Cost Accountant Salary

Median pay for Cost Accountants in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $52K annually. Total incomes of Cost Accountants incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $6K from bonuses and close to $5K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $36K and $72K. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Cost Accountants. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 51 percent. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$38,379 - $70,106
(Median)
$38K
$52K
$70K
MEDIAN: $51,771
10%
50%
90%

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$14.13 - $28.24
(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
$38,379 - $70,106  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,089  
Profit Sharing
$56.67 - $4,685  
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).
)
$36,410 - $71,861  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,359
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
$14.13 - $28.24  
   
Overtime
$20.86 - $41.24  
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 - $6,089  
   
Profit Sharing
$56.67 - $4,685  
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).
)
$36,410 - $71,861  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 222
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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 not commonly seen, Cost Accountants who transition into a Plant Controller position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Plant Controllers is $89K 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


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, Financial Reporting, Financial Analysis, and ERP are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 12 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Accounts Payable, Windows Operating System General Use, and General Ledger Accounting. For most people, competency in Microsoft Excel indicates knowledge of 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 $48K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $55K. For Cost Accountants, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $60K. For some reason, Cost Accountants with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $59K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Cost Accountants in Houston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 21 percent above the national average. Cost Accountants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+20 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), Denver (+13 percent), and Dallas (+13 percent). Cost Accountants' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Cost Accountants in Grand Rapids bring in salaries that are 23 percent lower than the national average.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Cost Accountant Salaries




National Average
$52,000


Skills That Affect Cost Accountant Salaries

SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
up arrow 12%



ERP
up arrow 6%


Cost Accounting
up arrow 2%

Data Analysis
0%

National Average
$52,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Access
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%

General Ledger Accounting
up arrow 4%


Accounts Payable
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 281 votes.

Gender

Female
51 %
Male
49 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 78%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 11%
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