Cost Estimators

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How does a builder know how much it will cost to construct a house? How does a company figure out how to price a new product? They don't go to fortune tellers or stare into crystal balls. They work with cost estimators.

Cost estimators combine their knowledge of an industry with computer and math skills to figure out how much it will cost to get something done. They take into account such factors as the price of materials, the cost of labor, the effects of climate, and the availability of water. A great cost estimator helps a company make the right decisions.

Cost estimators figure out the costs of completing a new construction project or manufacturing a new product.

Did You Know?

Experienced cost estimators can work independently as consultants.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Find out what clients need
  • Read blueprints
  • Budget for equipment needs, taxes, insurance costs, and the costs of meeting building codes
  • Figure out crew sizes
  • Use computers to make complex calculations 
  • Create databases and spreadsheets
  • Write reports and give presentations
  • Work with architects and engineers
  • Travel to job sites

It Helps To Be...

A math fan who loves planning, organizing, and comparison shopping.

Make High School Count

  • Go for challenging math courses -- you’ll use the skills you learn constantly.
  • Pay attention in science. A good foundation will prepare you for college and help you communicate well with engineers.
  • Build communication skills in English, drama, and speech classes.
  • Sign up for computer classes and get used to working with spreadsheets.
  • Take a class in computer-aided drafting for experience with blueprints.
  • Work for or intern with a construction company to get a feel for the building process.
  • Join a school club or committee where you can help plan an event. Take charge of finding out how much things will cost and what will work best for your group.

Did You Know?

Certification by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering or the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis will show you’re experienced and professional.