Adding It All Up
Persons employed in fields of accounting and auditing can increase their salaries by adding further certification levels onto their base degrees. These fields are forecast to increase in demand by 16% through 2020. Jobs included in accounting and auditing fields include: bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks; budget analysts; cost estimators; financial analysts; financial examiners; financial managers; management analysts; personal finance advisors; tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents; top executives.
The median salary for persons in these fields is $61,690. Accountants and other financial sector workers who advance into management positions can expect to see their paychecks increase substantially, by 31% on average. The most common certification is Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which is required by most accounting firms. A more specialized certification is Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Professionals with CMA certification are able to perform cost management, internal control auditing, decision analysis and forecasting. CMAs are responsible for choosing and maintaining accounting information systems, and they analyze reports generated by those systems.
Age is not a factor in the increased pay a person stands to earn after completing a certification program. Certified accountants in the youngest age bracket (19-29) earn nearly $20,000 more in salary than non-certified peers; certified professionals in the 60+ group earn $28,000 more per year than their non-certified counterparts. Average salaries for Accountants are highest in the West Coast region of the U.S. ($132,423) and lowest in the Mountain region ($101,893). The state with the highest average recorded pay is Alaska ($267500), and the lowest average is from Indiana ($87,967).