40 Top-Paying Accounting Jobs

If you think accountants are only pencil pushers (OK, let’s modernize it: sophisticated computer are used, not old school pads and pencil) working solo in cubicles at large accounting firms, you’d be missing out on a wide-open field with many degrees of difficulty and compensation.

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Crunch these numbers. What follows are many diverse and top paying job specialties within the field of accounting, organized by the level of education required as a minimum for each job.

Besides general bookkeeping tasks, most accountants are able to perform more complex tasks such as fraud auditing and payroll reporting as well as accurately report financial information to the government and shareholders. In simple terms, accountants allow businesses and individuals to understand and evaluate money spent and profitability, creating an indispensable need for accountants in almost every sector. Working as an accountant means enjoying an engaging and dynamic career for people who like working with others and are interested in the financial side of business. Understanding accounting fundamentals can help prepare you for a wide range of career possibilities from running your own accounting practice to investigating financial crimes with the FBI.

Since students learn to understand “the language of business,” accounting is a flexible major that can lead to many business related professions. A career in accounting can be very financially rewarding, with the top 10 percent earning an average of $111,510 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, for those just starting out in accounting, the sector is expected to grow at a pace of 13% and reach over 1.4 million jobs in 2022.

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40. Bookeeping Clerk

Responsible for managing the ledger, or compilation of some or all of a company’s accounts. Maintain an entire company’s books and make numerous daily computations to update accounting records.

Responsibilities:

• Make numerous daily computations to update and maintain accounting records.
• Verify and enter firms’ transactions into ledger.
• Compile data from cashiers to prepare bank deposits.
• Prepare reports and summaries.
• Handle various payroll duties.
• Prepare invoices for billing, including totaling numbers, adding dates, and verifying financial data.
• Track and oversee overdue accounts.
• Refer overdue accounts to collections.
• Verify balancing receipts.
• Send cash, checks, or other forms of payment to the bank.
• Post debits and credits.
• Post details of transactions, total accounts, and compute interest charges.
• Stay familiar with list of tax and accounting rules.
• Calculate expenditures.
• Prepare tax reports and monthly invoice statements.
• Use computers to input data.

Salaries: Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned a median salary of $35,730 in 2013, according to the BLS. The best-paid 10 percent in the field made $55,170, while the bottom 10 percent made $22,020.

39. Accounting Clerk

Responsible for providing accounting support to accounting supervisors and other managers within the department. Keys daily worksheets to the general ledger system, ensures files are complete and maintained as needed, handles accounts payable duties, and assists accounting personnel.

Responsibilities:

• Perform accounting and clerical functions to support supervisors.
• Research, track, and resolve accounting problems.
• Compile and sort invoices and checks.
• Issue checks for accounts payable.
• Place checks in envelopes and mail out.
• Record business transactions and key daily worksheets to the general ledger system.
• Record charges and refunds.
• Support accounting personnel.
• Input type vouchers, invoices, checks, account statements, reports, and other records.
• Provide front desk customer service.
• File and tally deposits.
• Work with adding machines, calculators, databases and bank accounts.
• Match invoices to work orders.
• Process bills for payment.
• Open mail and match payments to invoices.
• Arrange for money to be delivered to bank.
• Utilize computer systems to run databases, pay bills and order supplies.
• Contact individuals with delinquent accounts.
• Ensure customers accept payments or refund

Salaries: Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned a median salary of $35,730 in 2013, according to the BLS. The best-paid 10 percent in the field made $55,170, while the bottom 10 percent made $22,020.

38. Auditing Clerk

Responsible for updating and maintaining accounting records, verifying records posted by other workers, and checking figures and documents to ensure they are accurate and coded properly. Makes notations of error for future corrections.

Responsibilities:

• Ensure figures, postings, and documents written by accounting are properly coded and accurate.
• Verify records and transactions.
• Correct errors or make notations for other workers to correct.
• Enter information from receipts into computers.
• Perform payroll functions.
• Make phone calls to customers or clients.
• Use computer software to input numbers.
• Check records for accuracy, often several times.
• Scrutinize expense accounts, commissions, loans, interest, account payments, bank records, inventory, and sales tickets.
• Compute totals using adding machines or calculators.
• Compare results with recorded entries.
• Complete tax forms and returns, workers’ compensation forms, and pension contribution forms.
• Write statistical, financial, accounting or auditing reports.
• Properly code documents.
• Debit, credit, and total accounts.
• Prepare trial balances of books

Entry level education for all three clerk positions: High school diploma or equivalent.

