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Top 11 Project Estimator Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications available for project estimators, including their requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for a project estimator are essential in the job market as they can provide evidence of a professional’s expertise and knowledge in their field. They also demonstrate the individual’s commitment to staying up to date with industry standards and trends, which is critical for success in any project estimation role. Additionally, certifications can be used as a tool to differentiate between potential candidates when employers are looking to fill an open position. Having a certification shows that the individual has taken the extra step to acquire specialized knowledge and skills, making them more attractive to potential employers.

This article reviews the top certifications for Project Estimators and explains how they can contribute to a project estimator's career by providing professional recognition, increased knowledge, and improved job opportunities.

What are Project Estimator Certifications?

Project estimator certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a person’s understanding of project estimation and cost analysis techniques. It is designed to help professionals become more proficient in the process of estimating project costs, timelines, resources, and other related activities. Estimators certified by this program are able to provide accurate estimates for projects by using proven methods and best practices.

The benefits of obtaining project estimator certification include being able to better assess the risks associated with each project, identify potential problems before they arise, and develop realistic budgets for projects. Certified estimators also have an increased chance of getting hired for positions that require an understanding of project estimation techniques. Furthermore, having this certification can be a great asset when seeking promotions or higher-level positions within an organization. In addition, it may provide estimators with access to specialized training opportunities that could help them stay current on the latest trends in the industry.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to become a project estimator, it is important to take the time to research and understand the certification requirements for each specific industry. Many certifications require formal education or training, as well as passing an exam. Additionally, some certifications may require additional continuing education or other activities in order to maintain your certification status.

Related: What does a Project Estimator do?

Top 11 Project Estimator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Project Estimators today.

1. Certified Professional Project Estimator (CPPE)

Certified Professional Project Estimator (CPPE) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the expertise of experienced project estimators. It is administered by the Construction Estimator Certification Institute (CECI). The CPPE certification is based on a comprehensive examination that covers all aspects of project estimation, including cost estimating, risk analysis, and value engineering.

To become certified as a CPPE, an individual must have at least five years of experience in the field of project estimation. Additionally, applicants must pass a written exam that covers topics such as cost estimating principles and techniques; risk analysis; value engineering; and other related topics.

The CPPE certification process typically takes three to six months to complete. Once an applicant has met all of the requirements for certification, they will receive their official certificate from the CECI.

The cost for obtaining the CPPE certification varies depending on the specific requirements of each individual applicant. Generally speaking, applicants can expect to pay between $400 and $1,000 in fees associated with the application process and exam.

2. Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (CCEA)

Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (CCEA) is a professional certification program that provides recognition to individuals who demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to accurately estimate costs for projects and organizations. The CCEA certification is administered by the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA).

The CCEA certification requires applicants to have at least five years of experience in cost estimating or cost analysis, as well as a bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, economics, finance, business administration or related field. Applicants must also pass an examination that covers topics such as cost estimating principles, methods and techniques; project management; risk management; financial analysis; and systems engineering.

The CCEA certification process typically takes between four and six months from the time of application submission to the time of receiving results. To apply for the CCEA certification, applicants must complete an online application form on the ICEAA website and pay a non-refundable fee of $250 USD. After submitting the application form and payment, applicants will be asked to submit additional documents such as proof of education, work experience and references. Once all documents are received by ICEAA, they will be reviewed by a panel of experts who will assess whether or not the applicant meets all requirements for certification.

Once approved for certification, applicants must pay an annual membership fee of $75 USD in order to maintain their CCEA status. Additionally, CCEAs must complete continuing education credits every three years in order to remain certified.

3. Certified Construction Estimator (CCE)

Certified Construction Estimator (CCE) is a professional certification program offered by the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a level of proficiency in construction estimating and cost analysis. The CCE program consists of three levels: Certified Construction Estimator (CCE), Certified Professional Estimator (CPE), and Master Certified Professional Estimator (MCPE).

The CCE program requires applicants to pass an exam that tests their knowledge of construction estimating principles, practices, and terminology. The exam covers topics such as bid preparation, project management, cost control, scheduling, quantity takeoff methods, and other related topics. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the construction industry or completion of an approved course in construction estimating.

The CCE exam typically takes about four hours to complete and can be taken at any ASPE-approved test center. The fee for taking the exam is $450 for ASPE members and $550 for non-members.

Once an individual passes the CCE exam they are awarded the designation of Certified Construction Estimator which is valid for three years from the date of passing the exam. In order to maintain their certification status they must complete continuing education credits every three years.

