Billings, MT, Minneapolis, MN

Our busy engineering firm is seeking an experienced Cost Estimator to join our project controls and estimating team.  Cost Estimators prepare total installed cost (TIC) estimates and basis of estimate (BOE) reports to provide an economic evaluation basis for all stages and sizes of industrial process facility projects (refining, metal and mineral processing, chemical, and energy) that are executed and managed out of Kestrel’s six offices.

Candidate must have substantial relevant cost estimating experience, have a clear understanding of estimating philosophy as it relates to industrial process engineering projects, and be able to read and understand engineering documents.  Construction experience is highly desired, particularly in similar industries and combined with cost estimating.  Candidates without construction experience may be considered if they can demonstrate a solid command of construction and estimating principles and practices.

The position is part of the project controls team and will also involve project controls functions such as scheduling, budget management, progress measurement, change management, etc.


Position reports to the Project Services Manager.  In the project structure, the position will collaborate with project managers and project engineers on assigned projects.


  • Develop TIC estimates for all AACE estimate classes to appropriate accuracies using Aspen Capital Cost Estimator software based on the project deliverables and incorporating information provided by the client, various estimating tools, vendor/contractor input, historical data, and estimator experience.
  • Write BOE reports to document the basis of estimate development including the scope, procedures, data sources, assumptions, exclusions, and risks related to the TIC estimates.
  • Perform peer reviews and detailed checking of TIC estimates prepared by other estimators prior to their transmittal to the client.
  • Lead internal and client estimate reviews.
  • Participate with the project controls team on non-estimate related activities, assisting project managers in the efficient and effective monitoring and execution of multi-discipline engineering, project management, procurement support, construction coordination, and startup / commissioning support for Kestrel’s clients.
  • Prepare and update resource-loaded CPM schedules for engineering, procurement, and construction using Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project software.
  • Prepare and evaluate project budget reports and other cost control tools with cost data from the accounting system.
  • Measure, forecast, and report project progress and cash flow using earned value and other techniques.
  • Prepare and edit project status reports, 3-week look-ahead schedules, action item lists, change logs, change orders and other project documents.


  • BS in engineering, construction engineering technology, construction management, or related field.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience cost estimating in the industrial process or related industry.
  • Relevant construction experience is required unless the candidate can demonstrate a solid understanding of construction principles and practices.
  • Solid command of estimating principles and practices including:
    • Preparation of parametric, factored, semi-detailed, and detailed estimates.
    • Estimate classifications and accuracies.
    • Understanding of project execution plans including contracting, procurement, and fabrication plans.
    • Development of direct and indirect costs.
    • Labor rates, productivities, work weeks, overtime, shiftwork, effects of turn-around or plant down work.
    • Construction equipment requirements, crane sizing, heavy lift/haul, mobilization.
    • Engineering costs, owner costs, contractor fee structures, and contract types.
    • Appropriate allowance, risk, contingency, and management reserve allocations.
  • Certification related to cost estimating from a reputable organization is desired.
  • Proficiency with cost estimating software, preferably Aspen Capital Cost Estimator.
  • Proficiency writing and editing technical documents.
  • Proficiency with project management software for scheduling, forecasting and other project controls activities.

Required Skills:

  • Able to read, understand, and perform material take-offs from engineering documents for estimating project costs.  Documents include plot plans, equipment lists and datasheets, P&IDs, piping line and tie-point lists, piping isometrics, geotechnical reports, structural plans and details, electrical one-line drawings, instrument lists, etc.
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, organizational and written/oral communication skills. 
  • Detail-oriented team player/leader who can consistently meet deadlines and possess the ability to work independently as needed.
  • Must be self-motivated, hardworking, and eager to learn.
  • Use applicable software to perform the work described above such as Aspen Capital Cost Estimator, Primavera P6, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel, Deltek Vision, etc.

Application Instructions:

Email current resume, cover letter, and references to:

We offer a full benefits package.  Medical, Dental, Vision, 401K, Company paid Life & AD&D Insurance, Company paid Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, Supplemental Life & Dependent Life Insurance, and a Flexible Spending Account.  We also offer a generous Paid Time Off program, 8 paid holidays, and overtime compensation for exempt staff.

Kestrel Engineering Group Inc. has a policy of conducting background checks and drug and alcohol testing for all candidates who accept an offer of employment with us.

“Kestrel is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Qualification Requirements

All Kestrel staff must have the legal right to work in the United States.  Kestrel does not provide immigration or work visa sponsorship.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills and abilities required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made when possible to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Should also possess the following competencies:  Able to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner; Develop alternative solutions; Keep emotions under control while under stressful situations; Speak clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; present numerical data effectively and accurately; show respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; promote a harassment-free environment; work with integrity and ethically; follow the Company’s policies and procedures; prioritize and plan work activities; use time efficiently; approach others in a tactful manner; accept responsibility for own actions; deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events; be consistently at work and on time; ensure work responsibilities are covered when absent; arrive at meetings and appointments on time; and ask for and offer help when needed.

Workplace Requirements:

Due to the nature of our work, all employees must be capable, eligible and willing to visit our clients at their industrial facilities.  This entails a willingness and ability to travel, wear required personal protective equipment and to comply with our safety policies as well as those of our clients. 

Drug & Alcohol Testing:  Drug and alcohol screening will be completed by Kestrel at employment initiation and periodically thereafter as required to meet our client requirements.  This testing is performed in accordance with state and federal requirements and as defined by client drug and alcohol testing requirements.  Failure to pass a drug or alcohol test, refusing to submit to testing, and/or providing an adulterated or substituted sample, will be cause for termination where not contrary to law.

Background Checks:  Background checks will be completed by Kestrel at employment initiation and periodically thereafter as required to meet our client requirements.  The results of background checks will be kept confidential and will not be actionable unless they reveal information that would make the employee ineligible for client site access.

Travel Requirements:  Kestrel employees must be willing and able to travel by driving or flying to client facilities and other Kestrel offices.  In order for Kestrel employees to drive as a course of their employment they must have a valid driver’s license and be insurable through Kestrel’s insurance provider.  You must be willing and able to drive your own properly registered and insured vehicle.  Any negative incidents such as speeding tickets or DUI’s could prevent an employee from being insurable as a driver of a Kestrel or rental vehicle. Must also meet all requirements to fly with commercial airlines without restriction.

Language Skills

Because Kestrel maintains strict adherence to company policies and procedures, for an individual to perform this job successfully, he/she must have the ability to speak, write and understand English. Ability to read, communicate, interpret, and comprehend simple instructions, correspondence and memos, both electronically and in written form.

Mathematical Skills

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. 

Reasoning Ability

Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, electronic, or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.  Must be able to work and communicate well with others; work well under the pressure of ensuring that requirements and specifications are met; work with minimal supervision.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Kestrel employees, with reasonable accommodation, must be willing and able to independently enter, perform work within, and evacuate from all areas within the client’s site.  Reasonable accommodations may be made when possible to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Must be willing and able to complete accurate and efficient field documentation in heavy industrial environment, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), may require physical ability to walk over uneven surfaces, work from elevated surfaces, and navigate around or climb on industrial equipment (i.e. climbing pipe racks, ladders, stairs, etc.) and related requirements.

While performing the duties of this job, the associate is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear. The associate frequently is required to sit and reach with hands and arms.  The associate is occasionally required to walk; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.  The associate must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made when possible to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  The noise level in the office work environment is generally quiet.  The noise level at client sites is usually very loud.  At client sites you may also be exposed to moving mechanical parts, fumes, gases, airborne particles, confined spaces, and may occasionally be exposed to risk of electrical shock.