Salaries: Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned a median salary of $35,730 in 2013, according to the BLS. The best-paid 10 percent in the field made $55,170, while the bottom 10 percent made $22,020.

Associate’s in Accounting

Associates

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Students interested in an associate’s degree in accounting will find that many local community colleges and technical schools will offer this degree. With this type of degree, students can land bookkeeper and accounting clerk jobs. While it’s limited in terms of opportunities, students that graduate can move toward a bachelor’s degree at a local university. The average time of completion is two years.

>>>Check out our ranking of accredited online Associates in Accounting programs<<<

37. Accounts Receivable Clerk

The main role of accounts receivable clerks is to ensure that their company or organization receives payments for goods and services and properly records the transactions. The duties and responsibilities of this position require not only a knack for numbers, but also attention to detail and well-developed organizational skills.

Performs a variety of accounting and bookkeeping duties according to established policies and procedures. Maintains contact with attorneys, staff, vendors and clients and observes confidentiality of client and firm matters.

Accounts Receivable Clerks in the United States take home approximately $14.13 per hour on average.

Annual salary range: The final incomes of Accounts Receivable Clerks generally vary between $23,000 and $41,000.

36. Accounting Assistant

Job responsibilities include directing and overseeing all or one of the following accounting functions: general accounting, payroll, and cost accounting.

Some basic tasks of an accounting assistant include:

• Sorting documents: (This is pretty self-explanatory.You will be simply sorting documents for the accountant you’re helping)
• Verifying the accuracy of documents: (You will be checking documents previously completed by the accountant you’re working for for mistakes and errors he may have made.)
• Make necessary adjustments to various documents: (You will be making adjustments to different logs or records, entering vital information that the accountant you’re working for will need to use.)
• Verifying the accuracy of mathematics: (You will be checking to make sure the previous worker has not made any mathematical errors with his work).
• Data Entry: (You will be entering information regarding a certain document or inputting numbers into a spreadsheet).
• Answer inquiries: (You will be answering questions from various customers of the accountant you are working for.)
• Clerical Duties (You will be doing basic work, like sorting mail, typing, answering phones, etc).

Pay for Accounting Assistants in the United States sits in the ballpark of $15.07 per hour. Cash earnings for Accounting Assistants — including $3,000 in bonuses and $4,000 in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale.

Annual salary range: $25,000 to $45,000

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35. Billing Clerk

The primary responsibility of the Billing Clerk is accounting, budget planning and control, cash management, treasury, and tax handling functions.

The Billing Clerk compiles amounts owed from purchase orders, charge slips, sales tickets, etc., and prepares invoices and recording transactions. Maintains all payment records.

A typical job description for the Billing Clerk role may include:

• Responsible for preparation of bills and invoices, the calculation of sales tickets and charge slips, and verification of billing with accounts receivable ledger.
• Processes changes in information system to support accurate and efficient billing process and financial close.
• Requires a bachelor’s degree in area of specialty and 2-4 years of experience in the field or in a related area.
• Familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field.
• Relies on limited experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.
• Performs a variety of tasks.
• Works under general supervision.
• A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required.

A Billing Clerk earns an average wage of $13.81 per hour. People in this job generally don’t have more than 20 years’ experience. Pay for this job does not change much by experience, with the most experienced earning only a bit more than the least.

Annual salary ranges from $22,472-$41,160

34. Accounts Payable Clerk

Responsible for compiling amounts owed by the company to vendors, suppliers, or other organizations/individuals. Gathers purchase orders, charge slips, sales tickets etc, and prepares payments. Maintains all payment or other transaction records. Requires a high school diploma or its equivalent with 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Works under immediate supervision. Primary job functions do not typically require exercising independent judgment. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.

Average salary: $35,459

33. Bookkeeper

What makes for a good bookkeeper? May think bookkeepers are responsible for the accounts of a company. This definition is very true. Bookkeeping services are essential for the welfare of any business, whether the company is large or small. A bookkeeper job description includes paying the bills, handling the incoming money, and tracking the flow of outgoing money.