4. Certified Estimating Professional (CEP)

Certified Estimating Professional (CEP) is a certification program offered by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI). It is designed to recognize and reward professionals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge, experience, and skill in cost estimating. The CEP credential is recognized worldwide as a mark of excellence in cost estimating.

The CEP program consists of three levels: Certified Estimating Professional (CEP), Certified Estimating Professional-Advanced (CEP-A), and Certified Estimating Professional-Expert (CEP-E). Each level requires different levels of experience, education, and training.

It typically takes 3-5 years to complete the CEP program. To get certified, candidates must pass three exams: Fundamentals of Cost Estimating; Advanced Cost Estimating; and Expert Cost Estimating. Candidates must also have at least two years of professional experience in cost estimating or related fields.

The cost to participate in the CEP program varies depending on whether you are an AACEI member or non-member. For AACEI members, it costs $1,700 for all three exams; for non-members, it costs $2,000 for all three exams.

5. Certified Cost Engineer (CCE)

Certified Cost Engineer (CCE) is a professional certification program that recognizes the expertise of cost engineers in the field of project management. It is offered by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI). The CCE certification provides an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates knowledge and experience in cost engineering, cost estimating, and related disciplines.

It typically takes around 18 months to complete the requirements for CCE certification. To become certified, applicants must have at least five years of professional experience in cost engineering or a related field, as well as pass a comprehensive examination. The exam covers topics such as cost estimating methods, risk analysis, project scheduling, and contract administration.

The application fee for CCE certification is $400 USD and must be paid before taking the exam. After passing the exam, applicants must pay an additional $200 USD to receive their certificate.

Overall, obtaining CCE certification requires dedication and hard work but can be very rewarding for those who are looking to advance their career in cost engineering or project management.

6. Certified Cost Consultant (CCC)

A Certified Cost Consultant (CCC) is a professional designation that recognizes an individual's expertise in the field of cost management. CCCs are experts in helping organizations identify and manage costs, improve efficiency and reduce waste. They provide advice on budgeting, forecasting, cost analysis, process improvement and financial planning.

It takes approximately two years to become a Certified Cost Consultant. The requirements for certification include completing a minimum of four courses from an accredited institution or program, passing the CCC exam administered by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), and having at least three years of relevant work experience in cost management.

To get certified as a CCC, applicants must submit their application to the ICAI along with all necessary documents such as academic transcripts, proof of experience, and letters of recommendation. Once accepted into the program, applicants must complete all required courses and pass the CCC exam before they can be officially certified.

The cost for becoming a Certified Cost Consultant varies depending on the institution or program chosen for coursework. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 USD including course fees and exam fees.

7. Certified Project Management Estimator (CPME)

Certified Project Management Estimator (CPME) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to help project managers and estimators develop their skills in estimating, planning, and controlling projects. The CPME credential demonstrates an individual’s ability to apply project management principles and techniques to accurately estimate the cost, duration, and resources needed for successful project completion.

The CPME certification requires applicants to pass a 150-question multiple-choice exam that covers topics such as project estimation fundamentals, risk analysis, cost estimation methods, resource allocation strategies, scheduling techniques, and earned value management. Candidates must also have at least three years of professional experience in project management or related fields.

The CPME exam takes approximately four hours to complete and can be taken at any PMI-approved testing center. The exam fee is $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their official CPME certificate within 4–6 weeks.

8. Certified Value Analysis Professional (CVAP)

Certified Value Analysis Professional (CVAP) is a certification program offered by the American Society for Value Analysis (ASVA). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise in value analysis, which is an approach to problem solving that seeks to identify and eliminate waste while improving quality and performance.

The CVAP certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as value engineering, cost-benefit analysis, process improvement, and project management. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have at least three years of experience in value analysis or related fields.

The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. It costs $395 for members of ASVA and $495 for non-members. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your CVAP certification within two weeks.

9. American Society of Professional Estimators Certification Program

The American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) Certification Program is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and experience of estimators in the construction industry. The program provides an opportunity for estimators to demonstrate their expertise, increase their credibility and enhance their career opportunities.

The ASPE Certification Program consists of two levels: Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) and Master Professional Estimator (MPE). To become certified, applicants must meet certain criteria, including having at least five years of experience in the construction estimating field and passing a written examination.

To become a CPE, applicants must have at least five years of experience in the construction estimating field, pass a written exam, and submit an application with references from three ASPE members who can attest to their qualifications. The exam covers topics such as cost estimation principles, cost control methods, legal aspects of contracts, project management principles and practices, scheduling techniques, and risk management strategies. The exam fee is $400 for ASPE members or $500 for non-members.

