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Cost Accountant Salary (United States)

For Cost Accountants, yearly wages usually total $51K annually. Total cash earnings of Cost Accountants range from $36K on the low end to $70K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $6K and $5K, respectively. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. A strong majority enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Men are barely outnumbered by their female counterparts, who make up a slight majority at 51 percent. Most Cost Accountants like their work and job satisfaction is high. This outline is based on answers to PayScale's 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.
)
$37,516 - $68,153
(Median)
38K
43K
51K
60K
68K
MEDIAN: $50,899
10%
25%
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.
)
$14.06 - $27.45
(Median)
14
19
23
27
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
$37,516 - $68,153  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,944  
Profit Sharing
$352.34 - $4,975  
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).
)
$36,059 - $69,979  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,399
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
$14.06 - $27.45  
   
Overtime
$21.56 - $41.28  
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 - $5,944  
   
Profit Sharing
$352.34 - $4,975  
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).
)
$36,059 - $69,979  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 224
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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 usually pays $87K per year. It is quite typical for Cost Accountants to transition into roles as Senior Accountants or Accounting Managers, where reported median earnings are $7K and $8K higher per year.

Cost Accountant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Accountant

Cost Accountants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning , Financial Analysis, ERP, and SAP SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 10 percent, 10 percent, 8 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. 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.
Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $47K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $55K. Cost Accountants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $59K. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $58K. More than half of the workforce has between one and nine years of experience. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up around one in six of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than one in ten, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining fewer than one in ten.

Pay Difference By Location

Boston
up arrow 52%
Los Angeles
up arrow 19%
Denver
up arrow 15%
Minneapolis
up arrow 15%
Dallas
up arrow 14%
Houston
up arrow 9%
up arrow 8%
Phoenix
up arrow 7%
St. Louis
up arrow 1%
Atlanta
up arrow 1%
National Average
$51,000
Cleveland
up arrow 1%
Philadelphia
up arrow 2%
Dayton
up arrow 5%
Grand Rapids
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Boston offers some of the highest pay in the country for Cost Accountants, 52 percent above the national average. Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver, and Dallas also offer top salaries for Cost Accountants. Workers in these cities can expect to earn about 19 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent, and 14 percent more, respectively. The smallest paychecks in the market, 15 percent south of the national average, can be found in Grand Rapids. Workers in Dayton and Philadelphia earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (5 percent less and 2 percent less, respectively).

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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 8%
Cost Accounting
up arrow 4%
Financial Reporting
up arrow 4%
Microsoft Access
up arrow 1%
Microsoft Excel
0%
Data Analysis
0%
National Average
$51,000
Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 2%
Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 447 votes.

Gender

Female
51%
female alumni
 
Male
49%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 77%
vision benefits Vision: 59% employee benefits None: 12%