Accounting will always be a highly demanded field, so long as individuals, businesses and organizations pay taxes, have budgets and finances. Our system is based on accounting, and many people find the work enjoyable, simple and rewarding. While there’s a wide range of positions that require different responsibilities, as an accountant you’ll likely gather data through accounting software, analyze it, determine results of what you’ve found and inform your client or organization about your findings. For those who want to work and part of the year, accountants often have a busy season, and a relatively light one. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the 2016 median pay for accountants and auditors was $68,150, or $32.76 per hour. There were nearly 1.4 million accounting or auditing jobs in 2016, and BLS predicted a 10% growth between 2016-26, which is faster than average. This will translate into approximately 140,300 new jobs. Accountants often start with a Bachelor’s degree, then supplement it with certifications, especially the CPA. CPA licensing, as well as most major accounting certifications, require graduate-level accounting credits (short of a master’s degree, but more than a bachelor’s). For this reason, many accountants start working with a bachelor’s and accrue additional accounting credit over the first few years of their career.
Entry Level Accounting Jobs
Looking at Indeed, it’s clear that there are many roles graduates of Bachelor’s accounting programs can enter that are lucrative. Working for government is a good way to break into the business. The National Security Agency is currently looking for an Accountant/Finance & Accounting Analyst, who will earn between $44,941 and $71,467 a year. It requires a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or a business-related field with at least 24 credit hours of accounting. Government jobs are usually more lenient in terms of requiring a CPA license, especially for entry level positions. There were many other comparable positions where bachelor graduates work as junior accountants, audit associates, or accounting analysts, although it’s likely that a certification will follow to get promoted to more coveted positions.
Top Earning Jobs in Accounting Jobs
Part of what you’re probably looking to do with a Bachelor’s in Accounting is provide a good living for yourself and your family. In the upper echelon on accountants (top 10%), it’s common to make $100,000+ a year. Extremely competent, loyal and effective accountants in corporate structures rise up the ranks quickly. They can end up as Chief Financial Officers, or hold other high executive positions.
This starts with a Bachelor’s education, then often includes more certifications and graduate education. High paying accounting jobs include Managerial Accountants, Tax Accountants, Government Accountants and more. For a good overview of high paying accounting jobs, head to this guide.
Important Certifications in Accounting
While a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting is an extremely important first step towards a career in the field, there are certifications that further cement your role as an accountant. If you want to be permitted to confirm the audits of publicly traded companies, you’ll need a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. Some accountants who don’t file those reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission can work without this certification, but for many roles it’s a requirement. When looking at programs in Accounting, you’ll want to consider one that meets requirements (or has an easy track towards doing so after earning a Bachelor’s) set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in order to take the CPA exam. Also check out the requirements in your state, which sets its own standards for qualifying for the exam. 47 states and Washington D.C. require that Bachelor’s degree holders take extra courses to reach a 150-credit minimum to sit for the CPA exam. Often, those extra credits become a master’s degree or graduate certificate in accountancy. Another certification to consider is the CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner). It’s primarily for people who want to combat fraud in their accounting careers. These are just two of the many accounting certifications that are associated with higher salaries in the field. To learn more about them, check out this guide on the most lucrative accounting certifications that can be found here. A final certification to research is the Certified Information Systems Auditors or CISA exam. CISA’s make sure an organization’s IT/business systems are monitored, controlled and guarded. They also have an average salary of $73,279. Synergy between accounting and the tech industry is a great way to double dip in two stable, growing industries.
Earning an Associate’s in Accounting
You may not be ready for a Bachelor’s in accounting just yet. If so, you might consider an Associate in Accounting. There are positions that A good list of Associate’s programs in Accounting can be junior, entry level accounting positions that can be done by Associate holders, and you’re on your way to earning a Bachelor’s. A good guide on online accounting Associate programs can be found here.
There’s no limit to what you can do with a Bachelor’s in Accounting, especially if you’re willing to see it as a springboard to more certifications, immediate job opportunities, graduate education and a willingness to learn and work hard.