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What Can You Do With An Accounting Degree?

Accounting has been called the "language of business" because of its encompassing application in every industry; where there's money, there's accounting.  The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) defines the industry as: "Accounting: The One Degree with 360 Degrees of Possibilities.  Accounting opens doors in every kind of business coast to coast. It can give you the foundation you need to go on and become a CPA. It can prepare you to become a partner in an accounting firm, to pursue a career in finance or corporate management, to work in government, or even to become an entrepreneur. In fact, no matter what you decide to do, having an accounting background can open doors wide."

Below is a breakdown of nine interesting careers in accounting, employers and industries that hire accounting professionals and resources for further career information. Some careers may require addition skills or further education.  For more information on qualifications, jobs and career specifics consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 




MEDIAN PAY: $101,560/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Growing at 22% (much faster than average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur, and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries’ work is essential to the insurance industry.


MEDIAN PAY: $69,450/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Growing at 10% (much faster than average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.


MEDIAN PAY: $66,610/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Declining at -3% (slower than average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products.



MEDIAN PAY: $82,450/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Growing at 14% (much faster than average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.


MEDIAN PAY: $63,780/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Growing at 6% (as fast as average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents connect buyers and sellers in financial markets. They sell securities to individuals, advise companies in search of investors, and conduct trades.


MEDIAN PAY: $65,823/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Growing at 11% (much faster than average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Forensic accountants work to detect fraudulent activities. They conduct forensic auditing, identify discrepancies in funds for corporations, government entities and private groups, prepare expert witness testimony for criminal or civil cases, and review statements from both large and small firms.



MEDIAN PAY: $53,120/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: -1% (little to no change)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents ensure that federal, state, and local governments get their tax money from businesses and citizens. They review tax returns, conduct audits, identify taxes owed, and collect overdue tax payments.


MEDIAN PAY: $119,120/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Growing at 5% (as fast as average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Compensation managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to determine how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.


MEDIAN PAY: $90,640/YR
JOB OUTLOOK: Growing at 16% (much faster than average)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to help individuals manage their finances. 


  • Public Accounting Firms
  • Corporations
  • Federal & State Governmental Agencies
  • Banks and other Financial Institutions
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Health Care Industry