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Become A Cost Analyst

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Working As A Cost Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $58,224

    Average Salary

What Does A Cost Analyst Do

Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending.

Duties

Budget analysts typically do the following:

  • Work with program and project managers to develop the organization's budget
  • Review managers' budget proposals for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with laws and other regulations
  • Combine all the program and department budgets together into a consolidated organizational budget and review all funding requests for merit
  • Explain their recommendations for funding requests to others in the organization, legislators, and the public
  • Help the chief operations officer, agency head, or other top managers analyze proposed plans and find alternatives if the projected results are unsatisfactory
  • Monitor organizational spending to ensure that it is within budget
  • Inform program managers of the status and availability of funds
  • Estimate future financial needs

Budget analysts advise various institutions—including governments, universities, and businesses—on how to organize their finances. They prepare annual and special reports and evaluate budget proposals. They analyze data to determine the costs and benefits of various programs and recommend funding levels based on their findings. Although elected officials (in government) or top executives (in a private company) usually make the final decision on an organization's budget, they rely on the work of budget analysts to prepare the information for that decision.

Sometimes, budget analysts use cost-benefit analyses to review financial requests, assess program tradeoffs, and explore alternative funding methods. Budget analysts also may examine past budgets and research economic and financial developments that affect the organization's income and expenditures. Budget analysts may recommend program spending cuts or redistributing extra funds.

Throughout the year, budget analysts oversee spending to ensure compliance with the budget and determine whether changes to funding levels are needed for certain programs. Analysts also evaluate programs to determine whether they are producing the desired results.

In addition to providing technical analysis, budget analysts must effectively communicate their recommendations to officials within the organization. For example, if there is a difference between the approved budget and actual spending, budget analysts may write a report explaining the variations and recommend changes to reconcile the differences.

Budget analysts working in government attend committee hearings to explain their recommendations to legislators. Occasionally, budget analysts may evaluate how well a program is doing, provide policy analysis, and draft budget-related legislation.

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How To Become A Cost Analyst

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a budget analyst, although some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Education

Employers generally require budget analysts to have at least a bachelor's degree. However, some employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree. Because developing a budget requires strong numerical and analytical skills, courses in statistics or accounting are helpful. Federal, state, and local governments have varying requirements, but usually require a bachelor's degree in one of many areas, such as accounting, finance, business, public administration, economics, statistics, political science, or sociology.

Sometimes, budget-related or finance-related work experience can be substituted for formal education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Government budget analysts may earn the Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accountants. To earn this certification, candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, 24 credit hours of study in financial management, 2 years of professional-level experience in governmental financial management, and they must pass a series of exams. To keep the certification, budget analysts must take 80 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

Advancement

Entry-level budget analysts begin with limited responsibilities, but advancement is common. As analysts gain experience, they have the opportunity to advance to intermediate and senior budget analyst positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Budget analysts must be able to process a variety of information, evaluate costs and benefits, and solve complex problems.

Communication skills. Budget analysts need strong communication skills because they often have to explain and defend their analyses and recommendations in meetings and legislative committee hearings.

Detail oriented. Creating an efficient budget requires careful analysis of each budget item.

Math skills. Most budget analysts need math skills and should be able to use certain software, including spreadsheets, database functions, and financial analysis programs.

Writing skills. Budget analysts must present technical information in writing that is understandable for the intended audience.

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Cost Analyst Career Paths

Cost Analyst
Cost Accounting Manager Assistant Controller Senior Finance Analyst
Budget Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Manager Finance Planning And Analysis Controller
Controller/Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Cost Accountant Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Corporate Accounting Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Senior Finance Analyst
Cost Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Business Manager Controller
Director Of Accounting & Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Division Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Cost Accountant Accounting Manager Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Cost Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Controller
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Interim Controller
15 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Consultant Senior Finance Analyst
Manager, Finance Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Accountant Staff Accountant Accounting Manager
Manager/Finance Accounting
8 Yearsyrs
Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Project Control Analyst Controls Project Manager
Program Control Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Business & Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Regional Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Assistant Controller Senior Finance Analyst
Reporting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Controller Finance Director
Senior Director Of Finance
14 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Business Manager Business Operations Manager
Senior Manager Of Business Operations
10 Yearsyrs
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Cost Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

51.5%

Female

45.7%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

10.1%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.9%

French

8.2%

Portuguese

5.8%

German

5.3%

Italian

4.1%

Chinese

4.1%

Hindi

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Russian

2.9%

Korean

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Gujarati

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Cantonese

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Romanian

0.6%

Khmer

0.6%

Hungarian

0.6%

Marathi

0.6%

Thai

0.6%
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Cost Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.9%

University of Houston

9.1%

Webster University

7.0%

Arizona State University

5.2%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.2%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.5%

