Cost Accountant Salary (United States)

A typical Cost Accountant in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $50,810 per year. Pay generally spreads from $36,059 to $69,979 per year. Geographic location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and most earn dental coverage. Men are barely outnumbered by their female counterparts, who make up a slight majority at 51 percent. Work is enjoyable for Cost Accountants, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
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 not commonly found, Cost Accountants who move on to become Plant Controllers bring in an additional $36K annually. A typical promotion for Cost Accountants is becoming Senior Accountants or Accounting Managers, where they can expect an extra $7,119 or $8,152 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 (ERP), Financial Analysis, ERP, and SAP SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling (SAP FICO) are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 10 percent, 10 percent, 8 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. Most people familiar with Microsoft Excel also know 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.
Starting out, salaries are typically $47K, which grows to $55K after five to 10 years. Earnings total $59K after one to two decades. For Cost Accountants, two decades of experience in the field often means a drop in salary—average earnings fall to $58K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 17 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 5 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than 10 percent. Between one and nine years of experience is the norm for people in this field—a majority of those surveyed fit this bill.

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.
Home to some of the best pay for Cost Accountants, Boston offers exceptional salaries, 52 percent above the national average. Also paying near the top of the field are Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver, and Dallas, where Cost Accountants annually earn 19 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent, and 14 percent more than the national average. The smallest paychecks in the market, 15 percent south of the national average, can be found in Grand Rapids. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Dayton (-5 percent) and Philadelphia (-2 percent).

Related Job Salaries

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%
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