Summary Report for:
13-1051.00 - Cost Estimators
Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.
Sample of reported job titles: Acquisition Cost Estimator, Construction Estimator, Cost Analyst, Cost and Risk Analysis Manager, Cost Consultant, Cost Engineer, Cost Estimator, Estimator, Estimator Project Manager, Preconstruction Manager
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Collect historical cost data to estimate costs for current or future products.
- Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
- Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
- Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
- Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
- Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
- Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
- Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
- Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
- Prepare and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.
- Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.
- Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
- Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.
- Visit site and record information about access, drainage and topography, and availability of services such as water and electricity.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Desktop computers
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Tablet computers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — ConEst T&M Billing Manager; Intuit QuickBooks software; JD Edwards software; National Job Cost software (see all 8 examples)
- Analytical or scientific software — ConEst Electrical Formulas; Construction Management Software ProEst; Resources Calculations Incorporated SoftCost; WinEstimator WinEst (see all 6 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD ; ConEst IntelliBid Design Build; ConEst SureCount; Dassault Systemes CATIA software (see all 6 examples)
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Microsoft Business Contact Manager
- Data base reporting software — Hyperion software; SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports; Software AG software
- Data base user interface and query software — Assured Software JPP; Microsoft Access ; Oracle software; Xactware Xactimate (see all 6 examples)
- Document management software — Laserfiche Avante
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Expert system software — EFI Hagen OA
- Financial analysis software — CPR Visual Estimator; IBM Costimater; PRICE Sytems TruePlanning; Primavera Cost Management (see all 8 examples)
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Microsoft Visio
- License management software — ConEst Permit Trac
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — ConEst JobTrac; Galorath SEER software; Microsoft Project ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management software (see all 9 examples)
- Spreadsheet software — Apple AppleWorks; Corel QuattroPro; IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
Detailed Work Activities
- Estimate costs of goods or services.
- Negotiate agreements to resolve disputes.
- Confer with personnel to coordinate business operations.
- Maintain data in information systems or databases.
- Confer with others about financial matters.
- Monitor financial indicators.
- Develop business or financial information systems.
- Analyze business or financial data.
- Prepare financial documents.
- Establish business management methods.
- Assess the cost effectiveness of products, projects, or services.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 50% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 55% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Time Pressure — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 55% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Letters and Memos — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 55% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 55% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 29% responded “High responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: CE
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$29.03 hourly, $60,390 annual|
|Employment (2014)||214,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Faster than average (9% to 13%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||79,500|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Cost estimators . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.