Bookkeepers fill out the tax forms for the company and work with the CPA to ensure the accuracy of the accounts. Handling employee payrolls and commissions are also included in a bookkeeper job description. Depending on the size of the company, bookkeepers may work alone or with assistants known as accounting clerks.

Accounting clerks are in charge of a single aspect of the company’s accounts, such as payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, or purchasing. While an accounting clerk’s responsibilities are to keep track of the transactions that occur within their respective accounts, a bookkeeper job description includes all of the above and more.

A good bookkeeper must have excellent math and computer skills and enjoy working with numbers. They must be able to pay attention to detail and feel comfortable interacting with people. They must also be of good moral character. Some companies will perform a background check to ensure the absence of criminal activity related to theft.

A certified bookkeeper can charge a higher fee for their services than a non-certified bookkeeper can; companies are willing to pay more for the person with the higher credentials.

Annual salary: A typical bookkeeping salary is generally about $39,000 per year.

32. Management Trainee

An accountant-in-training works with a senior accountant, manager or controller. Daily duties can include making income or expense entries into the accounting system. Small accounting offices might have the trainee accountant entering vendor invoices, paying bills and creating invoices for its clients. In larger organizations, these duties are typically separated by discipline, such as accounts payables, payroll or accounts receivables.

Trainee accountants check entries for accuracy; they make necessary corrections and file documents as needed. Some trainee accountants might work on payroll, quarterly taxes, asset inventory, cost accounting or other disciplines within the accounting department.

Typically, a management trainee will earn in the range of $52,000-$56,000 a year.

31. Payroll Clerk

Responsible for Compiling and posting employee payroll data and manages hours clocked. Creates and distributes paychecks in accordance with hours worked and corrects paycheck errors.

Primary responsibilities include:
• Compute earnings of workers by referring to their annual salary or timesheet to discover hours worked.
• Initiate payroll during appropriate time and print off checks.
• Verify attendance, hours worked, and pay adjustments, and post information onto designated records.
• Have checks signed off and approved by manager.
• Distribute checks to employees.
• Handle complaints or questions regarding discrepancies.
• Factor in vacation or sick pay when computing earnings.
• Check exempt and non-exempt statuses of employees.
• Close out paycheck cycle after termination.
• Perform calculations from worksheets and work tickets.
• Check electronic data for errors.
• Compile employee time, production, and payroll data from time sheets and other records.
• Calculate and include deductions, such as income tax withholding, Social Security payments, insurance, and union dues.
• Garnish wages due to child support or IRS intervention.
• Handle 401(k) contributions.
• Manage input of bonuses and commission.
• Distribute timecards.

A Payroll Clerk earns an average wage of $14.94 per hour. Pay for this job does not change much by experience, with the most experienced earning only a bit more than the least. A skill in Human Resources is associated with high pay for this job. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years’ experience in this career.

Annual salary can range from $24,000 to $44,000.

Bachelors in Accounting

Young businessman in his office

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Most universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in accounting that require a minimum of at least 120 credit hours. A large amount of these classes will focus on accounting, business strategy and general education courses. As the most common type of degree, students can land auditing, financial planning, consulting and technical accounting jobs. Most students can graduate within four to five years.

Accounting Degree Review’s Rankings of Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs

30. Corporate Entertainment Accountant

You can work as a CPA for a studio, production company or record company. If you choose this route, you could have all kinds of responsibilities, from overseeing production costs to valuating companies to budgeting for concert tours. For example, as an on-location production accountant working on a film, you’d be in charge of making sure that all of the director’s spur-of-the-moment set changes can be done within budget. Average annual salary range:

Average starting salary: $30,000+ per year.

29. Apparel Industry Accountants

Lucky for you, you stylish accountant you, the biggest names in fashion still need to manage their finances and file taxes. The biggest the brand, the biggest the finance department! The fashion industry has a particularly long cash-flow cycle and, therefore, needs financing to fund the period between production and sales. A good place to start in the fashion accounting world is a supply chain finance manager. They deal handle funding for long-term purchasing of materials and coordination of overall financial plans (budgets, forecasts and headcount analysis).

