How to Become an Accountant

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the business and industry you apply at. Those looking for an entry positions are likely to need a bachelors degree from an accredited accounting program. If you are looking for a very junior level bookkeeping or clerk position, then an associates degree is recommended. Those looking to get into a competitive or advance position may benefit from earning a master’s degree or specific certifications like the certified public accountant (CPA).

Launch your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a accountant.

How Much Does an Accountant Make?

  • Accountants and Auditors: $65,470 (median salary)
  • Accounting Clerks: $35,150 (median salary)

For salaries in your state, click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top.

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:

  • Accountants and Auditors: +166,700 additional people employed
  • Accounting Clerks: +204,600 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Bookkeeping, small business, corporate accounting, law, and tax preparation.


(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Auditing and Accounting and Accounting Clerk pages) 

The Best Places to Become an Accountant

Accountants are able to work in a variety of settings, including the following.

  • Public Accounting Firms
  • International Corporations
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Government Agencies
  • Financial Institutions
  • Retail Companies

Employment and Information Data for Accounting

Why Become an Accountant?

Earning a degree in accounting will prepare you to enter a rewarding career path in business. Accounting is the common language of business and finance, and mastering this language will unlock doors in several professions.

Accountants have many options on where to specialize. Many work as CPAs, partners in accounting firms, government agencies, or in corporate management. Your daily tasks as an accountant will include: conducting business audits, writing financial reports, analyzing taxes and managing the company’s budget. Accountants are considered to be financial experts, management consultants and budget analysts. In today’s competitive economic society, there is a high demand for professionals with accounting skills and many job opportunities on the horizon.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Accountant

  • Financial Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Budget Management
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Business Taxes
  • Auditing
  • Computer Accounting Systems

Degrees to Help You Become an Accountant

Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Accounting students in a bachelor’s program learn the concepts and methods involved in creating financial records and statements used by financial firms, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Bachelor of Science in Internal Auditing

Bachelor students in Internal Auditing programs learn how to conduct auditing tasks, investigate financial records and identify instances of fraud, preparing graduates with a diverse accounting skill set.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Some employers may require their employees to have a CPA license in order to legally perform certain accounting tasks. A CPA license will show prospective employers that you are an educated and certified professional.