Accountants are well educated professionals who keep track of numbers while maintaining the financial records of individuals, large and small companies, nonprofit organizations, and government entities.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the 2008 median annual salary for accountants was $59,430 with the top 10% of them earning as much as $102,380. This annual salary is equivalent to an hourly wage of $28.00 to almost $50.00 dollars an hour; seven times the minimum wage. With one million accountants, the profession is always in high demand even in this bad economy and future projections point out to a faster than average growth rate of 16%.
Forbes.com has corroborated this data and has confirmed that account executives are always in demand no matter how bad the economy is. In retrospect, a career in accounting is one of the few recession proof jobs left in the country.
Auditing and Tax Accountant Careers
There are countless specialties within all the accounting careers in demand, from auditing and management accounting to budget analysis to the well known “tax accountant”; the options are extraordinarily abundant. The prerequisite to becoming an accountant is a minimum of four years of schooling at an accredited university or college. Most states require that a person be a certified accountant, which some accountants elect not to be because of the cost and the passage of a difficult state exam. The disadvantage to this is less earning power -although there is less coursework and expenses are lower during college. The CPA status is only given to an accountant that have taken and successfully passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination which is difficult to pass. Upon passing the exam, a promotion is almost guaranteed.
Education Needed For Accounting Careers
Various factors need to be considered before commencing an accounting program, especially an online school accounting/CPA program, like the schools that offer an online accounting degree. The top accounting schools requires an extensive academic background along with good entry level scores. The tuition cost varies from school to school but the numbers can be as low as $8,624 to as high as $22,710 per year. As for school ranking- the Public Accounting Report is a good source in selecting the right accounting school and program that suits the individual student.
As in every career, a strong reputation is as important as the degree itself. Becoming certified in the profession – a certified public account (CPA) – brings higher earnings and privileges among the business world. Attaining certification through the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is the surest path in building this reputation.