Basics of a Cost Estimator

What is a Cost Estimator?

Cost estimators roughly calculate how a product or service will be manufactured, constructed, managed and priced. Nearly every business endeavor requires a cost estimate to determine it's viability. Many cost estimators work in nonresidential building construction or for building equipment contractors. Unlike financial analysts, cost estimators don't directly counsel businesses and individuals on making investment decisions. They collect and analyze data to estimate the time, resources and labor required for product manufacturing or construction projects.

Cost estimators must have a strong background in mathematics, but expertise in a particular industry of manufacturing or construction management may also benefit prospective professionals. You may choose to use online courses to build your education in a related industry or to increase your understanding of relevant math concepts. Some students choose to enroll in online classes because they can often be completed remotely from home.

Is an Online Cost Estimator Degree PROGRAM FOR YOU?

Are you a fan of Math? Do you enjoy planning, organizing and comparison shopping? Then a carrer as a cost estimator may be right for you! As companies continue their search for top-notch cost projections and cost-effective products and services, the need for cost estimators will rise. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 11 percent by 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations and translates to 23,000 new jobs.


There are other career paths you may pursue after attending online courses in a cost estimator program. The mathematical and financial skills you earn may equate well to other careers. Study some of the options that may be available using information from the BLS.

Cost Estimator (i)

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.

  • Median Salary: $63,110 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 11% (Faster than average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Accountants and Auditors (i)

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.

  • Median Salary: $69,350 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 10% (Faster than average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

(i) | (ii)