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How to Become a Cost Analyst

Career News May 27, 2014

Can you memorize pricing and inventory data with ease? Are you good with numbers and record keeping? Most of all, do you love traveling and interacting with other people? A cost analyst position may be the job for you.

Cost Analyst’s Role

A cost analyst or estimator is a professional who visits companies directly, perhaps in construction or on the factory floor, so that he or she can make educated decisions about cost. Right away, you can tell this is travel-friendly work and your lifestyle must accommodate this feature.

Your job position involves inspecting the site, discussing strategies, and covering facts with engineers and architects. Your goal is to find out how much money all of these details cost the business. Inaccurate estimates cost millions of dollars a year for small businesses and even greater amounts in corporate, multinational companies.

If you are hired, your daily routine will consist of identifying these factors and reading blueprints in order to prepare an official estimate. You may also have to seek outside help from industry experts if you have an issue to resolve. Computer skills, mathematical ability, and organizational skills go a long way in this type of work. Projecting future costs, including expansion or long-term aging, is another facet of cost estimation.

The company is counting on you to make an accurate projection. Without you, they may lose money and compromise their budget. As if that’s not enough to deal with, there’s also the unpredictability factor that—yes, of course—you have to predict! You have to consider bad weather, shipping problems outside of your jurisdiction, and many other costs that can affect profitability.

Skills and Education

When a hiring executive reads your resume, they will be looking for formal training in an accredited school and the skills you bring to the table. Your work experience is also valuable, but it’s all about what skills you learn from the work experience. If you learn management, or cost estimating, practices from a five-year work history, that’s a positive. Long work hours also introduce you to new computer software, database management and other technicalities you are expected to know.

A bachelor’s degree is most often recommended as a starting point, although extensive experience in construction or manufacturing may suffice for a job. This isn’t a manager’s role necessarily; college is not the most important factor; experience is what counts. Still, you never lose points in the hiring process by showcasing your degree in a mathematics related field. For the coursework, always focus on the most relevant field, such as finance, business, or accounting.

Work experience is desirable, and even an internship in school is better than just textbook knowledge alone. Some companies even hire electricians and plumbers as cost estimators because of their expertise in pricing labor and materials. Lastly, don’t forget about certification, which is offered by the American Society of Professional Estimators.

You can start charting a course to a successful life by seeking higher education now. Plan for your long-term future with the help from a local university or schools listed below.

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  • Saint Leo University provides academic excellence, flexibility, affordability, and a wide range of educational programs with financial aid and scholarships available to those who qualify.
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  • Learn on your schedule with our 6 convenient available start dates throughout the year. Get started on earning your accredited Business degree today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
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Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Do you have entrepreneurial visions to advance your career in the business world? Learn about the options available at GCU.
  • Earn a competitive bachelor's or master's degree in the areas of business administration, business analytics, accounting, marketing and more.
  • Many of our business degrees have attained elite accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).
  • GCU nurtures the startup spirit, propelling your entrepreneurial visions on a powerful platform with opportunities to help you thrive.
  • Pursue a next-generation education with an online program or join Grand Canyon University's vibrant and growing campus community in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Boldly pursue your future in business with an online degree from Post University
  • Degrees at all levels with concentrations in Finance, Marketing, and much more
  • Ranked in the Best Online Bachelors Programs for Veterans by US News & World Report
  • Ranked in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by the US News & World Report
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Career training since 1963.
  • Gives you the freedom and flexibility to learn on your own time, at your own pace and in your own environment.
  • Complete your education and gain technical skills when and where it's convenient for you!
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • We Change Lives...One Person At A Time. ®
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Separate yourself from the pack by completing one of Saint Leo’s highly-rated Business degree programs. Associates, Bachelors, and Graduate degrees in highly sought-after concentrations available!
  • Learn the necessary skills and build the foundation to propel your business career by receiving an education from our faculty members with true real-world experience.
  • Saint Leo University provides academic excellence, flexibility, affordability, and a wide range of educational programs with financial aid and scholarships available to those who qualify.
  • Saint Leo offers a 14:1 Student-Teacher Ratio to ensure you get the personal attention you deserve.
  • Learn on your schedule with our 6 convenient available start dates throughout the year. Get started on earning your accredited Business degree today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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