Cost Engineer

Determine a companies real cost of doing day-to-day business.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $139,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Cost Engineers do?

You look at a machine and see a price tag. You look at a person and see the cost of fair labor. You look at a factory and see the price for safety equipment. Relax, it’s not a hallucination. You’re a Cost Engineer, and it’s your job to find the hidden fees in day-to-day business. Companies hire Cost Engineers when they need a real-world, concrete number that tells them how much a new product or manufacturing process will cost.

Your day as a Cost Engineer starts with your new assignment. Jack’s Soda Plant wants to build a second soda factory. Jack calls you, and you go to work. For the rest of the week, you call supply companies and search government websites to research the costs of building the factory, hiring the workers, and purchasing the necessary permits.

Once the data’s all assembled in your project folder, you’ve got your general cost estimate. You know exactly how many workers the factory needs, and the cost of all those machines that pop impossibly tight caps on soda bottles. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig into the details. The workers might need safety glasses or special uniforms. Little costs like this add up and dramatically affect budgeting.

When the job’s done, it’s time to whip up a snazzy presentation to show the client. You tell him how much it costs, why, and how you arrived at this conclusion. Thanks to you, he can make sure his business has a large enough budget to start off on the right foot.


Should I be a Cost Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Corrosion Control Engineer

    How to become a Cost Engineer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Cost Engineer-related education!
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