What is the Salary Range for Most Accountants?

Would you like to know what a realistic accountant salary is? If you are in the process of earning your degree in Accounting, knowing how much you can expect to earn once you graduate and find a career in the field is important. No matter how much you like crunching the numbers and analyzing financial reports, you need to be able to live off of your salary comfortably if you are going to spend time and money earning a degree. One thing you will discover as you compare salaries reported in the field is that recent graduates and experienced accountant salaries can vary dramatically. Read on, and learn about ranges and what factors can affect accounting salaries.

The Average Salaries and Ranges in the Field of Accounting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average salary of an accountant is $63,550 per year or $30.55 per hour. This figure includes the salaries reported by all companies in all industries throughout the U.S. so the highest and lowest figures can vary dramatically. Based on surveys conducted by the BLS, the lowest-paid professionals in the 10th percentile of the range earn about $39,900 per year. The highest-paid professionals in the upper 90th percentile earn as much as $111,500 per year. Based on these surveys, salaries within the field of accounting can differ by more than $71,000 depending on a variety of factors. 

Factors That Can Affect an Accounting Salary

Now that you know the range of salaries reported to the government, the next step is distinguishing between high paying and low paying positions. Having a degree may qualify you for higher-paying positions, but most accountants possess some level of formal degree. One very important factor to consider is the setting that you plan on working in. If you are on the payroll of a small or mid-sized company, your salary may be smaller than if you worked for an accounting firm or a Fortune 500 corporation. You have to consider the revenues of the company and whether or not they can afford to compensate accountants in the upper range as you are comparing open positions. 

Another factor that can affect your salary is the region. There are cities that pay well for accounting and cities where the pay is less than average. If you do not plan on relocating when you look for an open position, be sure that the pay in your region is sufficient. If you will consider a relocation, it is important to compare salaries in areas you would like to move to. Currently, the best paying areas for accountants are New Jersey, New York City, San Jose and San Francisco where the ranges are between $85,760 and $91,240.

Accounting jobs make the best business jobs list for a reason. With the demand in the field on the rise and the top earners making a 6-figure salary, there is no denying that the job is great for many number crunchers. If you want to become a specialist in accounting, compare the accountant salary ranges and decide if this positions ranks high in your opinion.