The career decisions we make today directly impact whether or not we can meet our financial goals down the road. Working isn’t just about salary. The potential to make more money is improved when we love what we do and are in a field with growth potential. Today’s workers need to be more flexible and entrepreneurial. This means being strategic about the experience we get, the education we earn and the skills we develop. In essence, we are responsible for our careers, skill set, education and the growth of our careers.
Accounting is a dynamic field that offers many types of jobs and much opportunity for stimulation, growth and advancement. This is true even in a downward economy. Financial rewards can still be had through hard work, keeping on top of changes in the industry, improving skills through further education and using technological improvements to your advantage.
Many factors impact our careers and our earnings during our lifetime. First, there are outside factors like a downturn in the economy, new developments in technology and layoffs. Second, we have an impact on our careers. There are setbacks when there is personal or family illness, changes in lifestyles, moves to other locations and growing families.
Making career decisions usually begins when we are in high school. For some it begins even earlier and continues through most of our working lives. The career path of accounting professionals can take twists and turns over the years just like any other. Some stay in the same type of job for 20 or more years. Others want to continue to learn, to be challenged, promoted and financially rewarded. The accounting profession has room for both.
Salary Expectations and Strategies
Salaries for accounting professionals depend on various factors. These include the type of organization 1 is employed by, the part of the country 1 lives and if the job is in a small town or large metropolitan area. One of the greatest benefits of the accounting profession is there is opportunity to increase your salary and benefits by taking control of your career. This means paying attention to the skills, educational requirements and certification possibilities in demand by business, non-profits and governmental entities.
It doesn’t just mean improving accounting skills. It also means improving general business skills, writing skills, language skills and presentation skills. You would be more valuable to your manager if you could communicate with global business partners in their own language.
Learn about government regulations that impact your industry and the accounting profession. Keep on top of changes at the local, state and federal levels that directly or indirectly impact how your employer does business. Then when they do change you will be ahead of the pack.
Technology impacts everyone. So, stay informed about new ways to work more efficiently. New developments in the way we communicate changes rapidly so keep informed about how to best share information. This is how people get promotions, bigger salaries and bonuses.
Occupational Employment Statistics
The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Labor, offers employment and wage estimates. This is provided through their program titled Occupational Employment Statistics (OES). They provide estimates of the number of people employed in a profession, such as accounting.
Below are statistics that offer information about accounting professionals’ salaries. The statistics incorporate data for individuals who receive wages from an employer, only. The salaries of the self-employed are not incorporated into these figures. The following OES statistics were presented in May of 2010 and will give you an idea of what you can expect if you choose accounting as a profession:
- The mean annual salary for accountants and auditors was $68,960. The range of salaries went from a low of $38,940 up to $106,880.
- Median annual salary figures broken out by industry.
- Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services: $74,250
- Management of companies and enterprises: $68,760
- Management, scientific and technical consulting services: $74,860
- Local government: $59,190
- State government: $56,460
- Top paying industries for accounting and auditing jobs:
- The federal executive branch of government: $89,310
- Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage: $83,610
- Other Financial Investment Activities: $81,900
- Postal Services: $81,440
- Other Information Services: $80,410
- The top 5 states for employing the most accountants and auditors are California, New York, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania.
- The top paying states for accountants and auditors are New York, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts.
- View other OES statistics about Accounting and Auditor salaries and geographic employment information. There is also statistics about Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, too.