Job & Salary Growth

The Growing Demand

The U.S. Department of Labor expects employment of accountants and auditors to grow by 18 percent between 2006 and 2016. This growth rate exceeds the average for all occupations.

The Department of Labor also estimates these professions will generate new employment opportunities (about 226,000) during this period.

This tremendous growth will result from:

  • An increase in the number of businesses
  • Changes in financial legislation and corporate governance regulations
  • Increased demand for accountability to protect organizational stakeholders

This strong demand means career stability, competitive salaries, and steady individual advancement.

What About Salaries?

Accounting salaries are hard to beat. New industries, more sophisticated technologies, and expanding opportunities for business add up to excellent opportunities for accountants.

Here are the average salaries for college graduates in public and private accounting. With CPA certification, add 10 to 15 percent extra to the average starting salaries below.

Employer Jr. Level (0 – 3 yrs.) Sr. Level (4 – 6 yrs.)
Public Accounting (large firm) $47,500-$66,250 $64,000-$83,000
Public Accounting (medium firm) $41,500-$59,500 $51,500-$76,250
Public Accounting (small firm) $40,000-$53,250 $52,000-$66,500
Corporate Accounting (large co.) $36,750-$55,000 $53,500-$71,250
Corporate Accounting (medium co.) $34,500-$50,500 $49,250-$63,000

(Source: 2008 Robert Half Salary Guide)

Serious earning potential over time gives experienced accountants great job security and earning potential.

Here are some examples of upper-level salaries for managers in corporate accounting:

Position Large Firm Small to Medium Firm
Chief Financial Officer $177,750-$370,500 $91,000-$170,250
Corporate Controller $102,500-$161,500 $64,250-$117,000
Tax Manager $88,500-$123,750 $71,500-$95,250

(Source: 2008 Robert Half Salary Guide)