The cost accountant is responsible for analyzing ongoing process constraints, costing projects, analyzing profit margins, and linking costs to activities. They build and manage data accumulation systems to provide costing information to management. They also plan budgets and prepare reports for the company and its various departments. Asides from this, they prepare periodic cost forecasts for operational schedules. Additionally, they analyze periodic financial reports to identify and recommend cost-effective strategies for improvements.

Generally, cost accountants have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field, with at least two years of related experience. Applicants must be familiar with accounting software, such as FreshBooks and QuickBooks. You must also know about the generally accepted accounting principles. Not just this, but you must possess analytical, time management, collaboration, and computer skills. Cost accountants can either practice independently or work with a firm. The average salary that a cost accountant earns is $60,051. It varies from $54,000 to $81,000.

What Does a Cost Accountant Do

There are certain skills that many cost accountants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed organizational skills, analytical skills and communication skills.

Learn more about what a Cost Accountant does

How To Become a Cost Accountant

If you're interested in becoming a cost accountant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 76.8% of cost accountants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.2% of cost accountants have master's degrees. Even though most cost accountants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Cost Accountant

Cost Accountant Career Paths

Average Salary for a Cost Accountant

Cost Accountants in America make an average salary of $60,528 per year or $29 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $81,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $45,000 per year.
Average Cost Accountant Salary
$60,528 Yearly
$29.10 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Cost Accountant

The role of a cost accountant includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general cost accountant responsibilities:

  • Calculate and update dc skus standard costs on a daily basis. Maintain
  • Analyzing actual manufacturing costs and preparing periodic reports comparing standard costs to actual production costs. Recording cost information for use in controlling expenditures. Analyzing audits of cost
  • Develop and maintain standard cost production models which include raw materials, labor, overhead,

There are several types of cost accountant, including:



An accountant is a professional who specializes in preparing and analyzing financial records and transactions to ensure that they are accurate, complete, and compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. Their analysis helps firms and clients make informed decisions about their finances and business decisions. Accountants can work in various settings, including public accounting firms and government agencies. Successful accountants possess strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and an understanding of accounting principles and regulations.

Accountants typically have a better work-life balance than other professions that require long hours or irregular schedules. While busy periods such as tax season may require overtime, many accounting jobs offer a predictable nine-to-five schedule with weekends and holidays off.

People normally enjoy their role as an accountant because of the trust that clients place in them. Accountants have access to sensitive financial information and are responsible for ensuring its accuracy and confidentiality. Accountants can offer valuable insights and advice that can make a significant impact on their clients' businesses or personal finances.

- Good job security and stability
- Diverse range of career paths and specializations
- Competitive salary and benefits
- Opportunities for remote work or flexible schedules
- Positive impact on society by ensuring financial compliance

- Can be stressful during busy periods such as tax season
- Requires attention to detail and high degree of accuracy
- May require continuing education to maintain certifications or licenses
- Can be repetitive or monotonous work
- Can involve working with challenging or uncooperative clients

  • Average Salary: $54,890
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Staff Accountant


Many businesses rely on staff accountants to handle the "math" of the business. But that's just a lazy way for saying you'll be in charge of handling the budget and tax requirements. Basically, any financial records will be prepared and examined by you.

Depending on the industry you're in, the majority of the year will be your "busy season." Some industries this may not apply and you'll only be required to work the normal 40-hour work week.

Typically, staff accountants need a bit of an education to find a job. And no, we're not talking about a high school degree. Most employers prefer you to have a bachelor's degree. Here's to learning more math!

  • Average Salary: $54,216
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Certified Public Accountant


A certified public accountant, or CPA for short, offers his/her or her services to companies or individuals in preparing forms for tax returns and financial statement documents. CPAs oversee audits, keep track of clients' financial records, and contribute to budgeting processes.

Knowing how to develop and implement bookkeeping policies and being familiar with local and federal laws and regulations of taxing procedures is a must, as this is what poses the challenge for people hiring CPAs. CPAs generally have basic computer skills and use accounting software to make the most of their time and resources.

In order to become a CPA, you need to have a BA in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, or a related field. As implied in the name, you need to obtain a certification to fill the role, and this is usually preceded by years of experience in the field as a public accountant.

  • Average Salary: $76,693
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Cost Accountant Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active cost accountant jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where cost accountants earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Cost Accountant Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New York999$67,790
11North Carolina553$58,832
16New Jersey474$68,831
28South Carolina210$52,833
37New Hampshire107$52,514
38New Mexico107$49,385
42Rhode Island85$57,093
45West Virginia58$51,307
46South Dakota50$48,424
50North Dakota36$44,558

Cost Accountant Education

Cost Accountant Majors

26.5 %
8.5 %

Cost Accountant Degrees


76.8 %


10.7 %


10.2 %

Top Colleges for Cost Accountants

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




10. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Cost Accountant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.6% of cost accountants listed reconciliations on their resume, but soft skills such as organizational skills and analytical skills are important as well.

  • Reconciliations, 8.6%
  • Variance Analysis, 5.9%
  • GAAP, 4.1%
  • Account Reconciliations, 3.4%
  • Cost Analysis, 3.2%
  • Other Skills, 74.8%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Cost Accountant Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Cost Accountant templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Cost Accountant resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Cost Accountant diversity

Cost Accountant Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among cost accountants, 47.4% of them are women, while 52.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among cost accountants is White, which makes up 63.7% of all cost accountants.

  • The most common foreign language among cost accountants is Spanish at 53.7%.

Online Courses For Cost Accountant That You May Like

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In this second course, you will dive deeper into the world of bookkeeping and focus on accounting for assets. If you are familiar with bookkeeping basics, such as double entry accounting, you are ready for this course. You will gain an understanding of common asset types, learn how to account for inventory, calculate cost of goods sold, and work with Property, Plant, and Equipment (PP&E). Upon completing this course, you will use your new knowledge of assets to record transactions and produce...

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Best States For a Cost Accountant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a cost accountant. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington. Cost accountants make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $68,831. Whereas in Massachusetts and New York, they would average $67,989 and $67,790, respectively. While cost accountants would only make an average of $65,944 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Cost Accountant Jobs: 262
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Massachusetts

Total Cost Accountant Jobs: 685
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Connecticut

Total Cost Accountant Jobs: 304
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Cost Accountants

How Do Cost Accountants Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Cost Accountant Employers

Most Common Employers For Cost Accountant

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Texas Instruments$80,537$38.7219
3Solectron Corp$77,533$37.2826
4The Dow Chemical Company$75,896$36.4923
5Gardner Denver$70,891$34.0824
7Motorola Solutions$68,745$33.0525
8Tyson Foods$67,761$32.5838
10International Paper$63,441$30.5026

Cost Accountant Videos

Becoming a Cost Accountant FAQs

What Is An Accounting Firm?

An accounting firm is an organization with a variety of accountants on staff to provide accounting and financial management services to clients. Accounting firms provide accounting and financial management services. Clients of accounting firms might be individuals or whole organizations such as companies.

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