Cost Estimator Salary
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.Read More...
Although cost estimators can be found within a variety of industries, most work in the manufacturing sector. Cost estimating is considered a professional position that includes working regular business hours in an office setting. It is a high-pressure job which requires a keen eye for detail; several cost estimators may work on different parts of the same production project at the same time.
Although a college degree is not required to enter this profession, a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business, or economics is generally preferred for this position. Additionally, previous experience in cost estimating may be required or preferred by employers.
Cost Estimator Tasks
- 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.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Cost Estimator
For Cost Estimators, transitioning into a Senior Estimator role — where the average salary $82K per year — is a rare occurrence. With an annual salary of $52K, Construction Estimator is the most common role for Cost Estimators to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Production Estimator role — which usually pays $46K — is also typical for Cost Estimators, though less common by comparison.
Cost Estimator Job Listings
Search for more jobs:
Popular Employer Salaries for Cost Estimator
Popular Skills for Cost Estimator
Cost Estimators generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, skills in Financial Analysis, Data Analysis, Construction Estimating, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include AutoCAD and Blueprints. Most people who know Blueprints also know 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.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Cost Estimators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $46K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $54K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Cost Estimators make a median salary of $59K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $60K.
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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+43 percent), San Diego (+38 percent), Washington (+36 percent), and Houston (+29 percent). The lowest-paying market is Milwaukee, which sits 14 percent below the national average. On the whole, employers pay 12 percent below the median salary for those in this field in Denver and Akron.
Related Job Salaries
Key Stats for Cost Estimator
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 108 votes.