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Accounting Careers

photo of friendly accountant

Numerous job options are available to people with accounting knowledge and skills, depending on the educational level attained:

  • Accounting assistant
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk
  • Auditor
  • Billing clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget analyst
  • Cashier
  • Cost accountant
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial examiner
  • Financial manager
  • Inventory specialist
  • Payroll clerk
  • Securities clerk
  • Tax accountant
  • Tax preparer
  • Teller

Careers and salaries vary widely depending on the size of employer, but there will always be a job market for qualified professionals with an accounting background. Your professional advancement will depend on your level of continued education as well as your job performance. Several of the career categories listed below will require additional career training or education.

America’s Career Infonet and the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook give detailed information about the skills, abilities, work activities and recommended education for jobs in fields using skills which can be learned in the Accounting program. In addition, here are salary ranges for such jobs: 

Job

Hourly Rate

Annual Salary

Projected Growth Through 2016 in Texas

Accountants and auditors $27.98 $58,200 +26%
Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks $15.57 $32,400 +14%
First-line supervisors and managers of office and administrative support workers $22.14 $46,100 +16%
Financial analysts $34.67 $72,100 +23%
Financial examiners $32.92 $68,500 +45%
Financial managers $49.44 $102,800 +12%
Tax preparers $13.66 $28,400 +5%

Demand in the Accounting Fields

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, there are more than 2 million jobs for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, with most employed in local government and in the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry.

The large demand for this occupation ensures plentiful job openings, including many opportunities for temporary and part-time work. Those who possess a wider range of bookkeeping and accounting skills will be in greater demand than specialized clerks.

Demand for full-charge bookkeepers is expected to increase because they are called upon to do much of the work of accountants as well as perform a wider variety of financial transactions, from payroll to billing. Certified bookkeepers and those with several years of accounting or bookkeeper experience will have the best job prospects.

Experience and Education Needed for Accounting Positions

Most bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks are required to have a high school degree at a minimum. However, having some college education is increasingly important, and an associate degree in business or accounting is required for some positions.

Experience in a related job and working in an office environment also is recommended. Employers prefer workers who are computer literate, with knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software.

Once hired, bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks usually receive on-the-job training. Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in specific computer software.

These workers must be careful, orderly and detail-oriented in order to avoid making errors and to recognize errors made by others. They also should be discreet and trustworthy because they frequently come in contact with confidential material. In addition, these clerks should have a strong aptitude for numbers.

How to Get Ahead in Accounting

Bookkeepers, particularly those who handle all the recordkeeping for companies, may benefit from becoming certified.

  • The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, assures employers that individuals have the skills and knowledge required to carry out all the bookkeeping and accounting functions up through the adjusted trial balance, including payroll functions. For certification, candidates must have at least two years of bookkeeping experience, pass three tests and adhere to a code of ethics.
  • The American Payroll Association offers two levels of certification, the Fundamental Payment Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Professional (CPP).

Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks usually advance by taking on more duties in the same occupation for higher pay or by transferring to a closely related occupation. Most companies fill office and administration support supervisory and managerial positions by promoting individuals from within their organizations, so clerks who acquire additional skills, experience and training improve their advancement opportunities. With appropriate experience and education, some bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks may become accountants or auditors.

Professional Organizations

You’ll find helpful information about accounting careers, certifications, licensing and more by visiting the websites of some accounting industry professional organizations.

Accounting Job Opportunities

Note: Links to the following websites are provided for your convenience and information, and do not constitute official endorsement by the colleges of DCCCD.