Acquiring work experience is a valuable tool used by many people to gain access into a particular profession. Job opportunities in the accounting occupation are very competitive, and employers tend to hire applicants for accounting positions who possess the most relevant experience to the job position. Accounting internships and apprenticeships are great opportunities for aspiring accountants to gain knowledge and develop their accounting skills. In addition to gaining valuable experience, internship and apprenticeship opportunities enable individuals to add more qualifications to their resume.
Benefits of Accounting Internships
During an accounting internship, an intern has an opportunity to get familiar with the work environment and the culture of businesses. For this reason, accounting interns develop an understanding of working in a professional atmosphere as well as developing working relationships with other accounting professionals. Also, internship opportunities may lead to full-time employment in many organizations. On the other hand, students pursing degrees in accounting can use practical skills obtained during internships and apply these skills to their academic studies in school. In addition to obtaining experience, many colleges and universities give academic credit for students who complete internships.
Company Accounting Internships
Most companies begin recruiting to hire interns for accounting positions one to two years in advance of the scheduled hiring date. Some companies hire internships through career service offices in colleges and universities, while other companies seek to recruit new interns using job boards, which often attract current accounting students and recent college graduates. Many accounting internships enable interns to acquire experience in auditing and taxation. Accounting interns typically work under the guidance and supervision of accounting managers and Certified Public Accountants. A typical work day for accounting interns may consist of analyzing audit figures, posting checks, preparing invoices, verifying daily revenue, preparing balance sheets and more accounting duties.
An apprenticeship program enables students to gain practical experience while studying textual materials. Individuals who complete accounting apprenticeship programs receive a certification. This certification qualifies them for many accounting occupations. Apprenticeship programs typically last from 1 to 2 years. Individuals interested in gaining experience through an accounting apprenticeship should research national organizations, employers and vocational schools. Some employers and national organizations sponsor apprenticeship programs, and vocational schools may offer similar services allowing students to acquire a technical certification after completing a program.
An Accounting Apprentice
Many accounting apprentices are paid hourly wages or salaries while working under the direction of accounting supervisors. There are various levels of apprentices. For instance, there are beginning level apprenticeship programs and advanced-level programs. Accounting apprentices perform similar services and interns. Individuals who complete accounting apprenticeship programs qualify for many positions, such as accounting assistants, clerks, bookkeepers, finance assistants and other administrative roles. Individuals who have completed advanced-level apprenticeship programs generally qualify for higher-level accounting positions.
Tips for Obtaining an Accounting Internship or Apprenticeship
Being accepted into an accounting internship or apprenticeship programs is an important accomplishment for aspiring accountants. It helps pave the pathway for aspiring accountants to enter the accounting profession. Individuals seeking to obtain accounting internships should maintain high grade point averages and perform extensive research in the accounting industry. In regards to both accounting internship and apprenticeship programs, many employers hire applicants with exceptional mathematical skills, effective communication skills and computer skills.