Wayne State University

3.9%

University of Maryland - University College

3.9%

Purdue University

3.9%

Youngstown State University

3.9%

University of Southern California

3.9%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

Northeastern University

3.6%

George Washington University

3.3%

San Jose State University

3.3%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.3%

Iowa State University

3.3%

University of Toledo

3.0%

Auburn University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

36.7%

Accounting

25.1%

Finance

14.7%

Management

3.9%

Economics

3.1%

Project Management

2.1%

Marketing

1.9%

Mathematics

1.5%

Industrial Engineering

1.3%

Education

1.1%

Computer Information Systems

1.1%

Supply Chain Management

0.9%

Business Economics

0.9%

Mechanical Engineering

0.9%

Computer Science

0.8%

General Studies

0.8%

Human Resources Management

0.8%

Political Science

0.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

0.8%

International Business

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.1%

Masters

32.6%

Other

11.1%

Associate

5.2%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

0.8%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Cost Analyst Videos

The Beginning Salary of any Business Management

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Real Cost Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Job Cost Analyst Horsepower Electric and Maintenance Corp. New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $130,000
Job Cost Analyst Swing Staging, LLC Islandia, NY Sep 01, 2015 $130,000
Job Cost Analyst S&E Bridge and Scaffold, LLC Carlstadt, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $130,000
Analyst Cost and Planning Occidental Petroleum Corporation Houston, TX Jun 01, 2015 $114,400
Manufacturing Cost Analyst VFT, Inc. Montebello, CA Sep 13, 2016 $99,133
Accounting/Cost Analyst Multi Global Corp. Pembroke Pines, FL Dec 28, 2016 $86,341
Cost Analyst 4 Stone & Webster Services, LLC Charlotte, NC Oct 06, 2015 $83,000 -
$115,000
Cost Analyst 4 Shaw Services, LLC Charlotte, NC Mar 02, 2016 $83,000 -
$115,000
Construction Scheduling/Cost Analyst Swinerton Incorporated San Francisco, CA Jul 15, 2015 $82,500
Cost Analyst Turner Construction Reston, VA Jan 10, 2016 $80,000
Cost Analyst Monsanto Company Saint Louis, MO Sep 08, 2016 $76,773
Production Cost Analyst D & H Ladies Apparel LLC NY Feb 11, 2016 $76,066
Budget and Cost Analyst LW Consolidated Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 18, 2015 $75,795
Material Cost Analyst Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC Elyria, OH Jan 05, 2015 $75,000
Cost Analyst Clothing Emporium Inc. Saddle Brook, NJ Sep 15, 2016 $54,951
Cost Analyst Victoria Cruises, Inc. NY Sep 01, 2015 $54,262
Budget/Cost Analyst Dc Group, Inc. Islandia, NY Sep 05, 2015 $54,158
Cost Analyst Jc Horizon Ltd Ontario, CA Sep 11, 2016 $53,768
Cost Analyst WSM Investment LLC Simi Valley, CA Dec 19, 2016 $53,664
FAB Cost Analyst Im Flash Technologies, LLC Lehi, UT Aug 22, 2016 $53,200
Cost Analyst Wellmax USA Corporation DBA Starlux Corp. Chicago, IL Jul 23, 2015 $52,666
Cost Analyst 2 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Herndon, VA Aug 07, 2015 $52,379 -
$86,357
Material/Project Cost Analyst SMS Infocomm Corporation Grapevine, TX Sep 13, 2016 $44,724
Cost Analyst Athena Design Group Chicago, IL Sep 24, 2015 $44,179
Cost Analyst Midtown Home Improvement, Inc. OFallon, MO Sep 01, 2015 $44,179
Cost Analyst Wellmax USA Corporation Chicago, IL Sep 21, 2016 $44,179
Cost Analyst Everlight Americas, Inc. Carrollton, TX Sep 05, 2015 $44,161
Cost Analyst Sewon America, Inc. LaGrange, GA Aug 09, 2016 $44,000
Cost Analyst S&S International LLC Houston, TX Sep 18, 2016 $44,000

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Top Skills for A Cost Analyst

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Cost Savings
  3. Variance Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created and maintained financial statements and proposals using ProPricer custom reports while consistently maintaining high profit margins on all projects.
  • Determine feasibility of equipment purchases through analysis of cost savings and/or incremental sales.
  • Created interactive financial model to track division cost center departmental detail, enhancing variance analysis for improved cost control.
  • Performed cost analysis on contracts not meeting budgets to facilitate completion of current contracts and preparation of future proposals.
  • Maintained extensive communication with Medicaid and Medicare auditors during and after cost report filing.

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Top 10 Best States for Cost Analysts

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Maryland
  4. Michigan
  5. Massachusetts
  6. New York
  7. Florida
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Connecticut
  10. Ohio
  • (308 jobs)
  • (882 jobs)
  • (481 jobs)
  • (324 jobs)
  • (492 jobs)
  • (755 jobs)
  • (641 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (184 jobs)
  • (399 jobs)

Top Cost Analyst Employers

Jobs From Top Cost Analyst Employers

Cost Analyst Videos

The Beginning Salary of any Business Management

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