Whether investing in new projects or improving business
operations, petroleum companies keep a close eye on the bottom
Cost Engineers directly impact an organization's profitability.
They use sophisticated control systems to manage project scope,
costs, schedules, and risks. They apply cost engineering and cost
management principles, project management methodology and
specialized technology to their projects.
Imagine developing project plans and staying on top of the
implementation schedule, ready to jump in and propose solutions if
the project veers off course. You could help to improve production
processes, maintain processing units, or expand facilities by using
sophisticated software. The opportunities are varied and
If you have a talent for managing projects and a desire to
impact a company's operational and financial performance, a career
as a Cost Engineer could be your calling!
What does a Cost Engineer do?
Cost Engineers provide in-depth expertise about
project planning and scheduling, costmanagement and control
systems. Typical specialties include:
Develop project plans, schedules and forecasts. They analyse
schedule deviations and recommend corrective actions.
- Cost Estimators:
Prepare capital and operating cost estimates. They monitor project
costs, complete risk analyses and identify improvements. They also
maintain an estimating/experience database, guidelines, procedures
and best practices.
Analysts/Controllers: Establish project control systems.
They oversee project performance in terms of scope, time and cost.
They also identify and monitor project risks, and recommend
How do I become a Cost Engineer?
Cost Engineers need an engineering degree from an accredited
college or university. Programs in process engineering, chemical
engineering, and computer process control may better prepare you
for this work.
You will also need a license to practice as an engineer.
Provincial engineering associations are responsible for
administering and issuing licenses. For more specific information
about engineering qualifications and professional certifications,
check out the following website: www.engineerscanada.ca.
Certifications and designations that can be attained for this
- Planning and Scheduling Professional
(PSP), Certified Estimating Professional (CEP),Certified Cost
Engineer (CCE), and Certified Cost Consultant (CCC). For
furtherinformation see the Association for the Advancement of Cost
Engineering (AACE)International website at www.aacei.org.
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Project Management Institute (PMI),information at www.pmi.org.
- Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS)
- Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS),information at www.ciqs.org.
Information for foreign-trained engineers is provided on the
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website
What are the working conditions like?
Most Cost Engineers perform their work indoors, in office
settings. Cost Engineers work with multi-disciplinary, fast-paced,
dynamic environments. Some business travel is required.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a Cost
- I have a natural curiosity about the
world and have a knack forfiguring out how things work.
- I like to build new things and enjoy
- I have skills in project planning,
estimating time and costs, and seeing things through from start to
- I can apply critical thinking and
enjoy problem solving.
- I can balance details with the 'big
- I have an aptitude for using
specialized computer software.
- I am a multi-tasker and can handle
changing priorities whenunder pressure.
- I can manage high volumes of work and
meet tight deadlines.
- I consider myself a great team-player
- I can build personal and professional relationships
- I am interested in pursuing a
university education that may require at least four or more years
- I think a career as a Cost Engineer
is exciting and I'm up for thechallenge and adventure!
Quick tips and next steps!
- Visit career fairs and talk to
employers who offer jobs and careers in this occupation. Check with
employment centres, educational institutions, newspapers,
petroleum-related magazines and the internet for information on
- While in high school, sharpen your
skills and knowledge in areas such as mathematics, chemistry,
physics and computer science.
- Participate in National
Technology Week which is held annually during November and
offers a host of activities along with interactive and fun
resources to help students, teachers and parents explore technical
careers. See details at: www.cctt.ca.
- Check out websites of industry and
professional associations such as the Canadian Council
ofTechnicians and Technologists at www.cctt.ca.
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