Salaries: $40,000+

28. F.B.I. Agent specializing in Accounting

It’s true that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is concerned with tracking down criminal behavior. However, accountants working for the FBI have the financial expertise necessary to investigate corporate and business crimes, such as fraud or embezzlement. In fact, accounting and finance are considered “critical skills” that may give you priority in being hired by the FBI, provided you have the proper training in business, accounting, auditing, or financial analysis.

Special agents who specialize in accounting can work for the FBI in criminal investigations. But accountants can also operate on the administrative side of the organization, managing budgets and financial matters. The FBI pays its employees following the same system — the general schedule salary table — used for all federal government employees managed by the government’s Office of Personnel Management. Government salaries for 2013 remained frozen at 2010 levels for all employees.

Salary: Accountants assigned as special agents generally start at the GS-10 level, step one, while they undergo training at Quantico, Va., or as newly hired special agents. The base salary for step one starts at $47,297, per the OPM GS 2013 salary table for law enforcement personnel. Accountants who work for the finance division of the FBI work as administrative employees — not agents — and can receive pay up to the GS-14 level of $84,697 and higher for management positions.

27. Cost Accountant

Cost accountants measure the cost of producing services by determining the fixed and variable expenses necessary for production. These costs include research and development, equipment, marketing and human resources. The information gathered by a cost accountant is beneficial for budgeting and product pricing, which both affect the future profits of the business. Cost accountants often collaborate with an executive team to create a financial plan for the company. The starting salary of a cost accountant is between $40,000 and $51,000 a year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary is $60,340 yearly. After three years, the average salary may be between $45,000 and $70,000 per year.

26. Credit Analysis Manager

A credit manager primarily focuses on collecting money owed to their company, whether it be for some type of service or a particular product. When someone fails to pay the money that is owed, these professionals initiate legal action and potentially take part in the collection process. Further, a credit manager also plays a major role in negotiating payment options, which could include re-structuring payment plans to make them more manageable based on a party’s financial capabilities. The credit manager is also responsible for tracking certain accounts and keeping a close eye on those that have gone unpaid for an extended period of time. A credit manager may have different duties depending on the size of the company in which they are employed.

Median salary: $61,000, but the pay range begins about $40,000 and can go as high as $80,000+.

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25. Tax Accountant

Tax accountants prepare and file income tax information for personal, corporate or government clients. It is also necessary to keep track of ever-changing tax regulations, in addition to determining the tax consequences of future business plans. Tax accountants are involved with reducing a company’s tax liability, and ensuring clients are aware of the consequences of failing to abide by tax regulations. It is often necessary to work with financial teams to formulate strategies to benefit the client.

The starting salary for tax accountants ranges between $51,000 and $70,250 annually.

24. Treasury Analyst

A treasury analyst is in charge of an organization’s financial activity, managing cash flow, credit, income, asset levels, and liability obligations. Their exact job duties may vary depending on their employer (for example, whether they work at businesses, non-profit organizations, or government agencies). Generally, though, these professionals coordinate with all internal finance, accounting, and accounts departments to ensure correct money management. Treasury analysts may also be tasked with analyzing financial patterns and making projections for income and expenses, as well as assisting in the development of investment strategies.

Responsibilities:

• Analyze and prepare foreign exchange transactions.
• Analyze treasury accounts and processes.
• Analyze bank fees and recommend cost savings.
• Maintain bank accounts and cash, debit and interest schedules.

The educational entry requirement is a bachelor’s degree, but to rise to the highest level, you’ll need a master’s degree.

Entry level salary: $52,000; but someone with experience can earn $90,000 +

23. Auditor

Auditing is a professional service intended to streamline financial records. Auditors provide independent assessment of the accuracy and fairness of an organization’s financial statements. They work in accordance with the client to guarantee all financial information is legal and valid. The auditor’s job is to review and give advice on clients’ accounts. They often test the internal methods of the business’s accounting system. This allows for risk-free decision-making.

The salary is $51,000 on average, and $92,000 for supervisory auditors.

22. Cost Estimator

Much faster-than-average employment growth of 26% was anticipated from 2012-2022, and the BLS reported a median wage of $58,860 per year for cost estimators in 2012. Often having a bachelor’s degree connected to a particular field, along with a strong math background, these professionals estimate all of the resources that will be necessary to make specific products or to provide certain services.

