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How to become an Accountant

The first step to becoming an accountant is to get a degree in accounting or a related field. While some bookkeepers and accounting clerks can start as junior accountants and work their way up, more accountants earn their bachelor's degrees before joining the field. To advance in the field and/ or be able to submit documents to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), accountants must become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). This requires an accountant to take additional courses and pass a national exam. Accountants may also choose to get additional certifications including Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

What skills help Accountants find jobs?

  • QuickBooks
  • Accounting
  • Accounting Software
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Bookkeeping
  • Sage
  • GAAP
  • General Ledger Accounting
  • General Ledger Reconciliation
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Financial Statement Preparation
  • Pivot Tables

Career progression for Accountant

Education levels for Accountants

0%6%7%10%76%Doctoral DegreeHigh School Diploma or GEDMaster's DegreeAssociate's DegreeBachelor's Degree

Based on the requirements of Accountant job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.

Expected salary by experience

0-44-88-1212-1616-2020-24Years of experience43k47k51k55k59kAnnual salary in USD

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as an Accountant in the United States within the last three years.

Common qualifications for Accountants

  • CPA
  • Certified Management Accountant
  • Certified Bookkeeper
  • Certified Internal Auditor
  • Driver's License
  • Non-CDL Class C
  • Enrolled Agent
  • Certified Investment Management Analyst
  • Certified Notary Public
  • Certified Government Financial Manager
  • Certified Accounts Payable Professional
  • Certified Public Finance Officer
Frequently asked questions
Common questions about career advices for an Accountant

How can accountants prepare themselves to be able to get the best jobs within their field?

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) helps accountants get the most prestigious and highest-paid jobs in the field.

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Is it beneficial to work as an accountant if you dream of one day owning your own business?

Accountants get to see all of the ins and outs of a business. Depending on how you specialize, you may get lots of background knowledge about what it takes to run a successful business, or you may find that you thrive helping others businesses be organized and successful.

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