Estimation Engineer Job Description

Estimation engineers estimate the costs associated with upcoming projects and the impact a project will have on the organization to determine if the project will be financially successful. This is a skilled position requiring full-time hours in a combination of office and project site environments. Analytical and extremely detail-oriented people make good estimation engineers. Estimation engineers report primarily to executive-level management and other stakeholders involved in the project.


Estimation Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

Estimation engineers analyze different aspects of a project based on the size and type of the project. Based on the job listings we researched, we found these core tasks are typically assigned to estimation engineers:

Analyze Research Data

Before a project starts, estimation engineers analyze all preliminary research data to determine the project’s influence on the company and its investments. Estimation engineers typically compile this information and present it to stakeholders in an easy-to-understand format.

Review Project Deliverables

As project deliverables are developed, estimation engineers review them to start gaining an understanding of the overall scope of the project. This involves reviewing design packages, project drawings, and other deliverables to prepare for the estimation process.

Develop Cost Estimates

Estimation engineers use the preliminary research data and review of project deliverables to prepare `the cost estimates for the entire project. As they start to gain a clearer sense of the overall project, they put together cost estimations and deliver them to stakeholders and project managers.

Manage Current and Previous Estimations

After estimations have been created, estimation engineers edit and update the estimations as the project changes. Estimation engineers track and maintain all estimations for further analysis. They evaluate changes and review estimations to ensure accurate project development.

Provide Technical Support

Estimation engineers provide technical support to junior engineers and other project employees to help them make more accurate estimations. They teach them how to estimate processes and deliver those estimates in a timely manner.


Estimation Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Estimation engineers have strong leadership skills and are confident in their ability to estimate costs accurately. A bachelor’s degree in engineering is typically required for this position, and most employers want a candidate who has at least five years of experience in an engineering position. Some employers may also require industry-specific certifications. Successful estimation engineer candidates also possess the following skills and can demonstrate them to potential employers:

  • Data analysis – estimation engineers gather data, visualize it, and analyze it in an effective manner, including putting the data analysis into presentations for stakeholders and upper management
  • Strategic planning skills – estimating the cost of an entire project requires strategic planning and thinking
  • Technical documentation – used for estimating costs
  • Strongly analytical – estimation engineers are strongly analytical, analyzing every piece of information they receive
  • Collaboration – estimation engineers collaborate with the different teams working on a project, including engineers, marketers, and project management


Tools of the Trade

Estimation engineers may need to use different tools based on the industry they work in, but in general, all candidates should be familiar with:

  • Data analysis tools (particularly Excel)
  • Estimation software (Cubit, Sage Estimating, Knowify)
  • Technical diagramming tools (Visio, LucidChart, Cacoo)
  • Microsoft Office Suite


Estimation Engineer Education and Training

Estimation engineers have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field related to the industry in which they want to work. The courses available vary widely based on the specific engineering field. Some estimation engineers may need to attend further, job-specific training in how costs are estimated, but a lot of this training comes from job experience. Most engineers have to be licensed before they can do any work in their state.


Estimation Engineer Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to estimation engineers as cost estimators, earning a median annual wage of $61,790. The 10th percentile may earn less than $35,000 per year, while the top earners make more than $100,000 per year. The job outlook for estimation engineers is positive with an 11 percent predicted growth over the next 10 years, according to the BLS. This is faster than average when compared to other jobs. This faster-than-average growth is due in part to the overall growth the construction industry is experiencing.


Helpful Resources

If being an estimation engineer interests you, here are some resources to help you learn more about the role and the responsibilities you might have:

Cost Engineering Blog – Cost Engineering is a consulting firm that has been around since 1996. It provides valuable cost-estimating services to a variety of industries. It also has a useful blog that potential estimation engineers can read. The blog focuses on topics such as the importance of estimating the cost and how to create proper cost models.

The Ultimate Guide to Construction Cost Estimating – Capterra is a leading software review site that provides valuable insight into the varied world of software products. This guide to cost estimating is comprehensive and valuable for anyone who wants an introduction to the world of estimation engineering. Throughout the article, the author links to helpful online resources and uses real-world examples to drive his point home. If you’d like to gain more insight into cost estimation, check out this blog post.

Quantity Surveyor’s Pocket Book – This useful handbook includes recommended formats for “cost plans, developer’s budgets, financial reports, financial statements, and final accounts.” It provides a deeply analytical and impressive approach to practical situations that can help you gain more understanding of the industry.

Project and Cost Engineers’ Handbook – This book makes the often difficult-to-understand topic of cost estimation more manageable for beginners and pros alike. It provides practical instruction on planning and impact and takes a look at how software is changing the estimation industry.


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