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 to current engineers and construction-related workers who want to transition to the project management side of their field. Courses discuss the time value of money, profitability analysis, budgeting, 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. Many can complete training in less than a year.
- Program Levels: Certification
- Prerequisites: Be a working professional with substantial experience; in some cases, have a bachelor's degree
- Online Availability: Many programs are available online
- Program Length: On average, less than 1 year
Cost Engineering Training
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 2014 was $64,340.
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.