Accounting jobs are some of the most in-demand positions in the financial sector. For math-minded individuals, it could be the perfect fit. There are many different types of accountants, but they all spend their days running numbers and analyzing information.
But within the field, there are numerous responsibilities you can take on. Public accountants handle data for individuals or corporations, forensic accountants use data to investigate crimes, and management accountants analyze information to gain insights for a specific company or industry—and the list doesn't end here. But no matter what specific position you take, as an accountant, you'll need to speak the language of numbers and data.
More number-lovers are required to fill this position every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a growth rate of over 15 percent is projected among accountant positions between 2010 and 2020—a total of more than 190,000 new jobs.
A bachelor's degree in accounting or another related financial field is absolutely integral toward applying for these positions. But in most cases, the degree alone won't be enough to earn you the job. Rebecca Mahler, manager of career research at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, argued that becoming a Certified Public Accountant through her Institute is an absolute necessity for aspiring professionals, while speaking to the U.S. & World News Report.
"It's really the gold star on the resume … It's an invaluable credential, and you get a 10 to 15 percent higher salary," she said.
However, even that may not be enough for some employers. According to the report, your resume as an accountant won't be top-shelf unless you obtain a master's degree within the field.
Like most who hold careers in finance, accountants are paid well over the national average. According to the agency's statistics, the median pay for this position in 2010 logged in at $61,690. And the top ten percent of earners broke into the six figures, taking home an average of $106,880 per year.
According to their findings, the best-paid professionals in the field often worked in the federal sector. And location, as always, goes a long way: accountants in the New York metropolitan area, on average, earn more than their brethren in any other city. So if you're searching around for an accounting position, you're better off starting your search in the Big Apple.