Cost Accountants in the United States take home an average $54K per year. Cash earnings for Cost Accountants — which occasionally include more than $6K from bonuses and more than $8K from profit sharing — stretch from around $39K to approximately $75K. While the company and years of experience impact pay for this group, location is the most influential factor. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 54 percent. Most Cost Accountants like their work and job satisfaction is high. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$40,386 - $74,249
(Median)
$40K
$54K
$74K
MEDIAN: $54,422
10%
50%
90%

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$14.64 - $26.36
(Median)
$15
$20
$26
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$40,386 - $74,249  
   
Bonus
$393.05 - $6,267  
Profit Sharing
$194.89 - $7,603  
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).
)
$38,695 - $75,361  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 859
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$14.64 - $26.36  
   
Overtime
$21.81 - $39.27  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$393.05 - $6,267  
   
Profit Sharing
$194.89 - $7,603  
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).
)
$38,695 - $75,361  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 135
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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.

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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 $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

National Average: $53,921

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Cost Accountant Salaries




National Average
$54,000


Skills That Affect Cost Accountant Salaries





ERP
up arrow 6%


Data Analysis
up arrow 4%

Budgeting
up arrow 4%

Cost Accounting
up arrow 2%

National Average
$54,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Access
up arrow 1%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 3%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 116 votes.

Gender

Female
54 %
Male
46 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 74%
medical benefits
Vision: 60%
dental benefits
None: 11%
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