Average salary: $58,860

21. Government Accountant

Government accountants focus on the financial affairs of government organizations. Government accounting uses a fund accounting system. Fund accounting is a system which emphasizes accountability over profitability. Government accountants manage funds assigned to a unit for specific purposes according to certain regulations. Government accounting differs from traditional accounting in that it focuses on measuring the influx and outflow of government finances rather than measuring economic activity.

On average, government accountants earn $59,000 a year.

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20. Recreational Sports Centers Accountants

A fitness or health club, or a recreational sports center such as an indoor soccer facility, may also employ accountants.
The number-crunchers working in this industry were paid an average salary of $62,460, according to the bureau, also below the average annual wage for the accounting profession.

19. Budget Analyst

Budget analysis involves efficiently distributing funds throughout an organization. A budget analyst provides the guidelines through which a company prepares its annual budget. They convene with managers to determine the financial needs of each department of the company for the forthcoming fiscal year. Any new plans must be approved by the budget analyst after comparing with the business’s financial goals. The budget analyst also monitors department spending yearlong.

On average, budget analysts earn $68,200 per year, with the top 10 percent earning over $100,000.

18. Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants analyze and investigate financial records for irregularities, which may indicate potential fraud or embezzlement. They also make recommendations to prevent fraud. In fraud cases, they reconstruct events involved in any financial wrongdoing. Based on their findings, forensic accountants may be required to testify or present information in court. Forensic accounting is a specialized field which requires evidence gathering and knowledge of investigative techniques and litigation procedures.

The average salary is $73,000 per year.

17. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Specialists
A Bank Secrecy Act-Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) officer is primarily responsible for understanding the regulations and laws related to the Bank Secrecy Act. Using this understanding, the BSA/AML officer helps implement rules and regulations within their bank; this includes identifying parameters to ensure the bank is in compliance with the BSA/AML regulations, as well as the Patriot Act. The employee must be self-motivated, as they must monitor, explain, and adjust the bank’s operations within this regulatory framework.

These officers are responsible for making sure the bank is operating as efficiently as possible within the context of the regulations. To do this, the BSA/AML officer must stay on top of regulatory changes and properly analyze their implications for the day-to-day functioning of the bank. These individuals must be able to work well on their own with very little oversight. The officer typically needs to provide detailed reports to the board of directors, several times a year.

Average Salary: $75,500

16. Assistant Controller
Assists the corporate controller in directing an organization’s accounting functions. These functions include establishing and maintaining an organization’s accounting principles, practices, and procedures. Oversees the preparation and evaluation of budgets and other financial operating reports, and presents findings and recommendations to top management. Familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to the corporate controller.

Requires a bachelor’s degree in a related area.

Average annual salary: $80,359

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15. Cost Accountant Manager

A Cost Accountant Manager prepares and directs the implementation of cost accounting methods and activities. Oversees the cost control systems, manages and interprets cost audits, and prepares cost accounting reports for presentation to top management. Requires a bachelor’s degree in a related area and at least 7 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures.

This manager relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Manages the cost accounting staff and typically reports to top management.

Average annual salary: $96,000

14. Vice President, Finance

The successful candidate will provide leadership and coordination of company financial planning, debt financing, and budget management functions and ensure company accounting procedures and reporting conform to generally accepted accounting principles. V.P. finances grow into their job; most have a master’s degree, but it is not required, which is why the job is listed under the bachelor’s degree heading.

Primary Responsibilities:

• Recommend benchmarks for measuring the financial and operating performance
• Monitor and analyze monthly operating results against budget
• Oversee daily operations of the finance and accounting department
• Manage the preparation of all financial reports
• Manage the preparation of financial outlooks and financial forecasts
• Prepare financial analysis for contract negotiations and product investment decisions
• Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal budgetary reporting requirements
• Work with department managers to develop five year business plans
• Assist in establishing short- and long-range departmental goals, objectives, policies, and operating procedures
• Design, establish, and maintain an organizational structure to effectively accomplish the departments goals and objectives
• Serve on planning and policy-making committees
• Serve as primary government liaison relative to financial issues
• Coordinate financial audits and provide recommendations for procedural improvements

Average salary: $124,000 (plus various bonuses)

13. Chief Financial Officer

Top executives, including chief financial officers, are employed as the highest level of management in a business or organization. The chief financial officer oversees and directs a business or organization’s annual and long-term financial goals and budgets. He or she is held accountable for the accuracy, timeliness, and legal and regulatory compliance of all financial reporting. Chief financial officers develop and implement financial and accounting tools and systems aligned with the long-term business goals of a company or organization.

