Salary Opportunities by Accounting Degree Level

Posted December 26, 2013 | By csponline

Salary Trend for Accounting It’s no secret that higher education can lead to higher salaries for professionals across business industries. The acquisition of new skills and superior knowledge enhances your qualifications and boosts your credentials for leading business careers that put you ahead of the class in a competitive workforce. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a direct link between education and annual earnings for professionals in today’s job market. Data collected by the BLS from 2012 shows the following correlations:

Accounting is among the myriad of business fields that benefit from higher education, and Minnesota employers are looking to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree to keep pace with complex processes and emerging industry trends. Concordia University, St. Paul offers a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting as part of our recognized online business degrees. With courses covering a broad spectrum of accounting as well as business-related topics, a Concordia accounting degree can position you for tremendous career growth and increased earning potential in Minnesota and beyond.

Minnesota Accounting Salaries

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have been ranked as a Top 10 City for Accountants by, a job site and resource for accounting professionals. Boosting the Twin Cities to the top of the list is the tech-friendly nature of the area, which helps spur continued economic growth. Minneapolis is also home to two top-20 accounting firms, McGladrey LLP and LarsonAllen LLP, providing growing job opportunities for new and established accountants alike. The unemployment rate is well below the national average and salary averages are high, with accountants and auditors earning an average of $63,300 per year, which is higher than the national average for the profession as reported by the BLS.

Behind the Numbers

Numerous factors can affect an accountant’s salary, including location, experience level and academic background. The type of accounting job also has a big impact on both your chances of getting hired and your average income. While jobs are plentiful across Minnesota in the accounting areas of tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services, the most lucrative jobs are found in financial investment, including securities and commodities investing. You need a solid academic record, sharp skill set and quality experience to land these competitive, fast-filling roles.

Salary levels can also range based on your experience. Payscale reports entry level accountants earn an average salary of $33,500, while senior accountants can make upwards of $60,000. In between these career milestones are other levels of accountancy that provide you with concise career trajectory.

Salary Ranges for Accounting Careers

The pay scale for accounting jobs varies according to your chosen career path. Take a look at some salary information for accounting careers with a bachelor’s degree.

Certified public accountant (CPA): A CPA provides numerous accounting services to consumers, business owners, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, including financial planning, tax preparation, payroll services and more. Payscale reports an average salary of $58,589 for CPAs; salaries range from $48,396 to $79,024. The salary discrepancy is based on experience. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree will have to complete a separate exam to earn this certification; however, it is a valuable credential in the accounting industry and well worth the investment.

Financial examiner: Financial institutions must stay compliant with finance laws in all of their operations and transactions to stay above board. Financial examiners work with accounting departments to ensure these institutions are compliant with finance laws. The BLS reports an average salary of $74,940 for financial examiners.

Personal finance advisor: Consumers wanting to make sound investments often look to personal finance advisors to guide them in their financial planning. These professionals use their clients’ financial goals to provide advice on investments, taxes and insurance. According to BLS, the average salary for a personal finance advisor is $64,750.

Tax examiner: Tax examiners review tax returns, conduct audits, identify owed taxes and collect overdue tax payments. The BLS reports these accounting professionals earn an average salary of $49,360.

Forensic accountant: Accountants who specialize in critical thinking and problem solving will enjoy a career as a forensic accountant. These professionals perform investigative accounting services to examine financial data and records to identify any abnormalities. Forensic accountants may be called to testify in court. SimplyHired reports that the average salary for forensic accounts is $73,000.

There are numerous job opportunities for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. These career paths will vary in salary. A strong academic foundation is critical in landing the job and growing your earning potential.


Also published on Medium.