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Career and Education Opportunities for Cost Analysts in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for cost analysts in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. Currently, 960 people work as cost analysts in Arkansas. This is expected to grow 23% to 1,180 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for cost analysts, which sees this job pool growing by about 25.3% over the next eight years. Cost analysts generally prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service.

A person working as a cost analyst can expect to earn about $23 hourly or $49,130 per year on average in Arkansas and about $27 hourly or $56,510 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Adjustment and Analysis, people working as cost analysts in Arkansas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Adjustment and Analysis nationally. Cost analysts work in a variety of jobs, including: job cost estimator, building construction estimator, and project manager.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can study to be a cost analyst, among nine schools of higher education total in the Fort Smith area. The most common level of education for cost analysts is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be 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 Fort Smith 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Cost Analyst Training

Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro - Spiro, OK

Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro, 610 SW 3rd, Spiro, OK 74959. Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro is a small school located in Spiro, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 85 students. Kiamichi Technology Center-Spiro has a two to four year program in Business Administration and Management which graduated one student in 2008.

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has an associate's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated sixty-seven students in 2008.

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith - Fort Smith, AR

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a medium sized university located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,846 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has less than one year, one to two year, and bachelor's degree programs in Business Administration and Management which graduated nineteen, five, and eighty 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: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.