If you look at your future career in terms of supply and demand, some types of degrees pay off better than others. Graduates with accounting degrees remain in high demand, even in today’s job market.
The field is growing by 13% per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; in regular accounting jobs, cpa jobs, as well as other types of accounting jobs.
What’s more, accounting salaries are likely to be above average, with a median income of about $60,000 per year. The best opportunities will be for those who have an accounting degree and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. Becoming a CPA requires an additional educational investment on top of your degree, but CPA jobs pay off even more; up to 15% more when you begin your career.
Entry level salaries for CPAs start between $40,000 and $63,000 for corporate accounting in a medium-sized firm and between $42,000 and $67,000 for public accounting in a medium-sized firm. After gaining three years’ experience, you can expect to be paid $60,000 to $70,000 for corporate accounting and $64,000 to $84,000 for public accounting in firms of the same size.
Your potential for earnings over time are also great. Upper level salaries for managers in corporate accounting for a small to medium-sized firm are $97,000 to $190,000 for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), $83,000 to $145,000 for a Corporate Controller and $75,000 to $111,000 for a Tax Manager.
If you work for a large company, the top salaries are even higher. A CFO at a large firm can earn from $190,000 to $411,000, a Corporate Controller, from $128,000 to $199,000 and a Tax Manager, from $100,000 to $142,000.
The CPA credential is internationally recognized and well-respected everywhere. Employers see it as evidence of high principles, superior education and prized experience.
Every organization must keep its finances in order to survive, meaning even after a layoff, accountants find jobs faster.
In addition, starting your career in accounting exposes you to every aspect of a business, at least from the financial perspective. This positions you to move into other executive posts or to start your own business later on. In fact, accountants can pursue lucrative careers as consultants working for themselves after gaining a few years of experience working for others.
Becoming an accountant doesn’t necessarily define your career path in narrow terms. Becoming a CPA gives you instant credibility and marketability, and it is relevant in many areas, including finance, management, investment management, underwriting and treasury. The knowledge you gain is highly transferrable to other areas of business as well.
CPA salaries are competitive, consistently, because they are in high demand. Since accounting and auditing regulations are becoming stricter and the economy continues to expand world-wide, CPAs will continue to be in high demand for years to come.