To become an MPE requires additional experience beyond that required for CPE certification. Applicants must have at least 10 years of experience in the construction estimating field, pass a written exam, submit an application with references from four ASPE members who can attest to their qualifications, and complete two projects demonstrating mastery of advanced estimating techniques. The exam fee is $500 for ASPE members or $600 for non-members.

Once certified by ASPE as either a CPE or MPE, individuals are required to maintain their certification status by completing continuing education courses every three years in order to stay current on industry trends and best practices.

10. Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International Certification Program

The Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI) Certification Program is a professional certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a Certified Cost Engineer (CCE). The AACEI Certification Program is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise in cost engineering, project controls, and related disciplines.

The AACEI Certification Program consists of two levels: Certified Cost Professional (CCP) and Certified Cost Engineer (CCE). The CCP certification requires at least four years of cost engineering experience, while the CCE requires at least seven years. Both certifications require passing an exam administered by AACEI.

In order to obtain either certification, applicants must first submit an application to AACEI. Once approved, applicants must take and pass the appropriate exam. The exams are offered twice a year in April and October.

The cost of the CCP certification is $495 USD for members ($795 USD for non-members), while the cost of the CCE certification is $595 USD for members ($995 USD for non-members). Additionally, there are fees associated with taking the exams. These fees vary depending on location but typically range from $175-$225 USD per exam.

Overall, it can take anywhere from six months to one year to complete all of the steps necessary to obtain either certification.

11. Project Management Institute’s PMI-SP: Scheduling Professional Certification

The Project Management Institute’s PMI-SP: Scheduling Professional Certification is a professional certification that recognizes the knowledge and skills of professionals in the field of project scheduling. This certification is designed to help project managers, schedulers, and other stakeholders understand the fundamentals of project scheduling and how to effectively apply them in their work.

It typically takes about six months to complete the PMI-SP certification process. To get certified, individuals must first pass an exam administered by PMI. The exam covers topics such as project scope management, resource planning, time management, risk management, cost control, and quality assurance. After passing the exam, individuals must submit an application for certification along with proof of their education and experience in the field of project scheduling.

The cost for taking the PMI-SP exam varies depending on where you take it; however, it generally ranges from $500 - $600 USD. Additionally, there are fees associated with applying for certification after passing the exam which can range from $150 - $200 USD.

Overall, obtaining PMI-SP: Scheduling Professional Certification can be a great way to demonstrate your expertise in project scheduling and increase your chances of getting hired or promoted within your organization.

Do You Really Need a Project Estimator Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not need a project estimator certificate to become a successful project estimator. That said, certifications can be beneficial in certain circumstances and can help provide additional credibility and recognition for your abilities.

Project estimation is a skill that requires knowledge of the project process and the ability to accurately assess risks, costs, and other factors associated with the project. A certification can help demonstrate that you have the skills necessary to do this job well. It will also show potential employers that you are serious about your career and are willing to invest time and money into developing your skills.

Certifications can also be useful if you want to pursue additional education or training related to project estimation. Many professional organizations offer specialized courses or workshops that may require a certification from an accredited institution before they will allow you to participate. Having a certification in this area could open up new opportunities for career advancement or further education.

Additionally, having a project estimator certificate may give you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs in the field since it shows potential employers that you have taken extra steps to demonstrate your skills and commitment to the profession.

In summary, while having a project estimator certificate isn’t required for success in this field, it can be beneficial in some cases and may open up more opportunities for career growth or further education than those without one.

Related: Project Estimator Resume Examples

FAQs About Project Estimator Certifications

1. What are the requirements for Project Estimator Certification?

Answer: The requirements for Project Estimator Certification vary by country and region, but generally include a relevant bachelor’s degree in engineering or construction management, plus at least two years of experience in the field.

2. How long does it take to become certified as a Project Estimator?

Answer: It typically takes two to four years to become certified as a Project Estimator, depending on the individual's prior experience and educational background.

3. What type of job opportunities can I expect with Project Estimator certification?

Answer: With Project Estimator certification, you could be eligible for roles such as estimator, project manager, cost estimator, or construction manager.

4. Are there any continuing education requirements for maintaining my Project Estimator certification?

Answer: Yes, most certifying bodies require that you participate in continuing education activities every year in order to maintain your certification status.

5. Is there an exam I need to take to become certified as a Project Estimator?

Answer: Yes, most certifying bodies require that you pass an exam in order to become certified as a Project Estimator. The specifics of the exam will vary by organization, so make sure to check with them before registering for the exam.