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Cost Accountant Salary

Median pay for Cost Accountants in the United States is around $51K annually. Total cash compensation to Cost Accountants bottoms out near $36K and approaches $72K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $6K from bonuses and almost $5K from profit sharing. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Women Cost Accountants who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Most Cost Accountants like their work and job satisfaction is high. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$38,268 - $70,034
(Median)
$38K
$51K
$70K
MEDIAN: $51,450
10%
50%
90%

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$14.19 - $28.42
(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
$38,268 - $70,034  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,999  
Profit Sharing
$54.25 - $4,825  
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).
)
$36,391 - $71,631  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,360
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
$14.19 - $28.42  
   
Overtime
$20.93 - $42.30  
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 - $5,999  
   
Profit Sharing
$54.25 - $4,825  
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).
)
$36,391 - $71,631  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 219
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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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There are some Cost Accountants — though it's uncommon — that transition into Plant Controllers, where earnings are an average $88K annually. 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


Cost Accountants report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, Financial Analysis, Financial Reporting, and SAP SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 10 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Accounts Payable, General Ledger Accounting, and Windows Operating System General Use. Most people skilled in Microsoft Excel are similarly competent 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.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $48K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $55K. Cost Accountants with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $60K. 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


For Cost Accountants, busy Los Angeles offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 21 percent above the national average. Cost Accountants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+19 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), Denver (+14 percent), and Dallas (+14 percent). Cost Accountants in Grand Rapids earn salaries far below the national average by 22 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

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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 6%



Cost Accounting
up arrow 2%

National Average
$51,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Access
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 4%

General Ledger Accounting
up arrow 10%

Accounts Payable
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 308 votes.

Gender

Female
51 %
Male
49 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
24%
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: 11%
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