Cost Accountant Salary (United States)

Cost Accountants in the United States typically take home $50,810 per year. Compensation ranges from $36,059 on the low end to $69,979 per year on the high end. Total cash compensation approaches anywhere from $37,516 on the lower end to $68,153 on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $5,944 from bonuses and upwards of $4,975 from profit sharing. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. The vast majority of folks in this line of work enjoy health insurance benefits; most receive both medical and dental insurance and more than half get vision plans. Women make up a slight majority of Cost Accountants (51 percent). Job satisfaction for Cost Accountants is high. The figures in this outline were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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Though not the most common occurrence, Cost Accountants who become Plant Controllers earn an extra $36K per year. Cost Accountants moving up in their career tend to step into positions as Senior Accountants or Accounting Managers, where paychecks increase by $7,119 or $8,152 per year.

Cost Accountant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Accountant

Cost Accountants report exploiting a large range of 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. Those proficient in Microsoft Excel are, more often than not, also skilled 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.
Though starting salaries approximate $47K, they climb to $55K after five to 10 years. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $59K. Pay actually shrinks for Cost Accountants after two decades in the profession, averaging $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. Between one and nine years is the typical spectrum of experience for those in this line of work—of those who took the survey, more than half land within this radius.

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.
Cost Accountants will find that Boston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 52 percent. Cost Accountants will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+19 percent), Minneapolis (+15 percent), Denver (+15 percent), and Dallas (+14 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Grand Rapids, 15 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Dayton and Philadelphia (-5 percent and -2 percent, respectively).

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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