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Cost Accountant Salary (United States)

Cost Accountants in the United States pull down an average of $51K per year. Total cash compensation to Cost Accountants bottoms out near $36K and approaches $71K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $6K from bonuses and almost $5K from profit sharing. Geography and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women Cost Accountants who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Most Cost Accountants report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
Cost Accountant Salary (?
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.
)
$38,310 - $68,923
(Median)
38K
51K
61K
69K
MEDIAN: $51,235
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Cost Accountant Salary (?
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.
)
$14.02 - $27.98
(Median)
14
19
23
28
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
75%
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
$38,310 - $68,923  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,993  
Profit Sharing
$302.01 - $5,068  
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).
)
$36,330 - $70,601  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,353
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$14.02 - $27.98  
   
Overtime
$21.42 - $41.49  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,993  
   
Profit Sharing
$302.01 - $5,068  
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).
)
$36,330 - $70,601  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 223
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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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Though not the most common occurrence, Cost Accountants sometimes become Plant Controllers, where the average income is $88K per year. When Cost Accountants are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Senior Accountants or Accounting Managers. Those roles pay an additional $7K and $8K, respectively.

Cost Accountant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Accountant

Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, SAP SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling, ERP, and Financial Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 12 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Windows Operating System General Use. Those educated in Microsoft Excel tend to be well versed 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.
The average beginner in this position makes around $48K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $55K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $59K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't higher than less experienced individuals' earnings.

Pay Difference By Location

Boston
up arrow 50%
Los Angeles
up arrow 18%
Denver
up arrow 15%
Dallas
up arrow 14%
Minneapolis
up arrow 14%
San Diego
up arrow 14%
Houston
up arrow 12%
up arrow 7%
Atlanta
up arrow 6%
Phoenix
up arrow 6%
St. Louis
0%
National Average
$51,000
Cleveland
up arrow 1%
Columbus
up arrow 2%
Grand Rapids
up arrow 14%
Dayton
up arrow 18%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Cost Accountants will find that Boston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 50 percent. Cost Accountants will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+18 percent), Denver (+15 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), and Minneapolis (+14 percent). Dayton is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 18 percent. Employers pay around 14 percent less in Grand Rapids and 2 percent less in Columbus, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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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 12%
ERP
up arrow 7%
Cost Accounting
up arrow 4%
Microsoft Excel
0%
Microsoft Access
0%
National Average
$51,000
Data Analysis
up arrow 1%
Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%
Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 382 votes.

Gender

Female
51%
female alumni
 
Male
49%
male alumni

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 86% dental benefits Dental: 77%
vision benefits Vision: 59% employee benefits None: 12%