What Does an Accountant Do? How Much Do They Make?
1. Breaking the Stereotype
Accounting stereotypes say that your job is going to be boring, but ask an accountant and most of them will respond that they like their jobs. The reality is that accountants don’t sit in the corner moving around numbers for 8 hrs and go home.
A big reason that accounts like their jobs is that there is a tremendous amount of social interaction and teamwork involved. Accountants have to work together to reconcile numbers and work with management
“Show me the Money!” – Jerry Maguire
2. What you really want to know…
When it comes down to it, two of the most important considerations when searching for a job are:
A. What are you going to get paid?
B. What are you going to do every day?
This is the basic premise of most job search decisions. First, find out how different options answer these questions, then go towards that career path. Second, everyone looking for an accounting job wants to know more or less what they will be paid ahead of time in order to know what size mattress to order so they can store all their money under it.
Back to serious business, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics can help us figure out what your potential salary will be, as well as give us the expected growth in both job openings and future salary. With companies placing a much greater emphasis on effective accounting practices and checks and balances, there is a growing demand for accounting professionals in the corporate sphere.
3. Lets Start with the Job Growth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that there will be 16% more jobs in the field of accounting by 2020, making this field attractive if you are seeking a stable job with growth potential. BOOM
For a more extensive guide on growth and possibilities, here is a detailed post I wrote explaining the accounting job outlook for the next 10 years.
4. What is an Accountant’s Salary on average?
The growing need for General Accountants who are up-to-date on laws, principles and regulations translates into 16% growth with … (wait for it) … an average salary reported to be $61,690 in 2010. General accountants hired with an undergraduate degree and very little experience in the field tend to earn an average $54,000 in the first 2 years of employment.
Accountants with larger accounting firms tend to earn larger salaries. You can gain experience with a smaller company, and use this experience as a stepping stone to move up in the field. If you go on to pursue your Master’s, this can translate into a raise of about $10,000 a year with the right level of experience.
5. So to make this money, what will I do every day?
Well that gets a little complicated since there are so many sets and subsets of accounting. I will gradually be going through the different ones in this blog, but here is a summary for now.
General accountants can work with either individuals or corporations, and will prepare and analyze financial documents and reports. As the tax laws and accounting regulations become more complicated and confusing, there is a growing need for knowledgeable professionals who understand tax law and stay updated on all of the changes to avoid penalties and fines. With more and more regulation changes being announced, accountants will only increase in demand.
Think of it this way, show me the money!