Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry.
Cost estimators work mostly in offices, and some estimators also visit construction sites and factory floors. They may sometimes work overtime to meet deadlines.
How to Become a Cost Estimator
A bachelor’s degree is generally required to become a cost estimator, although some highly experienced construction workers may qualify without a bachelor’s degree. A strong background in mathematics is essential.
Employment of cost estimators is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Overall job opportunities should be good as companies require accurate cost estimates to operate efficiently.
This occupation supported 202,200 jobs in 2012 and 213,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 5.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 26.2% in 2022 to 255,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 212,800, compared with an observed value of 213,500, 0.3% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.3% in 2024 to 232,300 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 265,800 jobs for 2024, 14.4% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.