How to Become a CPA

CPA jobs in the accounting sector will increase 16% by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overview & Salaries

Money isn’t everything, but let’s be honest; the best things in life really aren’t free. Financial stability provides individuals a certain amount of leverage in both their career and personal lives. For that reason becoming a CPA is a very attractive option.

According to the National Salary Trend study by job board, the CPA earned an average yearly salary of $67,000.

Places to Work

The primary CPA skills – auditing, management consulting, financial accounting and reporting, management accounting, financial analysis, tax preparation, and forensic accounting – are sought after in every sector of business including:

  • Major Financial Institutions
  • Hedge Funds
  • Media Companies
  • Automotive Industry

Employment and Information Data for Certified Public Accountant

Why Certified Public Accountant

The public accounting field is lucrative to begin with, but for a CPA the salaries on average are 10% to 15% higher than other accounting professionals, with starting salaries of recent graduates in the low $50,000 range.

It turns out that a bit of expertise in accounting and some financial reporting skills often lead to a pretty lucrative and respectable career. It’s the Certified Public Accountant that makes the business world spin and landing a degree at a good school can quickly turn you into a One-Percenter, while fueling your upward trajectory in the greater business world at large.

Of course, it’s not all about keeping your personal ledger in the black. There are plenty of non-monetary reasons you should consider becoming a CPA.

Recommended Certified Public Accountant Courses

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Financial Modeling
  • U.S. Taxation Introduction
  • Securities Analysis
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

Degrees for Certified Public Accountant Careers

Any decent CPA program will provide you valuable skills that are translatable across all fields of business. Once you’ve grasped an understanding of how financial information is measured and used in business management, the options are plentiful in both government jobs and public sector careers.

Most states require 150-semester-hours of classroom work before you qualify to take the standardized CPA-certification exam. This demanding examination will require advanced study in the accounting field. In order to complete the hour requirements, as well as develop necessary skills, students completing undergraduate degrees in accounting often supplement addition course work hours with a master’s degree or advanced certificate program.

Associate’s Degree
An associate’s degree in accounting will provide the core courses to set you on the path toward becoming a CPA.

Bachelor’s Degree
When it comes to a career in accounting career prospects increase for those who hold at least a master’s degree, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The bachelor’s in accounting offers a full slated curriculum for those wishing to extend their overall business knowledge in this space. This highly specialized professional degree is available at many campuses and online schools.

A Masters in accounting will prepare students to qualify for the Certified Public Accountant exam, as well as offer a well-rounded curriculum in all areas of business.