Which Accounting Jobs Pay the Most?
It’s a mystery to me: Why does the federal government think accountants and auditors are poorly paid? According to them, the annual mean wage is $77,920. Why isn’t the profession getting more respect?
The simple answer is the Bureau of Labor Statistics disperses people with your job skills across at least nine professions. So, which jobs in accounting pay the most? To answer that, we’ll use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017 report.
Let’s start with the classification Accountants and Auditors (13-2011). They “examine, analyze and interpret accounting records to prepare financial statements, give advice or audit and evaluate statements prepared by others. Install and advise on systems for recording costs or other budgetary and financial data.” According to the report, 1,241,000 people do this job nationwide, earning an average of $77,920. These folks primarily work in four industry groups:
|Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping Payroll||322,140||$83,000|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||97,010||$78,070|
|Credit Intermediaries and Related Activities||83,830||$118,660|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||66,960||$159,930|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts & Other Financial Inv’ts||33,760||$203,460|
|Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping Payroll||31,820||$173,090|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts & Other Financial Inv’ts||139,260||$133,910|
|Credit Intermediaries and Related Activities||31,520||$103,250|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||6,910||$111,910|
|Agencies, Brokerage & Other Insurance Related Activities||6,720||$89,350|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts & Other Financial Inv’ts||73,590||$127,010|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||37,680||$90,560|
|Credit Intermediaries and Related Activities||26,800||$93,890|
|Credit Intermediaries and Related Activities||14,560||$83,400|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts & Other Financial Inv’ts||7,010||$104,080|
|The Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)||6,810||$124,390|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||5,680||$90,060|
|Credit Intermediaries and Related Activities||28,660||$82,160|
|Non Depository Credit Institutions||14,690||$82,500|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||10,920||$83,640|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts & Other Financial Inv’ts||5,470||$108,760|
|The Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)||10,850||$83,620|
|Colleges, Universities & Professional Schools||4,340||$69,300|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||3,370||$81,960|
Eighth on our list is Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents. They “determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.” This field employs 59,660 people earning $59,410.
|The Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)||23,760||$69,200|
|Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping Payroll||66,820||$47,160|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts & Other Financial Inv’ts||340||$55,840|
|Management, Scientific & Technical Consulting Services||250||$37,620|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||120||$64,730|
What have we learned? Well, plenty of fields rely on accounting skills, and certain industries pay more than others. In some fields, the government at all levels is the primary employer. The accounting industry has more well-paid careers than you might imagine.
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Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor, can be found on Amazon.com.