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Cost Estimators

Also called: Construction Estimator, Cost Estimator, Estimator, Estimator Project Manager

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.


Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
  • product and service development
  • building and construction
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
  • accounting and economics


Basic Skills
  • using math to solve problems
  • reading work related information
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • use rules to solve problems


People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Persistence
  • Stress Tolerance


You might use software like this on the job:

Project management software
  • Microsoft Project Hot Technology
  • Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management software Hot Technology
Accounting software
  • Intuit QuickBooks software
  • National Job Cost software
Financial analysis software
  • CPR Visual Estimator
  • IBM Costimater


Education: (rated 4 of 5)
bachelor's degree or
master's degree
usually needed

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See more details at O*NET OnLine about cost estimators.