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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: Estimator, Cost Estimator, Estimator Project Manager, Project Manager, Construction Estimator, Cost Analyst, Design Consultant, Operations Manager, Sales Engineer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
  • Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
  • Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.
  • Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
  • Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
  • Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
  • Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Desktop computers
Notebook computers
Personal computers
Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
Scanners

Technology used in this occupation:

Accounting software — ConEst T&M Billing Manager; CPR International GeneralCOST Estimator; Intuit QuickBooks software; National Job Cost software
Analytical or scientific software — ConEst Electrical Formulas; Construction Management Software ProEst; Resources Calculations Incorporated SoftCost; WinEstimator WinEst
Financial analysis software — CPR Visual Estimator; IBM Costimater; PRICE Sytems TruePlanning; Primavera Cost Management
Project management software — ConEst JobTrac; Galorath SEER software; HCSS HeavyJob; Microsoft Project
Spreadsheet software — Apple AppleWorks; Corel QuattroPro; IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel

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Knowledge

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.
Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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.
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.
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.

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Skills

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.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Abilities

Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
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.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
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).

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
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.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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.

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Work Context

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

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Job Zone

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, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
64   Bachelor's degree
14   Associate's degree
  Some college, no degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Construction Engineering; Construction Engineering Technology/Technician; Manufacturing Engineering; Materials Engineering; Mechanical Engineering

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

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.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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Work Values

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.

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Related Occupations

11-3071.03 Logistics Managers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
11-9199.04 Supply Chain Managers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
13-1023.00 Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
13-1041.07 Regulatory Affairs Specialists Bright Outlook Green Occupation
13-1081.02 Logistics Analysts Bright Outlook Green Occupation
13-1161.00 Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists Bright Outlook
13-2031.00 Budget Analysts
13-2051.00 Financial Analysts Bright Outlook Green Occupation
13-2099.02 Risk Management Specialists   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
19-3099.01 Transportation Planners Bright Outlook Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $28.59 hourly, $59,460 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 202,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 118,000
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

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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 external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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