Cost Estimators

Also Called:

Cost Analyst,

Construction Estimator,

Cost Estimator,


What they do: Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.

What do they typically do on the job?

  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors, and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Collect historical cost data to estimate costs for current or future products.


People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.


Career interests describe the perspectives and interests of people who enjoy the type of work involved in this career.

Discover what your interests are by taking the Interest Profiler Quiz


People who want to pursue this career have knowledge in these areas.

Math and Science
  • Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics

  • Accounting and economics

  • Management

Engineering and Technology
  • Computers and electronics

  • Product and service development

Arts and Humanities
  • English language


Whether you have received formal training or not, these types of abilities are helpful in this career.

  • Choose the right type of math to solve a problem

  • Add, subtract, multiply, or divide

  • Communicate by speaking

  • Listen and understand what people say

Ideas and Logic
  • Make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information

  • Use rules to solve problems


People who want to pursue this career have skills in these areas.

Basic Skills
  • Reading work related information

  • Using math to solve problems

Problem Solving
  • Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it

People and Technology Systems
  • Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one

  • Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it

Work Values

Work values describe how your core beliefs align with those commonly needed for this career.


Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.


Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Does this sound like something you'd like to do?

1. Do some research
  • Identify how your interests, values, and strengths match this occupation
  • Talk to someone who works in this field or spend a day job shadowing
  • Use the colleges and training directory to explore programs related to this career
2. Plan your next move

Data for NSI career cards comes from the following: Idaho Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET, MyNextMove, and Career OneStop