Average Salary of Accounting Degree Graduates
If you’re seeking a career in accounting, you are taking on a career that entails one to be exceedingly responsible. After all, accountants manage money and financial records of institutions, be it a company, a government organization or a non-profit entity.
Reports prepared by accountants are used to determine the taxes a company has to pay, for assessing the financial health of the company, and for analyzing if another institution should undertake a business transaction.
Popular Accounting Specialities
There are four broad accounting specialties that you’ll be choosing from as an accounting degree graduate:
- Public Accountants: Their main tasks include accounting, auditing, tax and consulting work. They work for public accounting companies.
- Management Accountants: They manage money spent and made by the companies they work for.
- Internal Auditors: Check company records to identify signs of embezzlement, if any, and if the company’s money is being used efficiently.
- Government Accountants And Auditors: ensure the accuracy of records of government accounts and accounts of people doing business with the government.
A college degree in accounting, such as a Bachelor’s degree is the most common route to a career in accounting. Public accounting roles will require additional certification and a license from the state you’d be working in.
How Much Will You Earn?
In May 2011, the median annual pay of accountants and auditors was about $63,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has shared the given percentile wage estimates for accountants.
Note that percentile wage estimates show what percentage of workers earn less than a certain wage. So, 10 percent of accountants earn less than $39,640 per year while 90 percent earn more than that. Similarly, 90 percent of accountants earn an annual salary less than $109,870, while only 10 percent earn more than that.
|Percentile||Hourly Wage||Annual Wage|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
The top-paying industries for accountants include dry cleaning and laundry services, Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation), independent artists, writers and performers, securities and commodities brokerage, and textile and fabric finishing and coating mills. On average, these industries pay accountants about $88,000 annually.
The top-paying state is the District of Columbia, followed by New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland, in that order, with the median salary of $86,030 paid in Columbia annually, and $75,630 in Maryland.
The BLS also provides a gender-wise breakup of salaries for accountants. According to their data, there are more females working in the profession, with the female: male ratio in 2011 of 1:6. However, salary levels are different for the two genders, with men earning the median weekly salary of $1,250 and women earning the median weekly salary of $956.
PayScale.com provides a more detailed breakup of salaries of employees with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting.
|Job Title||National Salary Data|
|Staff Accountant||$33,684 – $54,651|
|Senior Accountant||$44,987 – $74,285|
|Financial Controller||$50,601 – $114,389|
|Accounting Manager||$43,239 – $87,753|
|Certified Public Accountant (CPA)||$40,204 – $91,504|
|Chief Financial Officer (CFO)||$68,841 – $190,798|
|Accountant||$31,497 – $56,752|
Overall, the salary you’d be making after the completion of your accounting degree will depend on a number of factors. Typically, the median salary for accountants varies according to the number of years of work experience, the accountant’s particular specialty, the state you’ll be working in, and the company/ employer you’ll be working for.