Cost estimators use data to determine the estimated money, time, labor and materials required to build something, make a product or provide a service. Many of them work in a particular industry. Some typical duties include reading blueprints and technical documents, identifying cost factors, calculating estimates, working with contractors and recommending methods to reduce cost.
When writing your cost estimator job description, it is important to include the qualities of a perfect applicant. Cost estimators must be good at math in order to deliver accurate estimates. Being analytical is also an important quality, as different methods for cost-effective solutions must be considered.
Other skills that are beneficial for this job include being detail-oriented, being able to manage time well and the ability to write comprehensive reports. For more ideas about what to include in your cost estimator job description, consult the example below.
Cost Estimator Job Summary
As a cost estimator for our company, you will be responsible for helping us keep our budget on track. Your professional analysis of blueprints and other project plans will help us make sound financial decisions by aiding us in the hiring process and with bidding on particular materials and resources specific to each project. Your role will include working side-by-side with engineers, contractors, architects, sales teams and clients. Throughout the course of the project, you will continue to evaluate all aspects and recommend budget adjustments as needed or correct problems that may be associated with product assembly, shipping delays or wasted material.
- Analyze documentation, such as blueprints and other data, to prepare materials, cost, time and labor estimates
- Break down all expenses and prepare reports to assist management in the organizing, planning and scheduling of work
- Collect cost data to estimate total costs for both current and future projects
- Aid in selecting subcontractors or vendors and in hiring labor to keep cost estimates on schedule and ahead of schedule
- Consult with construction foremen, vendors, clients and management personnel to discuss estimates and resolve issues that may arise
- Perform onsite investigations during the course of a project and make adjustments to project budgets as needed
- Recommend ways to reduce cost in the areas of labor, materials and assembly to benefit the company
- Track actual costs as a project develops and assess cost effectiveness of projects, services or products
- Set up cost reporting and monitoring procedures and systems in order to streamline the process
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree
- Good communication with others
- Great decision-making skills
- Experience with project management software, such as ConEst and Galorath
- Certification as a cost professional (CCP) or as an estimating professional (CEP)
- Minimum of five years’ experience in the industry
- Experience with financial analysis software
Cost Estimator Job Responsibilities
The cost estimator job responsibilities you create provide key information to jobseekers. At a basic level, they clearly define what the new hire or backfill will do after accepting an offer and going to work. As the most substantive section, this part of your job ad also serves to encourage readers to think about the satisfaction they’re likely to receive by making valuable contributions to your company. By providing information to motivate candidates to apply, you may be able to dedicate less resources to promoting an opening.
It’s helpful to note that one study reveals 30 % of jobseekers were looking for a new role because of skill growth potential. Therefore, one of the things you’ll notice about the cost estimator job description responsibilities here are that they all start with action verbs. This helps “sell” your opening to applicants who are especially eager to exercise their aptitudes in a new position.
The following are a few model cost estimator job description responsibilities:
- Prepare bids, hire subcontractors and place orders with vendors
- Read construction plans and operate specialized software to calculate material quantities
- Use actual expenses to update materials and labor cost databases
- Visit sites to verify proposal accuracy, take photos and make additional observations
- Analyze historical data and current trends to improve processes and reduce costs
Cost Estimator Job Specifications
The specifications you include in your cost estimator job description form an important part of the screening process. Because the position requires lots of numerical calculations, you may be looking for someone who graduated from a program where mathematics was a major component of the curriculum. If your firm is able to accept candidates with experience in lieu of a formal education, include relevant substitution options in your skills and qualifications section.
One temptation facing HR professionals and hiring managers is building an excessively long list of requirements in a cost estimator job description. Of course, if someone who met each qualification found your opening and applied for it, the applicant could become a valuable asset to your organization. Realistically, though, these so-called “laundry lists” tend to discourage many otherwise good candidates from moving forward. Therefore, be sure to distinguish between required and merely desirable skills. Draw attention to the most crucial qualifications by placing them at the top of the list.
Here are some cost estimator job specifications you could adapt to your company’s opening:
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering, business, economics or a closely related field
- Minimum 2 years of experience creating cost forecasts for land development
- Proficient user of CPR Visual Estimator and Sage 300 Construction
- Deep understanding of project scheduling
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively