If you’re seeking a degree needed to become a cost estimator, you’ll find that you have various different educational paths to choose from to reach your career goal. Whether involved in construction, manufacturing, or business, cost estimators are responsible for quantifying a project’s timeline, labor, materials, and equipment to estimate what it’s going to cost. Cost estimators are essential for providing accurate forecasts of total project costs to ensure the profitability or survival of any business. Depending on which industry you wish to work for, the job entry requirements will vary greatly. Although a bachelor’s degree is not always required for individuals with relevant work experience, below are the common undergraduate degrees that can be chosen for becoming a cost estimator.

Bachelor in Construction Management

For cost estimators looking to enter the construction industry to estimate the costs associated with constructing new buildings or structures, many employers will prefer you to have a Bachelor in Construction Management. In addition to a broad-based introduction to business, construction management degrees offer cost estimators basic instruction in construction, engineering, estimating, quality management, surveying, and design to learn the industry’s lingo. With this four-year degree, you’ll gain an in-depth knowledge of the materials and methods involved in the building process to better estimate their costs.

Bachelor of Accounting

Aspiring cost estimators often choose to earn an accredited Bachelor of Accounting from an undergraduate business school to develop the strong analytical skills needed to work with numbers and financial data. Along with an introduction to business, this degree will provide important technical training in scrutinizing budgets, auditing financial information, maintaining database records, crafting spreadsheets, and using accounting software programs. Choosing this four-year degree is also great for cost estimators who may want to eventually advance as accountants or auditors in another field.

Bachelor of Engineering

Cost estimators working in the manufacturing industry need to fully understand the mechanics that goes into building systems, structures, machines, and devices before they can effectively quantify their expenses. Therefore, many decide to attend a four-year university to receive a Bachelor of Engineering degree. Depending on your future career goals in cost estimating, you could also choose to major in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or another specialty. Having an engineering degree will help you work right alongside engineers to determine how much a manufactured product costs to make.

Bachelor of Business Administration

Those looking for a well-rounded introduction to the field can also select a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from an accredited business school. Most cost estimators choosing this route will study general business or concentrate in accounting, finance, engineering management, or construction management. Having a BBA degree will show employers that you have the necessary capacity for mathematics to analyze, compare, and interpret detailed financial data. If you choose this degree, fill up your free electives with technology courses because cost estimators often use Building Information Modeling (BIM) software in their work.

Related Resource: Financial Controller

Overall, there are several educational degrees that can be applied for cost estimators seeking to enter a fast-growing field set to skyrocket by 26% before 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to earning a degree needed to become a cost estimator, it’s recommended that you gain hands-on cost estimating experience through an internship and pursue professional certification through the ASPE for the best job prospects.