We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Cost Engineer do?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PracticalAdultInsights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A cost engineer determines how much money, resources, and time a project will require prior to its launch. The job has nothing to do with traditional engineering positions where tangible objects and tools are designed and created. A cost control engineer utilizes engineering principles and judgment to project, assess, and control costs and plan, schedule, and manage projects.

Before companies, individuals or investor groups begin a project, a meeting is usually held with a cost engineer to discuss the budget and budget projections. The cost engineer is given the projected costs for labor, materials, and related expenses. After reviewing the numbers, he or she confers with the principals on the budget details. The project is then put out to bid.

The duties of a cost engineer vary from project to project; some projects are immediately ready to go to bid, while others require major retooling to meet budget requirements. The cost engineer's job is to accurately analyze the estimates for labor and materials for each project phase and recommend solutions for problem areas that are over budget. This often requires meetings with project managers, subcontractors, and investors.

On a regular basis, a cost control engineer provides counsel to cost management teams on cost reporting and forecasting, and monitors their projections for accuracy. The job also entails working with construction, engineering, and cost analyst personnel on variance reporting, projections, cost tracking, commitment reporting, change control, and cash flow. A cost control engineer works closely with accounting to guarantee accurate cost coding and review and accruals.

The required education and experience for a cost control engineer varies for each industry. Since there are no formal degree programs for cost engineering, it is sometimes touched upon in curricula for engineering or civil engineering degrees. Various online educational programs are devoted to the principals of cost engineering. Professional organizations sometimes offer classes and seminars in this field.

Some cost engineers begin their careers in construction trades. They take math and statistics courses and apply their experience and education to qualify for a job as a cost engineer. Voluntary certification can be obtained from various cost engineering professional organizations. If a company is large enough to employ more than one cost engineer, opportunities to work with one of them as an intern, either paid or unpaid, can provide invaluable experience to those aspiring to the position.

The construction industry is the largest employer of cost control engineers; over half of all cost engineers work in this field. The manufacturing sector employs 15% of cost engineers. The remaining jobs in cost engineering are widely distributed over various industries.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By tdavis — On Dec 11, 2013
As of today, the average cost engineer's salary is around $51,626 per year. This amount often varies based on the type of job industry and location of the position.

To increase your salary, you should try to obtain certifications or a higher education such as a master's degree in engineering. Gaining more work experience would be ideal as well.

PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.