Professionals with accounting degrees are not limited to being auditors and accountants. Their analytical, technical and organizational skills can help prepare them for a variety of careers beyond accounting. If you have an accounting degree and want to explore nontraditional job options, you might find work in industries such as finance, law enforcement or business. In this article, we list and describe 44 alternative careers for accountants.
15 non-accounting jobs for accountants
With an accounting degree, you can work in any career that requires attention to detail, mathematics, problem-solving and critical thinking. The skills needed to earn an accounting degree and pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam have value in a variety of industries, ranging from consulting to information technology.
For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
Below are 15 jobs for CPAs outside of accounting, For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
National average salary: $16.47 per hour
Primary duties: A medical biller works in healthcare practices and hospitals and is responsible for submitting claims to insurance companies. Their duties include getting procedure authorizations, confirming patient eligibility for treatments and procedures, reviewing bills, collecting missing information, using billing software to prepare and submit claims, communicating with patients and insurance companies and resolving unpaid claims.
Related: Learn About Being a Medical Biller
National average salary: $17.91 per hour
Primary duties: A private investigator works for an individual or organization to gather information and evidence. They might do background checks, interview people, monitor activities and find personal, financial or legal information. Private investigators must have a strong understanding of the law and be familiar with tracking and surveillance technologies. Types of cases private investigators work on include insurance fraud, missing persons, legal issues, computer crimes and corporate law.
National average salary: $27,926 per year
Primary duties: A communications specialist is responsible for a company's public relations and media strategies. They produce written content such as press releases, announcements, news and company information for the organization as well as the public. They also handle media requests, interviews and press conferences and help produce advertising, marketing and social media materials. Communications specialists might also help plan events and seminars.
National average salary: $29,247 per year
Primary duties: Law enforcement officers protect people, businesses and property from injury and damage. They might direct traffic, patrol certain areas or neighborhoods, respond to emergencies, write tickets and citations, give basic first aid, deliver warrants and make and process arrests. Law enforcement officers also investigate crimes, prepare reports and testify in court.
National average salary: $53,306 per year
Primary duties: A fraud investigator reviews claims and evidence of fraud. They interview people to gain information, gather and analyze documents, create reports, present findings and testify in court. Types of fraud they might investigate include insurance, investment, banking, tax, healthcare and identity fraud. Fraud investigators typically specialize in one type of fraud and have a strong understanding of the laws in that area.
National average salary: $59,991 per year
Primary duties: A writer with an accounting degree produces content for companies, websites or blogs that offer accounting advice. Media organizations, newspapers, publications, TV stations and private organizations might hire writers with accounting backgrounds to write clear, accurate and professional articles or marketing content. Writers might also produce books or e-books based on their knowledge.
National average salary: $64,202 per year
Primary duties: A sales representative communicates between a business and its customers. They help customers find and buy the right products or services, identify and recruit new customers and maintain those relationships. They pitch and demonstrate products and address customer questions and issues. Sales representatives can work in a variety of industries, including retail, technology, industrial and pharmaceutical.
National average salary: $70,989 per year
Primary duties: A financial advisor helps companies and individuals reach their short- and long-term financial goals. They meet with clients, determine their needs, give advice and help them save or earn money. Financial advisors help clients with estate planning, retirement savings, college funds, insurance plans, homeownership, taxes and investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. They might work in the financial or insurance industries or for themselves.
National average salary: $73,443 per year
Primary duties: A business manager oversees a company's operations and employees to make sure the organization is productive, efficient and successful. They work with different departments, including sales, production and marketing, and help hire and train new staff. A business manager's duties include preparing and monitoring budgets, creating reports for upper-level management and supervising employees.
National average salary: $74,476 per year
Primary duties: An IT specialist is responsible for setting up, managing and maintaining a company's computer systems and software. They make technology decisions to help businesses run efficiently and securely. They solve problems with technologies such as computers, servers, software, hardware, different devices and networks. IT specialists also make sure all programs and machines are up to date and make upgrades when needed.
Related: Learn About Being an IT Specialist
National average salary: $74,628 per year
Primary duties: A consultant is a professional that individuals and companies hire to provide advice in a certain area. Consultants with accounting degrees might provide recommendations and analysis, solve problems and create strategies for organizations' accounting needs. They might advise on accounting systems, financial statements and taxes. Consultants can work for agencies, firms or themselves.
Related: Learn About Being a Consultant
12. Business analyst
National average salary: $79,258 per year
Primary duties: A business analyst assesses a company's needs and uses technology to improve business or solve problems in cost-effective ways. They work closely with company management and stakeholders to discuss issues, opportunities and solutions. A business analyst's duties might include budgeting, data analysis, testing, documenting procedures and reporting results and information. This individual is constantly reviewing and updating company processes to ensure the organization's success.
Related: Learn About Being a Business Analyst
National average salary: $95,177 per year
Primary duties: An investor relations manager is responsible for communicating between a company's management and its investors or shareholders. They share important financial information with investors, such as earnings, annual reports, company news and press releases. They also answer investor questions, share feedback and concerns with management, oversee meetings and manage potential crises.
National average salary: $82,465 per year
Primary duties: A real estate agent is responsible for helping clients rent, buy and sell properties. They meet with clients, give advice, research the market, show houses, negotiate offers and prepare and submit paperwork. Real estate agents also advertise properties, host open houses and stay up to date on the community and its housing market. They have a strong understanding of property laws and homeownership options.
National average salary: $111,480 per year
Primary duties: A CEO is usually the top executive in a company who makes important decisions for the organization and its employees. They manage all operations, finances and resources and are responsible for the company's growth and success. They oversee the managers in all departments and communicate with company board members and stakeholders.
Other careers for accountants by category
Your accounting degree and skills can also help prepare and qualify you for jobs in the following industries:
An accountant's math and analytical skills make them suitable for finance careers such as:
An accountant's critical thinking skills and integrity qualify them for law careers such as:
An accountant's strong communication and organization skills prepare them for business careers such as:
An accountant's problem-solving and computer skills qualify them for technology careers such as:
Miscellaneous careers accountants might pursue include: