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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).

How to become: Financial Accountant · Staff Accountant · Tax Accountant · Accounting Manager · Auditor
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Typical qualifications for an Accountant

Your Indeed Profile has 5 of the 6 qualifications typically needed to be an Accountant.
Indeed users who have worked as an Accountant typically have these qualifications.
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Skills employers are looking for

Note this is provided for informational purposes only. Adding qualifications does not guarantee a job interview, opportunity, or an offer.
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Accountant jobs in United States

Greater China Insdutries, Inc.
Issaquah, WA
$65,000 - $75,000 a year
View job details
1 hour ago
Bookkeeper- Accountant/ CSR
Logicool Air Solutions5
Corpus Christi, TX
$15 - $26 an hour
5 hours ago
American Chrome & Chemicals
Canonsburg, PA
9 hours ago
LAZ Parking3.5
Worcester, MA
7 months ago
Regional Accountant
LAZ Parking3.5
Hartford, CT
7 months ago
View all Accountant jobs

Career progression for Accountant

Education levels for Accountants

Based on the requirements of Accountant job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's degree54.5%
Master's degree17.1%
Associate's degree14.9%
High school diploma or GED11.7%
Bachelor's degree0.8%
Master's degree0.5%
High school diploma or GED0.3%
Doctoral degree0.2%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as an Accountant in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$42,500
4 - 8$49,700
8 - 12$55,300
12 - 16$57,900
16 - 20$58,800
20 - 24$59,300
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Common questions about career advices for an Accountant

Is it beneficial to work as an accountant for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Yes, aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from working as accountants. Accountants get to see all of the ins and outs of a business and their knowledge in bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and IRS paperwork can be handy.

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How long does it take to be an accountant?

It generally takes four years to become an accountant if completing a bachelor’s degree with an additional 1-2 years for a master’s degree.

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What keywords can accountants put in their resume?

Some good keywords to use are:

  • GAAP
  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • pro forma accounting
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory standard
  • Public Company Oversight Board regulatory standard
  • Business operations
  • Word processing
  • Excel spreadsheet
  • Data analysis
  • Effective communication
  • Critical thinking

See more details on how to write a good resume as an accountant here.

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How can someone with no experience become an accountant?

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Is it worth it for accountants to become a CPA?

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