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Salary Information for Cost Estimators

Career News October 30, 2013

Cost estimators collect and analyze data for a company, ensuring that management knows the time and investment required for a major campaign, whether that’s a new product release, a new construction project, or a new service. These are office workers, as well as professional travelers, who often have to visit the site in question, to gain an accurate understanding of what is happening and how much it will cost a company. It is a stressful job; however, its workers are paid well.

The average salary for a cost estimator is $57,000. The lowest ten percent of cost estimators earned $34,000 a year while the top earners reported $95,000, annually or more. The most successful fields within this career choice include civil engineering construction, building construction, specialty trade, manufacturing, and repair. While cities such as Santa Barbara and Framingham were top grosser, there were also some distant cities reporting a high salary, including Fairbanks, Alaska.

The Job Outlook and Salary Information

Cost estimators make as much money as they bring in to the company they work for, and salaries are often dependent on the market. They held 185,000 jobs in 2010, and most of these jobs were in specialty trade, construction and manufacturing. Frequent travel is often involved in this line of work, and employers pay more for this inconvenience, not to mention deadline-oriented work. This is a job of heavy overtime and one that expects top-level training.

Voluntary certification is another important aspect. It shows employers that you merit a high salary, work experience and training. The American Society of Professional Estimators handles certification, though there are at least two other organizations: The Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating International and the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis.

Other Factors That Determine Your Future

Estimators are expected to have the experience to merit a high salary, and meet minimum certification standards. This profession is set to grow 36 percent over the next six years, which is faster than most other occupations. More and more companies are looking for cost projection experts; someone who can steer their company right and keep them in business, even while financial disaster strikes the world.

Estimators benefit from the thriving of these career fields and the higher salaries accompanying an active market. Repairing infrastructure and maintaining roads, airports, and subways are a part of this market, and directly related to the growth and earning potential of this job. Job prospects will improve with a background in mathematics, education, and solid work experience.

As far as educational background, most students pursue a bachelor’s degree and are hired because of this achievement. Math is a key subject and should be your concentration, though construction management, engineering or something other than the aspect of building science can suffice.

Experience and education are expected, so finding entry-level positions, while pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree, is a good strategy. If you stand firm and determined to earn your degree, and work your way up the latter with a reputable company, you will be able to land a top-tier job, even in a recession!

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