How to Become a Cost Estimator

Projected Job Growth: 36%
Projected Employment Change: 67,500

Cost estimators are often hired by construction companies to help analyze the cost of projects. They look at the amount of labor required by the project, the amount of materials needed to fulfill the project, and the amount of time the project will take to complete. They use these variables when consulting with project managers and other experts to help develop efficient and cost-effective plans. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is experiencing fast growth.

Why Cost Estimation?

In addition to being a field of rapid growth, cost estimators also have the potential to earn competitive salaries. According to the BLS, cost estimators earn an average of $57,860 annually, depending upon experience, though individual salaries may vary. As the construction industry grows, particularly in commercial construction, so too will the availability of cost estimator positions.

Getting Into Cost Estimation

While some cost estimators are promoted into their positions as a result of experience, most cost estimators need a bachelor’s degree before they can qualify for the job. Potential cost estimators should pursue bachelor’s degrees in mathematics, building science, or construction management. They have the option of pursing online degree programs or campus-based degree programs. The best online degree programs will encourage students to pursue internships to gain relevant experience in the field. In addition, online degree programs should also encourage students to obtain certification. While certification is not necessary, it can improve job prospects.