Cost Estimator Salary

Cost Estimators in the United States pull down an average of $51K annually. With some bonuses approaching $6K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $5K, overall incomes of Cost Estimators spread between $33K and $82K depending on individual performance. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Most Cost Estimators report high levels of job satisfaction. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. Male Cost Estimators are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$36,021 - $83,173

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$13.64 - $31.57

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$36,021 - $83,173  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,085  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $5,168  
Commission
$0.00 - $15,456  
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).
)
$32,984 - $81,958  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 828
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$13.64 - $31.57  
   
Overtime
$16.95 - $42.29  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,085  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $15,456  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $5,168  
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).
)
$32,984 - $81,958  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 292
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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. Typical career progression for a Cost Estimator involves becoming a Construction Estimator or a Cost Estimating Manager, roles that pay $2K more and $27K more on average.

Cost Estimator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Estimator


Cost Estimators report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Financial Analysis, Construction Estimating, Project Management, and Microsoft Office are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include AutoCAD and Blueprints. It is often found that people who know Blueprints are also skilled 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. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $44K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $54K. Cost Estimators with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $60K. Cost Estimators who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are no higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years.

Pay Difference by Location


For Cost Estimators, Detroit provides a pay rate that is 58 percent greater than the national average. Cost Estimators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+45 percent), Seattle (+38 percent), Washington (+30 percent), and New York (+27 percent). In Akron, salaries are 10 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market.

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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 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

Blueprints
up arrow 4%

up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 180 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
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 63%
vision benefits Vision: 49% employee benefits None: 19%
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