Cost Estimator Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | July 18, 2023
Cost Estimator Job Description
Cost estimators perform research on market prices and job cost according to certain factors to arrive at the perfect cost estimate for a given project.

This post provides detailed information on the cost estimator job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they perform, to help you learn what they do.

What Does a Cost Estimator Do?

Cost estimators are responsible for the computation of the cost of labor, materials, machines, and overhead.

They must calculate in advance the costs when applying for a contract that is to be tendered by a client in order to win it, and at the end they get the payment for their services from the company who won it.

The cost estimator job description involves performing research on market prices and job cost according to individual manufacturers’ bids, any special requirements stated by clients, as well as other factors that are related to pricing, such as engineering specifications and labor costs.

It also entails compiling the technical records list that contains all details of the products and materials which are needed to carry out the project they are working on.

Cost estimators use computer software programs to make and gather data report, prepare charts and graphics, and correlate information from subcontractors.

They also use computer programs to compile bills of material and carry out other duties.

Cost estimators ensure that all jobs are completed on time as well as at the anticipated price.

In addition, they have to ensure that all costs incurred are in accordance with the prices approved by the client.

One of their tasks is working with customers and managers to plan and maintain effective relationships with clients.

Additionally, the cost estimator helps clients to choose among all bids received by them based on quality criteria and price; to identify the best ones within their budget amongst many others.

Cost estimators are also responsible for preparing proposals and bid analysis, as well as cost estimates.

Preparing the final accounts for any projected company profit based on the bid costs accepted by winning clients is a key part of the cost estimator’s responsibilities.

The cost estimator reports their findings to the client.

Cost estimators calculate costs for different products, such as construction work and goods and material purchase.

And they employ math formulas to ensure that all their reports are accurate.

They use estimation and calculation techniques to ensure that they do provide the right amount of quantity of materials or products that are needed for their projects.

Cost Estimator Job Description Sample/Example/Template

The cost estimator job description entails the following duties, tasks, and responsibilities:

  • Compute final cost of product
  • Prepare cost breakdowns and detailing of product production cost
  • Produce final project cost estimate, costing plan and budget statement in the form of pro forma, budget book and financial record
  • Prepare detailed proposals for the products; this includes pricing data such as quantity, unit price, selling price, and other relevant information relating to the products
  • Perform cost analysis, cost control, and cost data reporting
  • Ensure that the actual cost of the project is within the estimated budget and make necessary modifications to ensure that budgets are adhered to
  • Manage customer or client expectations to ensure that they are kept in the loop at all times of any changes in time/costs/schedule/products etc.
  • Assist project engineers and management in formulating overall project objectives, planning, monitoring and control, including financial planning and analysis
  • Prepare progress reports from time to time as required by clients or employer
  • Assist in the preparation of annual budgets and ad hoc budgeting request to customers/management
  • Assist in the preparation of annual reports of costs, budgets and progress for quality control purposes.

Cost Estimator Job Description for Resume

If you are making a new resume or CV as someone who has worked previously as a cost estimator or are presently working in that role, you can make a compelling Professional Experience section for your resume by applying the sample cost estimator job description provided above.

You can highlight the duties and responsibilities you have performed or are currently performing as a cost estimator in your resume’s Professional Experience by applying the sample job description above.

This piece of information in your resume’s Professional Experience can greatly boost the effectiveness of your resume in getting you an interview, especially if the new job that you are seeking requires someone with some cost estimator work experience.

Cost Estimator Requirements: Abilities, Knowledge, and Skills for Career Success

Here are some of the job requirements for cost estimators, which you may need to meet to be hired for the role:

  • Basic skills, including computer skills and knowledge of MS Office package; good communication skills; basic analysis and numerical skills; excellent organizational and time management skills; and excellent presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • Expertise in costing methods and techniques, such as traditional costing methodologies, including cycle time analysis, activity based costing (ABC), and ABC2 or 3D analyses; fixed fee/fixed cost systems, basic financial planning concepts, and cost engineering software systems, such as PERT analysis; insights into business practices of customers and all types of industrial product costs to ensure the most comprehensive understanding and application of costing concepts in order to provide high quality costs quotations that are always in alignment with the client’s expectations.
  • Familiarity with estimation techniques, such as parametric and statistical techniques, available databases like Excel spreadsheets, and knowledge of accountancy software such as Peachtree
  • Knowledge of job costing and process costing models.
  • Familiarity with some computer software in the area of cost analysis e.g., Pro-E, and Solidnworks
  • Knowledge of MS Office package is essential (Word, Excel, Access)
  • Ability to work with of finance related IT system e.g., SAP or ERP is an advantage.
  • Must have knowledge of manufacturing industry and must be able to understand the cost of production theory and principles
  • Possess a professional qualification in engineering discipline
  • Basic accounting skills useful for the job are an advantage.

Cost Estimator Salary

The average cost estimator salary is $67,996 ( and $76,502 (

Top paying cities according to Indeed are: New York, NY, $77,037; Arlington, VA, $75,620; Newark, NJ, $72,307; Brooklyn, NY, $69,728; and Austin, TX, $69,116, per year.

According to, there are currently about 9,677 cost estimators working in the United States.

Women make up 23.7% of all cost estimators, while men make up 76.3%. 

An employed cost estimator is 47 years old on average.

White cost estimators are the most common ethnicity (79.8%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (12.6%), Asian (3.8%), and Black or African American (2.1%).


If you are interested in the cost estimator career and want to know the duties they commonly perform, then you will find this post useful.

This post is also helpful to recruiters/employers in making a detailed job description for the cost estimator role.

They can apply the cost estimator job description template provided above in making one for their organizations.