Looking to Start Your Career in Accounting?
Accounting Degree Today is proud to assist aspiring accountants in finding employment opportunities around the US. Our accounting jobs board provides information on the latest employment openings for accounting graduates. This service not only lets you find companies that are currently looking to fill an accounting position but serves as a good research tool to find out what skills and qualifications are in demand in the current job market. The job postings are continuously updated so you can bookmark this page or check back often to find new accountant employment opportunities.
What Jobs Can You Get With an Accounting Degree?
Earning an accounting degree can lead to many diverse job opportunities. Below you’ll find 10 of the most common job descriptions that you may qualify for with a degree in accounting.
Budget analysts help organizations organize and plan financial spending by preparing reports and making recommendations to program managers, upper management, and other decision makers. In addition, budget analysts assist with financial reporting and cost accounting issues.1 Budget analysts find work in all sectors of the economy, including public and private firms, not-for-profits, and government. These professionals typically have a four-year degree that includes courses in accounting and finance plus one to two years of experience in the accounting sector.1 Experienced budget analysts may become senior budget analysts, which can include supervisory or management responsibilities. The responsibilities of a budget analyst can also open up advancement opportunities in other areas of an organization.1 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median pay for budget analysts at $76,220 per year as of 2018, with a projected occupational growth rate of 7% from 2016 to 2026.1
Credit managers are responsible for overseeing and directing the credit operations of businesses. This includes setting criteria for lending to businesses and/or consumers, adjusting credit limitations, and monitoring collections. Credit managers also typically supervise credit clerks, who are responsible for interacting with customers and paperwork handling.2 Credit managers can find career opportunities in any business or institution that extends credit to businesses or consumers, which includes many traditional career paths as well as more non-traditional career opportunities in businesses like casinos.2 Professionals with a four-year degree in accounting or a related subject may be eligible for credit manager positions, though many organizations prefer a candidate with a master’s degree or equivalent experience.2 The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups credit managers with financial managers, with a reported average annual salary of $127,990 as of 2018 and a projected growth rate of 19% from 2016 to 2026 – much faster than the average growth rate other occupations.2
The work that financial accountants do focuses on preparing financial statements and making long-term financial projections for organizations. To do this, financial accountants create and access reports from multiple domains of an organization’s operations including inventories, assets, liabilities, payroll, investments, and cash flows. When working for publicly traded companies, financial accountants may also be involved in the preparation of regulatory filings such as Form 10-Ks. Financial accountants typically have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, though some may also hold a master’s degree in accounting or finance.2 Financial accountants frequently specialize in one or more areas of finance, such as risk management or cost analysis, or in a specific industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that financial accountants (also known as financial specialists) made a median annual salary of $70,770 as of 2018, and can expect a 10% occupational growth rate from 2016 to 2026.2
Financial managers support the decisions of executives and managers by monitoring an organization’s financial situation, creating reports including budgets, and making financial recommendations. Financial managers also engage in financial analysis of operations and investments, particularly financial ratios such as assets to liabilities and net profits to assets. Financial managers typically hold a master’s degree in accounting and have taken courses in accounting-related subjects including business law, economics, and statistics. Advancement opportunities for financial managers include positions as finance officers, treasurers, and financial controllers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics financial managers made a median salary of $127,990 as of 2018.2 However, median salaries vary by industry; financial managers working in professional, scientific, and technical services average $151,610 per year, while financial managers working in government make a comparatively lower salary of $112,830 per year.2 Job growth for financial managers is projected at 19% through 2026.2
Forensic accountants pair their knowledge of accounting and finance with investigative skills to analyze financial records for irregularities or possible illegal activities. In addition to traditional accounting records analysis, forensic accountants may interview eyewitnesses and others involved with the financial records under scrutiny. Forensic accountants can frequently be found working with government agencies and law firms, and may also appear in court as expert witnesses. Professional certifications such as Certified Public Accountant and the more specialized Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified in Financial Forensics can grant forensic accounting job seekers a competitive edge and opportunities for career advancement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups forensic accountants with other accountants and auditors, who made an average annual salary of $70,500 as of 2018.3 Occupational growth for these professionals is projected to reach 10% between 2016 and 2026.3
Insurance underwriters are accounting professionals who specialize in determining eligibility and risk related to insurance policies and deciding whether and how insurance carriers should issue policies to specific clients. It is not uncommon for insurance underwriters to specialize in certain types of insurance such as life insurance or property and casualty insurance. At the entry level insurance underwriters typically have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business. To advance in this field, most underwriters find it helpful to earn professional designations such as Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter or Chartered Life Underwriter. Professional advancement includes opportunities in senior underwriting and portfolio or underwriting management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, insurance underwriters earned a median salary of $69,380 per year as of 2018.4 Insurance underwriters in certain fields may earn slightly higher average salaries; for example, those working in credit intermediation earn an average of $75,700 per year.4
Investment bankers, also called I-bankers, are underwriters who help organizations find investors and other sources of funding. Investment bankers help clients navigate stock and bond offerings as well as initial public offerings, mergers, and acquisitions. To expand career opportunities aspiring investment bankers often take summer positions with investment banks as summer analysts while still in school; some analyst programs extend over two years. These analyst programs frequently serve as placement pools, meaning that a student’s performance during the program can guide the job offer(s) he or she receives after graduation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups investment bankers with Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents, who make an average salary of $64,120 per year.5 However, a significant part of an investment banker’s compensation is based on commissions and bonuses, which may increase or decrease overall compensation substantially. Those working in securities contracts, financial investments, and related activities average compensation of $97,110 per year.5
Payroll managers are operational managers who specialize in supervising an organization’s payroll, focusing on timely processing and adjustments as well as preparing reports for management and developing payroll procedures and contingencies. This position also involves supervising and managing other payroll professionals, including payroll clerks, human resources specialists, and payment processors. As technology advances payroll managers are also increasingly involved in developing and deploying more efficient time management and payroll record keeping and auditing systems. Payroll managers are grouped with human resources managers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates the average annual salary of these professionals at $113,300.6 Estimates place the job growth rate for managers involved in human resources at 9% between 2016 and 2026.6
Many accounting professionals start their careers as public accountants. Public accountants typically focus on auditing accounting records, verifying the accuracy of information and supporting documentation, and identifying errors and risks for assigned accounts. Public accountants usually have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance as well as a master’s degree, which is required in most states to earn the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. With CPA certification, accountants may work directly for a firm, as in-house staff for an accounting firm, or as independent contractors in businesses, non-profits, and government. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants make a median annual salary of $70,500, though public accountants working in sectors such as manufacturing and finance and insurance may average slightly higher salaries.3 The job outlook for accountants is positive, with growth projected at 10% through 2026.3
Tax accountants typically start their careers as tax accounting staff.10 Entry level tax accountants are responsible for analyzing tax compliance and researching and preparing tax records and returns. Junior tax accountants work closely with more senior tax staff; it is not unusual for a tax accountant’s work to be analyzed by senior tax accountants, managers, and executives to ensure that no errors are made. With experience, tax accountants can move to senior analyst and consulting roles, which involve greater research into tax and accounting issues as well as client advising. After a few years of tax management experience, tax accounting professionals may become tax partners or senior partners, who manage client relationships and business development. Tax accountants are grouped with other accountants and auditors, making an average annual salary of $70,500 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.3 Accountants can expect a job growth rate of 10% between 2016 and 2026.3
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Budget Analysts: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Managers: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Insurance Underwriters: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/insurance-underwriters.htm
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/securities-commodities-and-financial-services-sales-agents.htm
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Human Resources Managers: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm