Cost Accountant Salary

Earnings for Cost Accountants in the United States come in at around $52K annually on average. Total cash compensation to Cost Accountants approaches anywhere from $36K on the lower end to $72K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $6K from bonuses and upwards of $5K from profit sharing. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. The majority of Cost Accountants claim high levels of job satisfaction. Women make up a slight majority of Cost Accountants (51 percent) survey respondents. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$38,313 - $70,086
(Median)
$38K
$52K
$70K
MEDIAN: $51,674
10%
50%
90%

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$14.21 - $28.26
(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
$38,313 - $70,086  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,067  
Profit Sharing
$55.37 - $4,766  
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).
)
$36,416 - $71,782  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,352
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
$14.21 - $28.26  
   
Overtime
$20.91 - $41.69  
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 - $6,067  
   
Profit Sharing
$55.37 - $4,766  
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).
)
$36,416 - $71,782  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 221
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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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Cost Accountants do not often transition into Plant Controller roles. The role averages $89K per year. Senior Accountants or Financial Controllers are common next-step roles for Cost Accountants moving up in their careers; annual pay for Senior Accountants is $7K higher on average, and it's $25K higher for Financial Controllers.

Cost Accountant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Cost Accountant


Survey results imply that Cost Accountants deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, Financial Analysis, Financial Reporting, and ERP are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 11 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Accounts Payable, General Ledger Accounting, and Windows Operating System General Use. 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.


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $48K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median 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


Surpassing the national average by 20 percent, Cost Accountants in Los Angeles receive some of the highest pay in the country. Cost Accountants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+19 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), Dallas (+13 percent), and Denver (+12 percent). Cost Accountants in Grand Rapids make 23 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay.

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 11%


ERP
up arrow 6%



Cost Accounting
up arrow 2%

National Average
$52,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Access
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%


General Ledger Accounting
up arrow 9%

Accounts Payable
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 284 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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