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Working As a Senior Cost Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Average Length of Employment
Cost Accountant 3.7 years
Budget Analyst 3.5 years
Cost Controller 3.0 years
Cost Analyst 3.0 years
Finance Analyst 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Senior Cost Analyst
Cost Analyst 12.5%
Accountant 5.7%
Controller 3.6%
Consultant 2.5%
Analyst 2.1%
Top Careers After Senior Cost Analyst
Controller 9.4%
Consultant 5.2%
Manager 3.5%

Do you work as a Senior Cost Analyst?

Average Yearly Salary
$81,000
Show Salaries
$63,000
Min 10%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Nvidia
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Senior Cost Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Cost Analyst in the United States is $82,075 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $63,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $106,000.

Real Senior Cost Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Cost Analyst SK E and C USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 10, 2015 $102,003 -
$134,820
Senior Cost Financial Analyst Nimble Storage, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 13, 2015 $100,000
Senior Cost Analyst Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 07, 2012 $94,554
Senior Analyst, Budget & Cost Analytics Engineer's Associates, Inc. Newark, CA Sep 19, 2016 $90,000
Senior Cost Analyst Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 09, 2010 $90,000
Senior Cost Financial Analyst Nimble Storage, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 04, 2013 $85,000 -
$105,000
Senior Analyst Global Cost Estimating American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. Detroit, MI Apr 17, 2015 $82,500
Senior Cost Estimating Analyst American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. Detroit, MI May 03, 2014 $77,149
Senior Analyst, Costing Analytics The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 04, 2013 $75,000 -
$90,000
Senior Analyst, Costing Analytics The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 08, 2012 $75,000 -
$90,000
Senior Cost Analyst Sampco, Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2012 $60,258 -
$63,000
Senior Cost Analyst App Pharmaceuticals, LLC Schaumburg, IL Oct 01, 2011 $59,883 -
$90,915

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Top Skills for A Senior Cost Analyst

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Variance Analysis
  3. Cost Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Consolidate and present financial statements for six entities and prepare expense and project profitability variance analysis and presentation.
  • Executed performance measurement techniques to include cost and schedule performance, variance analysis and recommendations for corrective plan of actions.
  • Developed an automated mainframe accounting procedure to analyze and report contract cost analysis information on a weekly basis.
  • Led successful surveillance audits of performance measurement processes and controls with internal and external auditors.
  • Improved budget preparation process between plant personnel and supporting departments resulting in increased efficiency, redundancy elimination and measurable cost savings.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Cost Analysts

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Maryland
  4. Minnesota
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Montana
  7. West Virginia
  8. Connecticut
  9. Kentucky
  10. California
  • (353 jobs)
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  • (26 jobs)
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  • (223 jobs)
  • (81 jobs)
  • (2,471 jobs)

Senior Cost Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

56.9%

Female

34.6%

Unknown

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

61.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Portuguese

13.6%

German

6.8%

Chinese

4.5%

French

4.5%

Mandarin

4.5%

Amharic

2.3%

Gujarati

2.3%

Carrier

2.3%

Hindi

2.3%

Polish

2.3%

Korean

2.3%

Italian

2.3%
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Senior Cost Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.2%

Arizona State University

5.9%

Texas A&M University

5.9%

Wayne State University

5.5%

George Washington University

5.5%

University of Maryland - University College

5.5%

Strayer University

5.5%

Webster University

5.0%

Georgia State University

5.0%

University of Washington

5.0%

Northern Illinois University

4.5%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.1%

San Jose State University

4.1%

Auburn University

3.6%

Texas Tech University

3.6%

Babson College

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%

Suffolk University

3.6%

University of Arizona

3.6%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

35.2%

Accounting

32.4%

Finance

14.3%

Management

4.0%

Economics

2.0%

Project Management

1.8%

Marketing

1.3%

Supply Chain Management

1.1%

Public Administration

0.8%

Political Science

0.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

0.8%

Criminal Justice

0.7%

Operations Management

0.7%

Computer Science

0.7%

Business Economics

0.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.7%

Education

0.6%

International Business

0.5%

Communication

0.5%

Mechanical Engineering

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.8%

Masters

39.9%

Other

8.3%

Associate

2.6%

Certificate

2.0%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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