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Cost Accountant Career

Considering a career as a Cost Accountant? Find out all you need to know to decide whether this career is right for you.

What does a Cost Accountant do?

The role of a Cost Accountant is to systematically assess the costs that are associated with manufacturing the product(s) or distributing the service(s) of the hiring organization.

The information acquired by the Cost Accountant is then evaluated usually by a team of decision-making managers who will create more efficient and productive programs for their organization.

As a Cost Accountant, you will need to be adept in all aspects of analyzing the costs of your company's production. You will need to understand how and when overall production costs vary with regard to standard fixed costs and varying costs related to volume, materials, labor, etc.

Every company is different and some companys will have relatively easy formulas for establishing the costs of running the business. However, as companies become larger or are involved in the production of various lines of products or services, coordinating the optimal production setup in terms of workforce, size of departments, varying material costs and dealing with varying market prices for a company's products can be an extremely complicated project to tackle.

There are many schools of thought that have evolved in industry throughout the years related to Cost Accounting. With increased technology, increasing industry competition and decreasing margins, the value of creating the most efficient production setup has become much more important. New ideas for Cost Accounting have surfaced causing many quick thinking companies to benefit greatly.

When considering the Cost Accountant Career, you should be informed that Cost Accounting is not an elementary science. In order to be successful in this career, you will likely need to have an advanced education in Accounting and formal training with all the current Cost Accounting technologies.

On the positive side, many successful Cost Accountants have found themselves right at home starting their own consulting businesses or stepping out into other types of entrepreneurial opportunities. With the type of all-encompassing business knowledge gained as a Cost Accountant, business decisions are much less risky.

How to Become a Cost Accountant?

Educational requirements may vary slightly depending on the company, the area you wish to work and your previous work experience.

For most Cost Accounting careers, the minimum educational requirement is the completion of a Bachelor's degree in Accounting or Finance. You will also need to be familiar with the latest accounting software packages used in Cost Accounting procedures.

If you are interested in advancing your career as quickly as possible, then you may wish to earn an advanced degree such as an MBA with an emphasis in Accounting.

In a hurry? Request free information from some of the top online schools offering Master's or MBA programs in Accounting.

Beyond a quality education and the development of skills necessary to succeed as a Cost Accountant, you will need to learn where to gain experience by finding career opportunities.

You will find some career opportunities on Cost Accountant Career portals such as The American Accounting Association; however, you will probably have quicker results if you contact a local recruiter or begin contacting hiring firms directly. You may find Cost Accounting openings under newspaper or online classifieds (Craigslist or Monster.com).

What is a Cost Accountant's Salary?

As a Cost Accountant, your salary can vary significantly depending on your level of experience, your level of acquired education and size of the company you work for.

The median salary* for an Accountant is $54,600.

The top 10% of Accountants are pulling in an average of $94,100.

In order to boost yourself to this level of success, you will need to perform highly, develop years of experience at a respectable company and lastly, earn yourself an advanced degree.

Request information from some of the top online schools in the United States. Online schools are becoming more popular for the working professional and are already highly respected in the business arena.

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* Source: The Bureau of Labor and Statistics for 2006

How does the future look for a Cost Accountant?

Job growth for Cost Accountants look promising for the coming years. Most companies who are trying to establish themselves in any market, but especially global markets, are having to deal with decreasing margins as competition continues to streamline production and reduce their costs. The value of highly educated and experienced Cost Accountants can be the difference between the success and failure of a business.

This understanding will continue to be more and more prominent in the minds of business owners in the future.

The U.S. Department of Labor believes between 2004 and 2014, Accounting career opportunities will increase by 22% from 1,176,200 to 1,440,100.

The future looks bright for the Cost Accounting profession, so go ahead and get started!

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