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
- 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
Cost Estimators who move on to become Senior Estimators may enjoy significant pay raises, as Senior Estimators get paid an average of $82K per year. Becoming a Construction Estimator is, more often than not, the most common role that Cost Estimators move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $52K. Another frequent advance is for Cost Estimators to assume a Sales Estimator role; in this role, workers often earn $46K.
Cost Estimator Job Listings
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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, Cost Accounting, and Construction Estimating 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.
Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $45K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $52K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $57K. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $56K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Cost Estimators, Detroit provides a pay rate that is 67 percent greater than the national average. Cost Estimators will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+44 percent), San Diego (+39 percent), New York (+39 percent), and Washington (+38 percent). The lowest-paying market is Denver, which sits 11 percent below the national average.