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The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info


Cost Accountant

Overview: Cost accountants provide statistical and accounting services with special emphasis on an organization's operating costs. They make cost comparisons between different methods of running the business. They help management decide on changes needed in production, prices, & selling.
Duties: Cost accountants use math and statistical techniques to provide management with detailed data about costs of an organization's operations such as costs for research and development, production, sales, etc. They analyze the differences in operation costs whenever changes are made in product design, and methods for manufacturing, marketing and servicing products.

Cost accountants recommend to management if changes in operation's costs suggest a need for adjustments in pricing or the need to reduce labor costs or the cost of materials. They confer with individual departments in an organization when their costs exceed the funds budgeted for them and pinpoint the areas where costs exceed expectations.

Degree(s): A.A.S. Accounting 
A.A.S. Management: Marketing Concentration 
A.A.S. Management: Real Estate-Insurance Concentration 
A.S. Business Administration (Accounting and Marketing) 
Job Outlook: Employment of cost accountants will grow much faster than average through 2018. Growth will arise out of greater need for accountability, transparency and control in financial reporting. Increased scrutiny of accounting procedures in public companies will create a need for cost accountants.
Salary Range (National Average): $37,000 to $42,000
Growth: Growth
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: Most public accounting firms, business organizations and government agencies require applicants for accounting and internal audit positions to have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting. Most employers require applicants be familiar with computer based accounting systems. An associate degree can qualify you for assistant positions.
Advancement Info: They may advance to accounting manager or budget director. Other opportunities include chief cost accountant or managers of internal auditing. Some accountants become controllers or chief financial officers. Others become treasurers or corporate presidents.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Determining how much money is required to get a job done, allocating those monies, and then accounting for all expenditures.
  • Using mathematics and/or statistics to solve problems.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Recommended Values:
  • Having a level of income that will afford you with luxuries, and which will allow you to become financially independent.
  • Being able to decide on how to get something done without significant direction from someone else.
  • Gaining the respect of others by the nature and/or level of responsibility of your work.
  • Having a routine job where the duties are very predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time.
 

* National data collected by the Department of Labor between 2008-2012.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.