By AccountingWEB Staff
Accounting students graduating in 2011 earned starting salaries that exceeded those in nearly every other field except engineering and computer sciences.
Overall, the average salary for 2011 college graduates was $41,701, but accounting majors earned an average of $50,500, which is up 3.7 percent from the class of 2010, according to the 2012 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey.
"For these graduates, the top industry – in terms of number of hires – is accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services, with an average salary of $47,050", the survey said. "[The] highest-paying employers of accounting majors, however, were securities, commodities, and financial investments employers; the average salary in this industry stands at $53,910."
"Entry-level accounting and finance jobs tend to see steady growth from year to year", said NACE spokesperson Andrea Koncz. "They might see small decreases when the market goes down, but starting salaries in those professions typically grow at a steady rate."
Entry-level employees in New York might have seen bigger gains since the numbers reflect a national average, Koncz told FINS, a financial jobs website owned by the Wall Street Journal's Dow Jones Company.
Business majors as a group earned an average of $48,144. Business administration/management majors earned $43,600, and finance majors earned $48,300, on average, the survey said.
Graduates in 2011 did slightly better across the board than their 2010 counterparts, as starting salaries rose 2.3 percent. Computer science grads saw the greatest percentage change from 2010, at 4.1 percent; starting salaries averaged $60,594. Topping all graduates were new engineers, earning $61,872 as their starting salary average.
The top five industries that paid the highest starting salaries to 2011 bachelor's degree graduates were:
- Securities, commodities, funds, trusts, and other financial investments
- Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
- Non-depository credit and related activities
- Computer systems design and related services
- Business support services
NACE plans to publish information on starting salaries for the class of 2012 in April.
Access the entire NACE Salary Survey.