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Bringing Home the Bacon: How Much Do Accountants Really Make?

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If you are good with numbers and organization, accounting might be a good choice as a career. The accounting industry is loaded with job opportunities in all levels, from entry-level positions to chief financial officers, and everything in between.

Numerous Educational Opportunities for Accountants

Accounting is a unique industry that has varying levels of education. Despite the varying levels, it is difficult to get ahead without becoming a CPA. The only way to do this is to pass the CPA exam. If you have been studying and you feel like I’m not retaining anything for the CPA exam, there are online courses that will help you prepare and succeed.

The accounting industry is loaded with job opportunities in all levels, from entry-level positions to chief financial officers, and everything in between.

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Respectable Salaries for Accountants of All Experience Levels

Once you begin working in the accounting field, you can expect to bring home a decent paycheck. Accountants are necessary for nearly every industry, from education and medicine to retail and hospitality. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, percentile salaries for a typical accountant range between $43,650 to $122,840.

When accountants move through the ranks, their salaries can grow quite large. When their positions become specialized, they can make much more. For example, an accountant in a medical office can earn a starting salary close to $60,000.

In the business world, annual salaries go even higher. For example:

  • Bookkeepers and tax experts make an average of $83,710
  • Financial analyst managers can make over $144,000 annually
  • Accountants in New York City can earn over $20,000 more than those in Atlanta

Image by Chuk Yong from Pixabay

Preparing for the CPA Exam

Becoming a CPA is not easy. There are strict licensing processes that vary slightly from state to state. In most states, to become a CPA, you must have an undergraduate degree with at least 150 hours of coursework. Or, you must have a master’s degree.

Along with the college degree, states also require that accountants have some experience in the field. Often, that experience should be at least one or two full years.

After the college degree and a year or two of experience, you have to pass the licensing exam. Every state gives the same test, even though the requirements to take it vary. There are four parts to the exam, which is why so many people struggle to pass it the first time. The test is scored on a 99-point scale, and passing is 75 or higher.

Image by William Iven from Pixabay

A Growing and Varied Industry

When it comes to accountants and their pay, the highest salaries are in industries where other employees are highly compensated. For example, accountants in the oil and gas industry are paid higher than accountants who work for schools.

The accounting field is continually growing. As auditors, analysts, CPAs, and managers become more common in the field, more accountants with specialized degrees are needed. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects a 10% growth in the next 10 years. Accounting is not just about crunching numbers, accountants work with people and numbers to build budgets, create reports, analyze data, and work on taxes.

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