10 Accounting Jobs You Can Get Without a Degree
Updated December 13, 2022
The accounting field includes both experience-based and education-based opportunities. Many of these jobs require only minimal education, but some may require the completion of a certification or training program first. Knowing which accounting jobs have certain requirements can help you find the position that's right for you. In this article, we discuss the top accounting jobs you can get without a degree.
10 accounting jobs you can get without a degree
While a person needs at least a four-year degree to become a professional accountant or Certified Public Accountant (CPA), there are many accounting careers one can pursue without these credentials. These roles involve learning and using accounting basics in the workplace. Earning relevant certificates or taking courses on accounting subjects can provide more opportunities for advancement.
Here are 10 accounting jobs that don't require a degree:
National average salary: $26,816 per year
Primary duties: An accounting assistant helps managers and other professional personnel with accounting tasks. This role may entail a combination of working on a team and working on their own to balance financial records, company purchases, accounts payable and general office administration.
Requirements: These may vary by organization, and some employers prefer at least an associate degree in accounting. Without an associate degree, demonstrating mathematical knowledge, attention to detail and ability to multitask can help a candidate communicate their relevant skills to a potential employer.
National average salary: $33,445 per year
Primary duties: A payroll specialist tracks employee payment and tax information. They compute and process time entered into a payroll management system, making adjustments for employee paid leave, time off and other special circumstances. Payroll specialists may oversee health insurance and retirement accounts and make changes or corrections to employee benefits.
Requirements: This position requires organizational skills and basic computer knowledge, so experience with spreadsheet software and database management is a plus.
National average salary: $33,951 per year
Primary duties: A collection representative notifies customers of overdue balances in order to obtain payment. These notifications may be delivered by mail, phone or in-person visit. A collection representative also manages the payments made to customer accounts and prepares statements to credit management companies if the customer does not respond to notifications. In certain circumstances, a collection representative starts the process of disconnecting service or repossessing property, depending on the customer's account type and balance.
Requirements: The majority of collection representatives hold only a high school diploma or GED. Being skilled in interpersonal communication and having an aptitude for tracking small details are helpful in this role.
National average salary: $37,159 per year
Primary duties: A bookkeeper records data for financial records, calculating and verifying various types of financial data. Bookkeepers also check the accuracy of figures and data reported to them, which include things like business transactions and employee expenses.
Requirements: In this role, familiarity with accounting and computational software is helpful.
Related: Learn About Being a Bookkeeper
5. Tax preparer
National average salary: $39,066 per year
Primary duties: A tax preparer assembles tax returns for individuals or small businesses. They apply adjustments, deductions and credits to minimize the taxes owed by their clients, which requires them to have a knowledge of state and federal tax laws. After obtaining the necessary financial records and documents from their clients and preparing their tax returns, tax preparers check the data carefully to eliminate potential errors.
Requirements: Complete tax preparation coursework from schools or companies that teach tax preparation programs and procedures. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also requires all tax preparers to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) before they begin to work.
Related: Learn About Being a Tax Preparer
National average salary: $41,862 per year
Primary duties: An accounting clerk calculates and records financial information on behalf of an organization or employer. They comply with federal, state and company-specific policies and regulations to accurately document changes and modifications to company accounts.
Requirements: Many accounting clerks have completed some accounting coursework, but individuals without a degree or coursework can still learn the necessary skills through on-the-job training with a supervisor.
National average salary: $42,192 per year
Primary duties: An administrative assistant performs strategic and organizational office tasks. Besides scheduling appointments and preparing documents, administrative assistants may perform payroll functions, direct incoming phone calls and emails, send bills to clients, manage office and travel calendars for multiple staff members and oversee office spending accounts. An administrative assistant role at an accounting, tax or real estate office would provide introductory knowledge of these industries and allow an employee to learn more about them while at work. Experience as an administrative assistant provides a variety of skills that can transfer to other roles.
Requirements: In addition to strong organizational and multitasking skills, adaptability is key. Every day as an administrative assistant might be a little bit different from the next, so the ability to easily acquire new knowledge and switch from one project to another can help with success.
National average salary: $45,017 per year
Primary duties: Payroll administrators track and issue employee payment within an organization. Payroll administrators implement wage increases or deductions and prepare paychecks. They may assist with the management of employee benefits, but they also work closely with individuals and leaders in other offices or departments.
Requirements: While it's possible to get a payroll administrator job without a degree, training and certification in this area may increase the likelihood of securing a position, as will previous experience in a similar role.
National average salary: $45,018 per year
Primary duties: A loan assistant interviews loan applicants and reviews their documents as part of the loan approval process. This process includes examining an applicant's background information, completing reference checks, preparing documents for applicants and reviewing submitted paperwork for completion. Loan assistants administer legal documents and work with borrowers, underwriters and sellers.
Requirements: One can get started in this role with no degree and with aptitudes for organization, communication, multitasking and following procedures.
10. Loan officer
National average salary: $156,199 per year
Primary duties: Loan officers help borrowers acquire commercial, real estate or credit loans. Depending on the loan officer's area of specialty, which may be finance or real estate, they analyze financial, credit and property information in order to make recommendations to the client and the lender. Loan officers work extensively with both their clients and with other individuals such as underwriters and real estate sellers. They learn to evaluate market trends and provide strategic recommendations to their clients based on this information.
Requirements: This role requires a great deal of financial knowledge, but loan officers often gain this knowledge through training programs and the years of experience that follow. A desire to stay committed to the work even when it is difficult or when market conditions are not ideal helps with long-term success as a loan officer.
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