Accounting is a field for people who like numbers and the order that comes with working with numbers. Fortunately, for these typically left-brained professionals, the career path for accountants has order, as well. There is a clearly-defined ladder, and chances to earn a higher salary at every step. Here’s what you can expect in terms of accounting salaries across the scope of your career.
“Compensation is usually #3 on the list of reasons why accountants change jobs! Be realistic during your job search and be sure to fix the top 2 reasons you want to leave before negotiating salary. If you have the bandwidth of 1.5 full time equivalency, are very dependable and accurate, then you should fare well to end at the top of your compensation range!” says Sharon Tsao, Owner, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
What to Expect From Public Accounting Salaries
It’s important to remember that accountants either work in public or private accounting, and the career paths and salaries do differ a bit. If you choose a public accounting path, these are the salaries you can expect:
- Junior Accountants, (1-3 Years of Experience): Junior accountants typically start around the $50,000 to $75,000 mark, give or take, depending on your firm, where it’s located and other factors. Once the CPA qualification is achieved, a bump in pay usually follows.
- Senior Accountants (4-6 Years of Experience): Every step up the ladder should result in a raise of some sort, but senior accountants can expect to earn between $65,000 and $110,000, depending on location and size of the firm.
- Senior Accounting Managers and Directors (10+ Years of Experience): CPAs who stay with a firm and stay on the partner track can expect salaries well into the six figures at this level, and many large firms offer significant chances to earn bonuses and incentives. Glassdoor cites the national average to be $126,000 with compensation ranges from $95,000 to $160,000.
What To Expect From Corporate Accounting Salaries
People who aren’t interested in the constant hustle of racking up billable hours as a CPA often choose the corporate track. Here are the salaries you can expect across the scope of your career.
- Junior Level (1-3 Years of Experience): Starting salaries at the entry level are comparable to CPA salaries at around $45,000 to $60,000.
- Senior Level (4-6 Years of Experience): Senior corporate accountants can expect to start a position at around $55,000 or $85,000.
- Senior Management (10+ Years of Experience): At the controller or CFO level, you can expect to earn six figures, even at smaller firms. To achieve this level, you will likely have to earn a CPA and/or an advanced degree. Ranges go from $90,000 to $150,000.
Are You Looking To Advance Your Accounting Career?
In some cases, you can climb the accounting ladder at your current organization but often, you’ll have to branch out to move up. If you are a staff accountant seeking new opportunities in public or corporate accounting, contact the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. We can help you find your ideal position and help you achieve your accounting career goals.