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Where Do Accountants Earn the Most Money?

Accountants can earn a profitable wage, particularly in the event that they work within the sub-sectors or cities, or areas listed beneath. It’s a job that’s wanted in most industries and for essentially the most half, all companies. Most people solely want a bachelor’s diploma to get began in an accounting profession.

On common, accountants and auditors earned a median annual wage of $73,560 as of Could 2020, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Precise wages is likely to be increased or decrease, relying on business and site, however they’re nicely above the nationwide median common for occupations.

Key Takeaways

  • Accounting is a necessity across the globe in a wide range of fields, and as such, accountants are at all times in demand.
  • Relying on the placement and job kind, accountants can earn a superb wage; the median annual wage as of Could 2020 for an accountant was $73,560.
  • The median annual wage for an accountant is nicely above the nationwide median common for occupations.
  • The highest-paying industries for accountants embody finance and insurance coverage, administration of firms and enterprises, tax preparation, and the federal government.
  • The highest-paying states/districts for accountants embody Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts.

Why Are Accountants At all times in Excessive Demand?

The profitable wage is predicated on demand and makes accounting the most effective enterprise jobs. “Few fields are as fertile because the area of accounting,” mentioned Robert Valli, former Dean of the LIU Submit School of Administration in Outdated Westbury, N.Y., who added that accounting is, in his opinion, recession-proof.

“Corporations want an audit if the economic system is rising, and corporations want an audit in a recession,” Valli mentioned. “Everybody must do their taxes. Accounting gives nice all-weather positions, and regulatory occasions in Washington have made this much more pronounced. The Dodd-Frank Act, for instance, remains to be being parsed and understood, and accountants can be doing work on that for years.”

As well as, accounting companies are glorious employers. “The ‘Huge 4’ accounting firms are at all times listed among the many prime 100 firms to work for in America, which speaks to the wage and advantages that they’re capable of supply, together with alternatives for development,” Valli mentioned.

Stuart Mease, former government director of pupil development and profession companies at Virginia Tech’s undergraduate enterprise program, additionally feels that accounting is a promising discipline. “Federal regulation has secured the demand for people with mathematical and analytical abilities,” he mentioned. “They’re billable, and due to this fact companies want these individuals as a result of their shoppers want individuals with these ability units. Because of this public accounting companies are so lively on faculty campuses. There’s a race to amass expertise due to the massive monetary upside.”

However the place do accountants earn essentially the most cash? Based on knowledge from the BLS, these are the highest-paying industries and areas:

High-Paying Industries

Accountants earn the best median annual wage within the following 4 industries and sub-sectors:

Trade Annual Imply Wage
Laptop and Peripheral Gear Manufacturing $112,680
Federal Govt Department $105,980
Faculty and Worker Bus Transportation $105,060
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Different Monetary Funding and Associated Actions $102,020

High-Paying States

The states that pay the best salaries for accountants are principally targeting the East Coast:

State Annual Imply Wage
District of Columbia $110,140
New York $101, 440
New Jersey $96,260
Massachusetts $88,830
California $88,130

High-Paying Metropolitan Areas

The highest-paying metropolitan areas for accountants are as follows:

Metropolitan Areas Annual Imply Wage
New York-Newark-Jersey Metropolis, NY-NJ-PA   $105,720
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD $98,030
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $90,690
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE $87,730
Dallas-Fort Price-Arlington, TX $83,850
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, TX $83,820
Los Angeles-Lengthy Seaside-Anaheim, CA $83,660
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL,IN,WI
$78,640

High-Paying Non-Metropolitan Areas

The highest-paying rural areas for accountants are as follows:

Space Annual Imply Wage
Northwest Colorado $93,330
Jap Sierra-Mom Lode Area of California $84,340
Alaska $81,460
North Georgia $78,460
West Montana $77,490

Based on the Journal of Accountancy, college students who earn the Certified Public Accountancy designation have a aggressive edge. There’s additionally a requirement for accountants who earn a grasp’s diploma, and so some faculties supply an accelerated bachelor’s diploma/grasp’s diploma program.

Accountants are in excessive demand, as mirrored by their excessive salaries. For accountants who wish to take advantage of cash, understanding the top-paying industries or sub-sectors and areas will help them plan their profession paths accordingly.

The Backside Line

Accounting jobs pay a median annual wage above the nationwide median common for occupations. The job is a necessity in most fields and, due to this fact, is nearly at all times in demand. Getting into the sector just isn’t troublesome and normally solely requires a bachelor’s diploma. From there, accounting is usually a profitable profession, with salaries for jobs increased in particular industries and areas.

Investopedia requires writers to make use of major sources to help their work. These embody white papers, authorities knowledge, unique reporting, and interviews with business specialists. We additionally reference unique analysis from different respected publishers the place applicable. You’ll be able to study extra in regards to the requirements we comply with in producing correct, unbiased content material in our
editorial policy.
  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Accountants and Auditors.” Accessed Sep. 11, 2021.

  2. Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee. “Dodd-Frank Act.” Accessed Sep. 11, 2021.

  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020.” Accessed Sep. 11, 2021.

  4. Journal of Accountancy. “Hiring at Public Accounting Firms Hits All-Time High.” Accessed Could 2, 2021.

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