Cost Engineer

NOC #21321

  • Environment Primarily indoor/office work
  • Education Post-secondary degree
  • Average salary $70,000 to $123,000

Career profile

Cost engineers focus on economics to ensure that companies’ get the best financial return on the funds invested into new projects or ongoing operations. They provide cost estimates and ensure there are cost controls in place for energy facility construction, production and services whose budgets often run into the multimillions or billions of dollars. They also provide corporate management with economic and costing advice when bidding on contracts or determining the price of a product or service. and provide on-going analysis to ensure costs and schedules are on target.

Exploration and production, Oil and gas services, Offshore, Pipelines, Oil sands, Contracted and turnaround maintenance, Engineering design and procurement, Construction, Start-up and commissioning, Geothermal, Solar, Wind

When you start in this occupation activities may include:

  • Participating in the development of project execution plans
  • Working with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes or adjustments to cost estimates
  • Preparing estimates used by management for planning, organizing and scheduling work
  • Preparing estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors

As you advance in this career, you may take on additional tasks including:

  • Performing quality assurance on the contractor’s cost management system
  • Consulting with clients, vendors and personnel in other departments to resolve issues
  • Establishing and maintaining the tendering process, and conducting negotiations
  • Resolving issues related to project cost control procedures


  • A post-secondary degree in engineering from an accredited institution and knowledge from within the electrical, mechanical or civil engineering field is required. Other credentials may be acceptable, such as a post-secondary degree in science, technology, mathematics or construction management. This role typically requires extensive experience and exposure to a variety of large capital projects.


  • Specific health and safety certifications will be determined by job requirements
  • Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP)
  • Certified Estimating Professional (CEP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS)
  • Certified Cost Consultant (CCC)


  • To obtain a license as a professional engineer (P.Eng) you must obtain a degree from an accredited engineering program, pass a professional practice exam and have three or four years of engineering experience, of which one year must be gained in Canada. You must also have Canadian citizenship or proof of permanent residency in Canada.
  • Once licensed, engineers receive a seal to stamp their designs and drawings.
  • Unlicensed engineers must work under the supervision of a P. Eng.

  • Travel likely required
  • Primarily indoor/office work
  • Work not physically demanding

Your organizational skills are critical. You can explain complex financial matters in ways that are easily understood by others. This helps you in negotiations and conflict resolution.

  • Critical thinking
  • Managing financial resources
  • Administration and management
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Attention to detail
  • Economics and accounting
  • Complex problem solving
  • Engineering and technology
  • Law and government
  • Negotiating with others