Believe it or not… by the time you rise to a CFO position, you only needed to start with a bachelors degree.

The annual salary for someone with the job title Chief Financial Officer may vary depending on a number of factors including industry, company size, location, years of experience and level of education. Our team of Certified Compensation Professionals has analyzed survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at companies of all sizes and industries to present this range of annual salaries for people with the job title Chief Financial Officer in the United States.

Median salary is $173,000, but the reality is that a CFO makes much more than that.

Masters in Accounting

Masters

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A graduate degree in accounting can help prepare a student become a certified public accountant. In the United States today, most states require that a student has a minimum of 150 credit hours to take the CPA exam. Rules will vary state by state, though. Students that plan on taking the CPA exam should note that they should prepare early as this is a very extensive and challenging exam to pass. In fact, less than 50 percent of the test takers will successfully pass.

Masters degrees require an extra year beyond a bachelor’s degree; students will focus in a particular accounting area. For example, these concentrations can include tax accounting or auditing. Opening the door to higher positions in the accounting field, graduates can be considered a specialist with their concentration.

12. International Accountant

The purpose of having an International Accountant employed in an organization is to garner expertise in international financial operations where standard GAAP no longer apply. The job title of International Accountant is becoming more well known with each passing year. More and more companies are doing business overseas in an increasingly global market.

When companies deal with currency exchanges when doing business in other countries, International Accountants are used to analyze and determine alterations in exchange rates between selling and collection dates. Varying exchange rates and date gaps between sales and collection can result in significant profit gains or losses that must be recorded.

When establishing subsidiaries in other countries, organizations will have to abide by different tax laws and regulations that must be understood and accounted for when establishing strategies and business models. An International Accountant is pivotal during these processes.

As an International Accountant, you will need to be familiar with various attributes of the countries with which you are assigned. You will need to know such things as the differences in wage rates and natural resource availability.

Median salary: $54,000, but experienced international accountants make on average $94,000.

11. Managerial Accountant

Managerial accountants prepare financial information for only the internal users of a company, such as management or executives. They may be asked to submit reports on a weekly, quarterly or yearly basis, depending on the needs of the client. These reports are confidential and used for decision-making. In managerial accounting, the goal is to examine financial data for forecasting purposes.

The average salary for managerial accountants is from $45,000 to over $65,000 per year.

NOTE: Most firms will require a Masters degree here, but some will hire individuals with Bachelor’s degree.

10. Environmental Accountants

Environmental accountants calculate the environmental costs of business activity. While some may work on the environmental costs of societal actions as a whole, most deal solely with their company’s own costs. These environmental costs have traditionally been lumped in with overhead, where they can’t be linked to the products and processes that generate them. Environmental accounting identifies environmental costs specifically, tracking their origins so management can make decisions that reduce them.

While the most obvious application of environmental accounting might be calculating a company’s cost of environmental compliance, this is only one of many relevant activities. Accountants’ skills can also help save on costs to the environmental itself. Many times, environmental accountants can save on both environmental and financial costs by making calculations for the use of alternate chemicals, processes, or product designs. Identifying environmental costs can help companies design cleaner products and make more efficient use of resources.

Companies hiring environmental accountants look for people with masters degrees, but there are exceptions, and if you have a Bachelors degree you could also qualify in some states for some companies.

The average salary for environmental accountant jobs is $67,000. Average environmental varies by state and location. In Washington D.C. an experienced environmental accountant can earn more than $100,000. In other states…salaries begin at $40,000.

9. Personal Financial Adviser to the Stars

You’ll still work in the traditional areas of accounting, but you’ll get to do it for famous people. Ever wonder how Brad Pitt spends all that money? As his personal financial adviser, you’d be involved with everything from investments to estate planning to all the random expenditures (Swiss chateau?) he makes. And for all your hard work, you just might be invited to a movie set or premiere to watch him in action. Be warned, it can take a few years before you reach the level where you’re trusted by the entertainment elite.
Salary: Reach for the stars. If you are working for a top star, you could make as much as 5% of your client’s annual salary. In other words, hundreds of thousands of dollars.

