Cost Estimator Career

Job Description: 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.


Is Cost Estimator the right career path for you?
Take the MyMajors Quiz and find out if it fits one of your top recommended majors!

Cost Estimator Career

What Cost Estimators do:

  • Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
  • Collect historical cost data to estimate costs for current or future products.
  • Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • 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.
  • Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
  • 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.
  • Prepare and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.
  • Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
  • Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
  • 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.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

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.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

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.

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.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Holland Code Chart for a Cost Estimator

Positive SSL Certified