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Career and Education Opportunities for Cost Analysts in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for cost analysts. Currently, 2,420 people work as cost analysts in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 25% to about 3,040 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for cost analysts are expected to grow by about 25.3%. In general, cost analysts prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service.

Income for cost analysts is about $24 hourly or $50,010 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $27 hourly or $56,510 per year. Incomes for cost analysts are not quite as good as in the overall category of Adjustment and Analysis in Alabama, and better than the overall Adjustment and Analysis category nationally. Jobs in this field include: operations manager, environmental marketing specialist, and sales engineer.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a cost analyst. Given that the most common education level for cost analysts is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a cost analyst if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Cost Analyst

Cost Analyst video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, cost analysts prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. They also may specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.

Cost analysts confer with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to consider and formulate estimates and resolve issues. They also talk with engineers, architects, owners, and contractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates. Equally important, cost analysts have to analyze blueprints and other documentation to ready time and labor estimates. They are often called upon to ready estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors. They are expected to ready estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work. Finally, cost analysts ready cost and expenditure statements and other needed documentation at regular intervals for the duration of projects.

Every day, cost analysts are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to deal with basic arithmetic problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for cost analysts to ready and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors. They are often called upon to establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations. Somewhat less frequently, cost analysts are also expected to visit site and record data related to access, drainage and topography, and availability of services such as water and electricity.

Cost analysts sometimes are asked to visit site and record data related to access, drainage and topography, and availability of services such as water and electricity. And finally, they sometimes have to prepare cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.

Like many other jobs, cost analysts must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Business Management Analyst. Conduct organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, conduct work simplifications and measurement studies, and prepare operations and procedures manuals to assist management in operating more efficiently and effectively. Includes program analysts and management consultants.
  • Coroner. Direct activities such as autopsies, pathological and toxicological analyses, and inquests relating to the investigation of deaths occurring within a legal jurisdiction to determine cause of death or to fix responsibility for accidental, violent, or unexplained deaths.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Emergency Management Coordinator. Coordinate disaster response or crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural, wartime, or technological disasters or hostage situations.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Cost Analyst Training

Jefferson State Community College - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson State Community College, 2601 Carson Rd, Birmingham, AL 35215-3098. Jefferson State Community College is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,718 students. Jefferson State Community College has 2 areas of study related to Cost Analyst. They are:

  • Construction Engineering Technology/Technician, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated eight and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Business/Commerce, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-four and thirty students respectively in 2008.

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has 2 areas of study related to Cost Analyst. They are:

  • Business/Commerce, less than one year which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, associate's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer - Bessemer, AL

ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer, 6270 Park South Drive, Bessemer, AL 35022. ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer is a small school located in Bessemer, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,104 students and an admission rate of 48%. ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer has a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated three students in 2008.

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated thirty-eight and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Miles College - Fairfield, AL

Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd, Fairfield, AL 35064. Miles College is a small college located in Fairfield, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,773 students. Miles College has a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated fifty-eight and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Herzing College - Birmingham, AL

Herzing College, 280 West Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209. Herzing College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 314 students and an admission rate of 82%. Herzing College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated eleven and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has 3 areas of study related to Cost Analyst. They are:

  • Materials Engineering, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated twelve, five, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Mechanical Engineering, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-two and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and 129 students respectively in 2008.

University of Phoenix-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

University of Phoenix-Birmingham Campus, 100 Corporate Drive Ste 150, Birmingham, AL 35242-2928. University of Phoenix-Birmingham Campus is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 96 students. University of Phoenix-Birmingham Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Business Administration and Management.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated two and forty-four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional Estimator: The American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) has been certifying construction estimators for over thirty years.

For more information, see the American Society of Professional Estimators website.

Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist: CAMS certification is rrecognized by employers in both private industry and government.

For more information, see the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists website.

Certified Investment Management Analyst: The CIMA offers an intense educational experience focusing on asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

For more information, see the Investment Management Consultants Association website.

Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst : The Society's Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (CCE/A) program provides a professional credential to SCEA members and nonmembers who demonstrate mastery of basic concepts and methods.

For more information, see the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.