How Do You Become a Cost Estimator Accountant?

cost estimator accountant

A cost estimator accountant may be an exciting alternative for those in the accounting field. Being an accountant does not mean that you are tasked with completing tax returns forever. There are other positions in the accounting field that may fit your skillset and interests.

What Does a Cost Estimator Accountant Do?

If you have a vintage calculator collection, you may be interested in becoming a cost estimator accountant. Their purpose is to lead the cost analysis of a project, determining labor, time, and money involved in the manufacturing process. They are involved in the project management process and will be interpreting blueprints and documentation to give accurate accounts of cost estimates. A cost estimator accountant collaborates with engineers and architects in their estimation and reporting process. They also work with sales teams to assist in the preparation of bids for clients.

Where They Work

Most cost estimate accountants work in the construction field, with the highest percentage working on building construction. There are quite a few accountants that work with manufacturing firms as well. In that position the cost estimator accountant calculates the cost of development and production of the materials that are used in the construction projects or to improve and redesign a company’s goods and services.

Skills, Career Paths, and Certifications

Personal and professional qualities for working as a cost estimator accountant are analytical skills, must be detail-oriented, math skills, great time management, and writing skills. Analysis, detail, and math are the backbone to any accounting or finance education. Since most projects that an estimator will work on are time-sensitive, time management is important so that you meet your deadlines. Many estimators are responsible for writing and compiling reports to investors or administration and the communication must be clear. Most commonly, cost estimator accountants are subject matter experts in their field. Knowledge of construction, building, and manufacturing are huge contributor to their success in being able to estimate costs for projects.

In most job postings, the minimum requirement to apply for the cost estimator accountant position is a bachelor’s degree in economics, mathematics, building science, statistics, accounting, finance, or engineering. Some firms require previous experience as an estimator to apply for the position. There are organizations that offer cost estimating certifications that can be attained in addition to formal education, such as the American Society of Professional Estimators. The ASPE offers certification for professionals in residential, heavy, general, specialty trade, and conceptual construction.

Career Outlook

Types of business that hire cost estimator accountants are construction companies, contractors, consulting firms, real estate developers, property insurance companies, and state and federal government departments. The career field of cost estimate accounting is rapidly growing. The position has a high median pay at $60,000 per year, and a great outlook for future trends. The field has a 9% growth, compared to an 8% growth for all business and financial occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not everyone enjoys checking facts and reading detailed reports, negotiating contracts, or coordinating projects. In order to be a successful cost estimate accountant, those are everyday occurrences and should be the types of activities you enjoy doing.

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