8. Spectator Sports Accounting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants employed in the spectator sports industry were paid an average annual wage of $68,070, as of 2011. There were 820 accountants employed in the industry, out of more than 1 million accountants the BLS surveyed. Having an MBA will be a big advantage in landing one of these positions. If you get your foot in the door, the perks include game tickets and inside access to your favorite team.

The average yearly salary for all of these accountants was $70,130.

7. Senior Financial Analysts

Senior financial analysts can be found in just about every industry there is. As long as a company is large enough to need a financial team, a senior financial analyst can usually be found there. Their primary duties are to review the finances of a company and make recommendations for how a company can lower costs and improve its financial situation.

A senior financial analyst is the leader of a group of financial analysts who work with the money the company they work for is spending and making in all areas of the business. They must be very diligent, detail-oriented, and accurate. Aside from making financial recommendations, a senior financial analyst also makes financial forecasts so a company has an idea of where it may be heading in its current state. Senior financial analysts also prepare and review financial reports.

The working environment is usually in an office building in their own office and in a conference room. Working hours are normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tools for work are financial and statistical software, computers, telephones, pen and paper, and other typical office supplies. The senior financial analyst presides over a team of lower-level financial analysts, and usually reports to a director of finances.

This is a job that is highly desired, so most people need a master’s of business administration to acquire the position. They must be very good with numbers and able to lead a team.

Average annual salary: $74,000

6. Accounting Software Developer

In the information technology world, accountants are needed to support a software company’s team of managers and developers. In addition to assuming billing and time tracking responsibilities, they may also address such activities as license audits. They can step outside their accounting role in companies that focus on producing accounting and finance software to assist in user experience design.

We put this in the masters degree category, but in fact a developer can be someone who starts at the bachelors degree level…or at the Ph.D. level. The annual salary below reflects someone who is specifically hired to develop. Someone who has a track record.

Average annual salary: $89,000

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5. Risk and Compliance Professionals

Designs and implements programs, policies, and practices to ensure that all business units are in compliance with federal, state, and local regulatory requirements. Tracks laws and regulations that might affect the organization’s policies. Prepares compliance reports to present to management. Requires a bachelor’s degree in a related area and at least 7 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to top management.

Median salary: $99,000 (low end is $73,000)

4. Finance Director
Directs an organization’s financial policies. Oversees all financial functions including accounting, budget, credit, insurance, tax, and treasury. Typically represents the 2nd most senior finance executive. Typically requires an advanced degree with at least 10 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to top management.

Average annual salary: $101,300

3. Information Technology Accountants

An accounting information systems professional needs to have skills in both accounting and computer systems. These workers help organizations choose and maintain the information systems technology used by their accounting departments. Read on to learn more about the various positions available in this field, as well as the education, certification options, job outlook and typical salary.

Salary: $103,910

2. Corporate Controller

The majority of businesses, organizations and agencies have a company controller who tracks and maintains various financial aspects of the company. Controllers generally prepare the company’s taxes, control how the budget will be spent, oversee employees who work in financial departments and set financial goals for the company.

Company controllers work very closely with other employees and need to have strong communication skills. Controllers must be fluent with multiple computer applications to run and analyze financial reports. It is important for company controllers to understand and keep up with changes to financial law that will affect the company. A bachelors degree is required, a masters, preferred.

Median salary is (according to the BLS): $112,000

PhD in Accounting

PhD

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To achieve this type of degree, a student must successfully graduate from a master’s program. Upon completion, a PhD will require years of hard and extensive work. As an accomplishment that is well worth it, this will open the doors to many opportunities.

>>>Check out our Ranking of the Best Online Doctorate in Accounting Programs<<<

1. Teaching in Accounting

Many students of accounting desire to earn a doctoral degree in accounting to become an accounting professor. An accounting professor researches and teaches accounting students and fellow professionals. They perform research on accounting information systems, financial accounting, managerial accounting, tax accounting and auditing. As teachers of accounting, professors cover these same areas.

The average starting salary of an accounting professor is $127,400. An assistant professor earns $113,800; an associate professor earns $114,900; while a full professor earns $137,800 yearly.

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