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

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

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

Tasks

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

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tablet computers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — ConEst T&M Billing Manager; CPR International GeneralCOST Estimator; Intuit QuickBooks software; National Job Cost software (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Analytical or scientific software — ConEst Electrical Formulas; Construction Management Software ProEst; Resources Calculations Incorporated SoftCost; WinEstimator WinEst (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Computer aided design CAD software — ConEst IntelliBid Design Build; ConEst SureCount See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — Microsoft Business Contact Manager See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base reporting software — SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports; Software AG software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Assured Software JPP; Microsoft Access; Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate; Xactware Xactimate (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Laserfiche Avante See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Expert system software — EFI Hagen OA See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Financial analysis software — CPR Visual Estimator; IBM Costimater; PRICE Sytems TruePlanning; Primavera Cost Management (see all 8 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • License management software — ConEst Permit Trac See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Project management software — ConEst JobTrac; Galorath SEER software; HCSS HeavyJob; Microsoft Project (see all 8 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Apple AppleWorks; Corel QuattroPro; IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Estimate costs of goods or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Negotiate agreements to resolve disputes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain data in information systems or databases. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Confer with personnel to coordinate business operations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Confer with others about financial matters. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor financial indicators. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop business or financial information systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze business or financial data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare financial documents. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establish business management methods. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assess the cost effectiveness of products, projects, or services. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 96% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 82% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 86% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 61% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 64% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 54% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 64% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 43% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 43% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 54% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 32% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 39% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 32% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Limited responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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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, art directors, and cost estimators.
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
7   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

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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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $28.87 hourly, $60,050 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 2014 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

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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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