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Cost Estimator Salary

Cost Estimators in the United States pull down an average of $52K annually. In the world of Cost Estimators, total cash compensation ranges from $32K on the lower end to $82K on the higher end; this includes bonuses that reach $6K and profit sharing that approaches $5K in rare cases, with some high rollers snagging commissions as high as $23K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and the larger part earn dental coverage. Most Cost Estimators survey respondents are men (76 percent). Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$35,587 - $82,835
(Median)
$36K
$52K
$83K
MEDIAN: $51,526
10%
50%
90%

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$12.89 - $31.09
(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
$35,587 - $82,835  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,000  
Profit Sharing
$197.27 - $5,061  
Commission
$0.00 - $22,500  
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).
)
$32,438 - $81,699  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 804
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
$12.89 - $31.09  
   
Overtime
$16.90 - $41.68  
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 - $6,000  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $22,500  
Profit Sharing
$197.27 - $5,061  
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).
)
$32,438 - $81,699  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 294

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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 who move on to become Senior Estimators may enjoy significant pay raises, as Senior Estimators get paid an average of $80K per year. Cost Estimators most often move into positions as Construction Estimators or Cost Estimating Managers; those groups report median salaries that are $2K higher and $27K higher, respectively.

Cost Estimator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Estimator


Survey results imply that Cost Estimators put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Financial Analysis, Construction Estimating, Project Management, and Microsoft Excel 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.


Cost Estimators with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $44K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $55K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Cost Estimators bring in $59K after working for 10 to 20 years. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $60K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Cost Estimators, Detroit offers exceptional salaries, 57 percent above the national average. Cost Estimators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+48 percent), Seattle (+39 percent), Washington (+23 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). The lowest-paying market is Fort Worth, which sits 13 percent below the national average.

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 2%

Blueprints
up arrow 3%

up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 193 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 62%
vision benefits Vision: 48% employee benefits None: 20%
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