Cost Accountant Salary
Job Description for Cost Accountant
A cost accountant performs routine and special analyses to help determine the type of operations and materials that are most cost effective for their organization. This accountant helps assess which products and raw materials are best suited to their company’s objectives, and they may be expected to create a costing system that can continuously evaluate the value of inventory and associated costs. The cost accountant should be able to determine and explain the factors that will cause costs to vary; strong research skills are essential to determine all of the costs associated with certain decisions. Additionally, cost accountants may need to document internal factors and controls that are affecting costs. The cost accountant often helps senior management to make key decisions, in some cases including decisions related to employees' salaries and product pricing.Read More...
A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or another relevant field is necessary in this position. Previous cost accounting experience is generally required or preferred as well. The cost accountant should be proficient with basic computer programs such as the Microsoft Office suite, as well as be able to work independently and in a team setting. Cost accountants generally work in an office setting during regular business hours, although additional and/or alternative hours may be required depending on deadlines and their employer's needs.
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
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 $90K per year. Career advancement for the typical Cost Accountant often leads to becoming a Senior Accountant or a Financial Controller; median salaries in these positions are $6K higher and $23K higher, respectively.
Cost Accountant Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Cost Accountant
Popular Skills for Cost Accountant
Cost Accountants report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in SAP SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling, Financial Reporting, ERP, and Financial Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 14 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Word, Accounts Payable, and Microsoft Office. It is often found that people who know Cost Accounting are also skilled in Financial Analysis and Microsoft Office. Most people familiar with Microsoft Excel also know Microsoft Office and Financial Analysis.
Pay by Experience Level for Cost Accountant
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Cost Accountants, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $50K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $59K. Cost Accountants bring in $62K after working for 10 to 20 years. Cost Accountants who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are no higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years.
Pay Difference by Location
Cost Accountants will find that Houston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 30 percent. Cost Accountants will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+30 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), Wichita (+12 percent), and Dallas (+11 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Madison is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in St. Louis and Charlotte (12 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively).