The Certification Program

The ICEAA Certification Program is designed to offer members and non-members an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities at various levels.  Because cost estimating and analysis is a profession that combines the understanding of math and statistics principles with engineering, program management, procurement, budgeting and accounting disciplines, the mastery of cost estimating and analysis requires a solid foundation of cost knowledge woven together with a variety of cost experiences.

Prepare for, achieve, and maintain your ICEAA Certification in five easy steps:

Step 1 – Determine Your Eligibility

Applicants must demonstrate professional experience to be eligible for any certification.  ICEAA offers:

  • Professional Cost Estimator/Analyst (PCEA®), an apprentice-level certification to practitioners having at least two years of experience and a college degree (or equivalent experience). The PCEA® designation lasts three years and is not renewable, but those wishing to retain their PCEA® without achieving their CCEA® may re-apply and retake the PCEA examination every three years.
  • Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (CCEA®), our primary professional designation to practitioners having at least five years of experience and a college degree (or equivalent experience). CCEA® designations last five years and are renewable through the accumulation of recertification points.
  • Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst–Parametric (CCEA®-P), a specialty designation for practitioners already possessing a current CCEA® and seeking recognition for mastering parametric methods.

Step 2 – Complete Your Application

There are two parts to the ICEAA Exam: Passing Part I awards the PCEA®; passing both Parts I & II will award the CCEA® to those who have met the requirements for each.  The CCEA®-P is a separate one-part exam that may be taken by current CCEA®s.

Your application indicates which exam(s) you wish to take and allows you to provide proof of relevant education/work experience, and to verify the above qualifications for the different exams and corresponding designations. Applications are usually processed and notification of approval sent within 10 business days.

Step 3 – Register for Exams

Exams are scheduled throughout the year and additional sessions may be scheduled with certain requirements. Check the exam schedule for the currently scheduled exams or contact the ICEAA Business Office at iceaa@iceaaonline.org to inquire about setting up an additional sitting.

Acceptable Exam Supplies

This is a closed-book, no notes, no computer exam. Examinees may bring writing instruments, erasers, and acceptable calculators to the exam.

Acceptable calculators may feature:

  • Logarithm, universal power, memory, and parentheses keys
  • Statistical function keys (e.g., mean, standard deviation, correlation, linear regression) keys

Calculators may NOT

  • Use preprogrammed statistical functions (if these functions are available on the calculator, they must be disabled prior to the exam)
  • Have graphing capability
  • Be on a cell phone or other device with data or internet connectivity (cell phones will be collected by the proctor at the start of the exam)

It is the sole responsibility of the examinee to bring an appropriate calculator.  Calculators will not be provided at the exam site.

Step 4 – Prepare for the Exam

While your application is being reviewed – or even before – you should start studying.  Both parts of the ICEAA Exam test applicants on their proficiency across the cost estimation and analysis body of knowledge.

A variety of in-person training courses and study groups are available at ICEAA’s annual Professional Development & Training Workshop: www.iceaaonline.com/workshop

The list of testable topics, sample questions, and other preparation information are provided on the Certification Program page of the ICEAA website. While we highly endorse CEBoK® as a training resource, training from other reputable sources have proven sufficient to prepare for the exam.

Once you have taken your exam(s), you can expect to receive your results via email within 15 business days.

Step 5 – Benefit from Certification

Both the CCEA® and PCEA® are certification marks registered by ICEAA with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  We encourage you to make the most of your achievement by including your designation on your business card, email signature, social media profiles, and elsewhere. The list of certified individuals serves as a confirmation of your certification for your use or by potential employers.

Consider a Specialty Certification

Beyond the CCEA®, ICEAA offers the Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst–Parametric (CCEA®-P) to designate mastery in parametric estimating. CCEA®-P candidates must have a current CCEA® certification and must submit a work product to demonstrate their expertise.  Contact the ICEAA office for details.

Ask for Help Anytime

Contact us at iceaa@iceaaonline.org or 703-642-3090 with any questions, concerns, or clarifications.

Additional Information and Documents

Download detailed information for planning and preparing to certify.

Certification program details [PDF]

CEBoK® Training Material

CCEA® Testable Topics List [PDF]

CCEA® Exam Preparation Handbook [PDF]

CCEA® Sample Questions [PDF]

Classroom Training Using CEBoK® Materials

If you are looking for a cost-effective method for providing instruction to larger groups of people within your organization, ICEAA can provide on-site training, using pre-qualified, ICEAA-approved instructors who have the requisite depth and breadth of knowledge and are also expert teachers in the field. This option allows the material to be customized to the specific needs and interests of the organization and touches a large portion of the workforce at once, thereby promoting standardization of skills and knowledge base across the organization.

ICEAA will provide the required instructors at the organization’s facility and a USB flash drive for each student. Prices are negotiable, based on the number of people to be trained, the location(s), and the amount of tailoring required. For further information on in-house training options, contact the ICEAA National Office, at 703-642-3090 (email: iceaa@iceaaonline.org).

Many ICEAA Chapters also maintain a schedule of training seminars based on CEBoK® materials. Contact your local ICEAA Chapter President or visit the chapter section of the ICEAA web site for further information on seminar offerings in your area.

Any organization or individual planning to use CEBoK ® material for revenue-based training is required to acquire an “instructional license” available from the ICEAA International Office. The trainer will be required to pay ICEAA an instructional license fee of $20 per student per day of training for use of ICEAA’s proprietary material, and must comply with the requirement that all attendees at CEBoK ® training sessions be covered by an individual or enterprise CEBoK® license.

If you are planning on conducting classroom training (and you have already purchased a site license permitting your students to have access to the material), contact the ICEAA International Business Office at iceaa@iceaaonline.org if you plan on printing hard copies of any CEBoK® material. ICEAA will grant print permission on a case-by-case basis.

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