How Do I Become a Cost Controller?

Jennifer Leigh

There are certain skills that are necessary to become a cost controller. The ability to manage a budget accurately, oversee others and understand numbers is important. Education is a requirement for many positions, though some jobs are willing to train people that they believe hold potential. A cost controller can work in a variety of industries, but holds many of the same duties regardless of where he or she is working. If you desire to become a cost controller, you must fit these requirements, otherwise the job will not be a good match for you.

Cost controllers must be good with budgets.
Cost controllers must be good with budgets.

Those who desire to become a cost controller must have a natural ability to be organized and good with numbers, as these are huge parts of the position. Taking aptitude tests in high school and college can help guide you on whether or not this career path would be right for you. It is also possible to spend time following, or shadowing, an individual currently in this position to determine if you would enjoy the job on a daily basis. High school classes in math and accounting can provide an educational background in the subject before continuing your education.

An education is usually required to become a cost controller. This means that at the very least you must hold a high school diploma, and usually at least an undergraduate degree in business or accounting. If you desire to work in management, a graduate degree in business (MBA) or accounting is highly desirable. Enter into a four-year institution and study one of these subjects to begin your journey to become a cost controller. Some organizations are willing to train individuals without an education, but this is the exception and not the rule, so it should not be counted upon that you will be able to find a job without a degree.

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Cost controllers work in industries from finance to hospitality to ensure that budgets are being created and met by various departments. Though the jobs might be in very different places, they still require many of the same skills in order to be successful. In larger organizations, a cost controller might work in the accounting department where he or she needs to have extremely good communication skills to deal with upper-level management and lower-level employees. The ability to appear professional and present information accurately is a vital characteristic in those who wish to become a cost controller.

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