Accountants keep track of a business or individual’s money and prepare taxes for payment. They generally work off the figures given to them by bookkeepers.
Types of Accountants
There are four major types of accountants, and within these categories there are innumerable ways that an accountant’s skills may be used for a given company or client.
1. Public accountants are hired by companies to complete specific accounting projects. They are not employees of the companies for which they provide their services.
2. Management accountants keep track of a company’s money. They are employees of the company for which they provide services.
3. Internal auditors check the books for fraud or inefficiency.
4. Government accountants keep track of a government entity’s finances.
A bachelor’s degree is required to work as an accountant. In addition, a public accountant is required to pass a certification exam and be licensed by the state. To remain certified, an accountant must take annual accounting classes. Other accountants are also encouraged to be state-certified because of the competitive job market. Accountants who are highly skilled in mathematics, computer accounting software, and writing tend to be most successful.
There are more than 1.7 million accountants in the United States. Accountants currently have a 9.5% unemployment rate. This is higher than the national unemployment rate. However, the demand for accountants is expected to increase over the next decade, so the future looks bright in this industry.
The median salary for accountants is approximately $61,000. This is about $30 per hour. The salary depends largely on experience. Entry-level accountants can reasonably expect to make about $43,000 per year.
The job satisfaction ranking for accountants is about average compared to all fields. Most accountants view their positions as opportunities for personal development and for building an impressive resume. The accounting field provides plenty of opportunities to move up in the ranks.
Since there is increasing demand for accountants, the flexibility of this job will improve as well. Even now, accounting is generally a full-time job. About 20% of accountants work more than 40 hours per week. Of course, some times of the year are busier than others. Tax season and the end of the budget year are extremely busy and profitable times for accountants.
Those who graduate with a degree in accounting have a wide array of options for the type of job they will have. As the industry continues to expand, accountants will have greater flexibility in finding the perfect job in their field.