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How to become a Certified Public Accountant

One of the most satisfying experiences for your accounting profession is to become a CPA. To work as a certified public accountant, the following items are required:

  1. A bachelor's degree in accounting in order to sit for the CPA examination.
  2. Apply to take the CPA examination after your educational qualifications are confirmed by your state board of accountancy.
  3. Begin to study, write and pass the CPA exam.
  4. Pass the short ethics examination run by the AICPA.
  5. Achieve your work experience obligation.
  6. After achieving the required work experience, as determined by your state board, you will pay your state board licensure fees to receive your certificate.
How to become: Tax Accountant · Accountant · Staff Accountant · Tax Senior · Tax Associate
These qualifications are required: CPA
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What skills help Certified Public Accountants find jobs?

  • Accounting
  • Accounting software
  • Analysis skills
  • Bilingual
  • Bookkeeping
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service
  • English
  • GAAP
  • Leadership
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
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Career progression for Certified Public Accountant

Education levels for Certified Public Accountants

Based on the requirements of Certified Public Accountant job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's degree54.7%
Master's degree21.5%
High school diploma or GED15.1%
Associate's degree8.7%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Certified Public Accountant in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$40,500
4 - 8$43,800
8 - 12$50,200
12 - 16$57,400
16 - 20$66,400
20 - 24$71,300
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Common qualifications for Certified Public Accountants

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications
Explore other and more common qualifications
  • CPA
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Common questions about career advices for a Certified Public Accountant

Why is it beneficial to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

It is beneficial to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) because it shows commitment to the accounting profession and highlights readiness to take up management positions in organizations.

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How long does it take to become a certified public accountant (CPA)?

It can take 6 to 8 years to become a certified public accountant (CPA). Aspiring CPAs need to have completed 150 hours of college coursework and two years of work experience, which provides eligibility to take the CPA exam.

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How do I become a certified public accountant (CPA)?

The steps to becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) are:

  • Earn a bachelor's degree in accounting.
  • Take the uniform CPA examination which consists of 4 parts that need to be passed within 18 months.
  • Gain two years of work experience to become a licensed CPA.
  • Take continuing professional education courses (CPE).
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Do you need a degree to become a certified public accountant (CPA)?

Can you study online to become a certified public accountant (CPA)?

What skills do certified public accountants (CPA) have?

Which part of the certified public accountant (CPA) exam is the hardest?

Is the certified public accountant (CPA) exam hard to pass?

What kind of specializations do certified public accountants (CPA) have?

How can certified public accountants (CPA) advance their careers?

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