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What is the Job Market Outlook for Cost Estimators?

Job Market Outlook October 1, 2013

America’s job market is best defined by the number of people who have chosen a career in business; whether as a business owner, consultant, manager or other financial aspect. Typically, as a hob related to business practices, the demand for cost estimators is expected to grow faster than average, with a 36% increase by the year 2020.

Businesses, however, are only one of a smaller number of reasons the demand is expected to grow. Cost estimators are typically used by construction sites before they ever begin a project.

Important Considerations and Needs

Adequate infrastructure is the primary concern of any thriving community. The largest number of cost estimator jobs currently involves estimating the costs of materials, labor, equipment, tools and transportation for infrastructure projects such as electrical facilities, parking lots, bridges, buildings and road work. Their knowledge base must consist of an ability to read blueprints, identify cost factors, and recognize cost saving methods that will increase the company’s profits.

Within the service area, there is a high demand for automotive body repair cost estimators, cost estimators for plumbing, metal and machining, and aerospace projects. The cost estimator is responsible for the quality and timeliness of the project, and be able to provide an analysis of the actual versus the estimated cost. Cost estimators are expected to be self-motivated, able to communicate clearly and work with a team.

Cost estimators typically specialize in a particular field, such as construction, automotive or manufacturing. They are expected to be familiar with concepts, practices and general procedures of the field, be able to perform a variety of tasks and work under general supervision.

Most companies prefer several years of experience within the specialized field, as well as a bachelor’s degree in engineering and technology, economics and accounting or business management. Other skill requirements include computer technology, with a knowledge base in accounting software, analytical or scientific software, financial analysis software, project management software and spreadsheets.

Why Businesses Are Counting on Experience

Increasingly, businesses have begun to rely on cost estimators before introducing new products or services or expanding the scope of their business. Company managers and investors rely on a cost estimator to accurately predict the expenses related to their expansion, manufacturing and other costs related to the production of goods and services.

In the areas of construction and architecture, a background in environmental studies is also useful. The cost estimator may be required to predict the effects of weather on buildings, road construction, utility services and other projects that might be affected by seasonal climate changes. They might recommend higher cost materials for extreme weather prone areas as a long term savings benefit, or help troubleshoot architectural plans that do not allow adequate drainage for areas that receive seasonal torrential rains.

The average pay for a cost estimator is around $65,000 a year, with senior estimators earning a comfortable income of $97,000 a year. The stress levels are considered relatively low, although cost estimators will tell you the degree of mathematical knowledge needed, along with the careful analysis of blueprints in order to give an accurate cost estimate is a very rigid discipline.

An accurate cost estimator can make the differences in whether a company’s successful bid goes over or under the actual costs and time involved for completion of a project. This is a career that will prove lucrative and personally satisfying, as it is a community-oriented job.

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