Do you have a knack for numbers and a fascination with finance? Getting an accounting degree could be a great step toward a new career that takes advantage of these strengths.
Accountants, bookkeepers, auditors, and similar positions record financial transactions, maintain financial records, and perform reviews and audits to ensure accuracy. They typically work with large quantities of data and require a sharp eye with lots of attention to detail. Accountants are also often responsible for accurately and efficiently filing taxes and related paperwork.
In addition to organizing and maintaining financial paperwork, accountants and bookkeepers also make recommendations to improve efficiency, accuracy, and revenues.
Some accountants work for accounting firms, some in the financial departments of large organizations, and some even work on a freelance or consulting basis. Accountants and bookkeepers are most likely to work regular business hours in a typical office environment, but they may work part-time or remotely from their own homes.
Regardless of their hours and pace during the majority of the year, accountants and bookkeepers are likely to have a heavier workload during tax season in the spring.
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earn annual median salaries of more than $40,000 nationwide, according to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These clerks typically have some postsecondary education and may be required to earn certifications, such as the Certified Bookkeeper or Certified Public Bookkeeper designations.
Accountants and auditors, meanwhile, earn annual median salaries of more than $70,000 nationwide according to the BLS. Plus, the BLS projects job growth of 10% over the next ten years, which is higher than the average for all occupations. These roles typically require a bachelor’s degree, though some employers may seek candidates with a master’s degree. They may also need a Certified Public Accountant credential.
Post-secondary training programs for accountants can take as little as two years to complete and can help prepare you for a successful accounting career. Accounting programs are designed to give you the skills and tools you need to become an accountant, bookkeeper, or auditor—and the Imagine America Foundation has a great network of partner schools to help you get started.