Cost Estimators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

Job description

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.

  • 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.
  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
Read more about what does a Cost Estimator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

Featured Schools


Average salary
$69710 per year

Average hourly wage
$34 per hour

Cost Estimators with little to no experience tend to make between $38060 and $49850 while the more experienced ones can earn over $84000 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
DC $45 $93,880
AK $40 $83,450
HI $40 $82,390
CA $38 $78,190
MA $37 $77,670

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Cost Estimator is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Cost Estimators are DC, AK, HI, CA and MA.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Cost Estimator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Cost Estimators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Materials Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Construction Engineering
Manufacturing Engineering
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician
Read more about how to become a Cost Estimator and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Cost Estimator.

Suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very good salary
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

68% of Cost Estimators said they were satisfied with their job and 44% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Kyle McCarney
Inflector Environmental Services

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Entrepreneurs and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Cost Estimators

Summary (You are here)
Job Description

Find a college with the major you want

Related career information

Cost Estimators job description, Cost Estimators salary, Cost Estimators information, what is the job of a Cost Estimator like, pros and cons about Cost Estimators, colleges and universities for Cost Estimators, is Cost Estimators the right career for me, careers in Business and Finance

Similar careers

Building Construction Estimator, Building Estimator, Construction Estimator, Construction Job Cost Estimator, Contract Analyst, Cost Analyst, Cost Estimator, Cost Recovery/Investment Recovery Technician, Crating and Moving Estimator, Design Consultant

Additional resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.