While the subject or concentration of cost engineering is usually covered within an engineering degree program, a small number of stand-alone training programs are available in-person and online from universities and professional organizations. These programs are designed for current engineers and construction-related workers who want to transition to the project management side of their field. Cost engineering programs may take roughly one year to complete.
The curriculum covers the time value of money, profitability analysis, cost capacity and improvement curves, scheduling and project management. Assignments typically include a series of cost estimating problems patterned after real-world examples. To be considered for admission, prospective students should have significant work experience. Although these programs are designed for those already in the field, some accept applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree.
Cost Engineering Training Program
Rather than multiple courses, training programs tend to consist of a single course divided into multiple modules. Cost engineering module topics typically include:
- Capital and operating budgets
- Financing alternatives
- Overhead expense analysis
- Break-even analysis
- Payback periods
- Cash flow, depreciation and taxes
Graduates of a cost-engineering training program can seek various positions in construction and manufacturing industries. Some possible job roles are:
- Cost estimator
- Quantity surveyor
- Value engineer
- Claims consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted employment for cost estimators to grow by 9% over 2014-2024. The mean annual salary for these professionals as of May 2015 was $64,810.
Continuing Education Information
Many cost engineering training programs prepare students for certification by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE). The Certified Cost Technician designation requires 4 years of experience or education, and passage of a 2-part exam. To obtain the more advanced Certified Cost Engineer certification, candidates must accumulate eight years of experience or education, submit a technical paper and pass a 4-part exam.
Cost engineering training programs are designed for experienced professionals who want to become cost estimators. Students may be prepared for certification through the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering.