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Cost Accountant Salary

The average Cost Accountant in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $51K annually. Cash earnings for Cost Accountants — which occasionally include more than $6K from bonuses and more than $5K from profit sharing — stretch from around $36K to approximately $71K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. The majority of Cost Accountants claim high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 51 percent. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$38,392 - $69,609
(Median)
$38K
$51K
$70K
MEDIAN: $51,287
10%
50%
90%

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$14.16 - $28.40
(Median)
$14
$19
$28
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$38,392 - $69,609  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,965  
Profit Sharing
$54.63 - $4,948  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$36,489 - $71,238  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,354
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$14.16 - $28.40  
   
Overtime
$21.29 - $42.65  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,965  
   
Profit Sharing
$54.63 - $4,948  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$36,489 - $71,238  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 220

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Job Description for Cost Accountant

A Cost Accountant is responsible for informing and advising management on the cost effectiveness of a given business strategy or course of action for the company. In order to accomplish this, a cost accountant will review data from monthly and quarterly ledgers, coordinate and record inventory and its costs, and keep tabs on account practices and regulations to make sure the company remains in compliance. Cost accountants will also manage the timetable of financial audits. The typical cost accountant job requires a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and strong organizational skills. A comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Excel is also highly preferred. As for intangible skills, cost accountants need to be able to communicate their findings and suggestions effectively. This may require elements of teaching ability when explaining complex finances and conclusions to management that may not have a financial or accounting background. As one would suspect, most of the workload of the cost accountant is mental in nature. The only physical requirements include being able to type on a keyboard for long stretches or being able to sit all day. Like other accountants, the work takes place in an office environment and features extended computer use with occasional meetings. Work hours are also typical for a “nine-to-five” job; however, overtime and occasional weekend work may be required during exceptionally busy periods. A cost accountant mainly works within the accounting group of a company and with other accountants, but they are also required to explain their findings and their implications to upper management.


Cost Accountant Tasks

  • Ensures services and processes are in compliance with account practices and regulatory requirements.
  • Record and report the costs of manufacturing goods and providing services.
  • Analyzes monthly and quarterly ledger activities.
  • Prepares financial audit schedules and reports for management.

Common Career Paths for Cost Accountant


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While Cost Accountants do not often become Plant Controllers, the job pays $88K per year on average. Cost Accountants moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Senior Accountants or Accounting Managers. The median paychecks in those roles are $7K higher and $8K higher, respectively.

Cost Accountant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Accountant


Survey results imply that Cost Accountants deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, SAP SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling, Financial Analysis, and Financial Reporting are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 10 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Windows Operating System General Use. It is often found that people who know Microsoft Excel are also skilled in Cost Accounting and Financial Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Cost Accountant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $47K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $55K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $60K in this role. Respondents who boast more than 20 years of experience can't seem to boast paychecks reflecting that extensive experience, though; veteran Cost Accountants report making only $58K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Cost Accountants will find that Houston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 19 percent. Cost Accountants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+18 percent), Denver (+15 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), and Dallas (+11 percent). Falling short of the national average by 20 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Grand Rapids.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Cost Accountant Salaries




National Average
$51,000


Skills That Affect Cost Accountant Salaries

SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
up arrow 10%




ERP
up arrow 5%

Cost Accounting
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Excel
0%

Data Analysis
0%

National Average
$51,000

Microsoft Access
up arrow 1%

General Ledger Accounting
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 328 votes.

Gender

Female
51 %
Male
49 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 77%
vision benefits Vision: 60% employee benefits None: 12%