don't often assume a higher-end position such as a Senior Estimator. Employees in that role get paid an average $80K per year. Career advancement for the typical Cost Estimator often leads to becoming a Construction Estimator or a Cost Estimating Manager; median salaries in these positions are $2K higher and $27K higher, respectively.

Cost Estimator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Estimator


Cost Estimators report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Financial Analysis, Construction Estimating, Project Management, and Microsoft Excel are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like AutoCAD and Blueprints. Those educated in Blueprints tend to be well versed in Microsoft Office and Construction Estimating.

Pay by Experience Level for Cost Estimator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Cost Estimators, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $44K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $54K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Cost Estimators make a median salary of $59K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $60K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


For Cost Estimators, working in the bustling city of Detroit has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Cost Estimators will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+48 percent), Seattle (+39 percent), Washington (+23 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). Fort Worth is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 13 percent. Akron and Atlanta are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 10 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Cost Estimator Salaries




National Average
$50,000


Skills That Affect Cost Estimator Salaries


Construction Estimating
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

National Average
$50,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Blueprints
up arrow 4%

up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 195 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 79% dental benefits Dental: 62%
vision benefits Vision: 48% employee benefits None: 20%
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