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How Much Can an Accountant Make?
What You Can Earn with a Degree

Discover earning potential in the field of accounting

Accounting represents a deep, diverse range of potential job opportunities demanding a variety of skills. How much you can make depends on many factors, including industry of employment, specific job duties, your experience, and college education earned.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for accountants and auditors is $90,780 per year ($43.65 per hour).* Starting pay rates can vary based on location, education, and experience. This average is not entry level – recent graduates will need to earn experience and work their way up to earn a higher salary.

Accountant in Meeting with Client

Accountants and auditors salary by state, May 2022*

 Average salaryMedian Salary
StatePer HourPer YearPer HourPer Year
District of Columbia$53.24$110,750$49.07$102,060
New Hampshire$39.09$81,310$36.80$76,540
New Jersey$49.06$102,040$46.04$95,770
New Mexico$34.59$71,940$30.60$63,640
New York$53.04$110,320$47.64$99,090
North Carolina$41.21$85,710$37.04$77,030
North Dakota$33.47$69,620$30.62$63,690
Rhode Island$45.45$94,530$39.75$82,690
South Carolina$35.01$72,820$31.00$64,480
South Dakota$35.09$72,990$32.38$67,350
West Virginia$34.37$71,490$31.36$65,240
Puerto Rico$20.03$41,650$18.24$37,950
Virgin Islands$27.35$56,880$25.00$52,000

All salary data courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How to start faster in the accounting field

To become an accountant, you may be required to earn a bachelor’s degree, especially if you’re seeking to qualify to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

However, earning a bachelor’s degree isn’t the only first step you can take into this career field. You may choose to begin your career as a bookkeeper or payroll accountant and develop valuable professional experience while you advance your accounting education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earn an average salary of $49,580 per year ($23.84 per hour).*

Our 8-month diploma in bookkeeping and payroll accounting program is designed to help you get off to a faster start in your new accounting career, find a job, and transfer credit you’ve earned into a bachelor’s degree program in the future.

Accountant Working on Report at Computer

Classes Start July 8th

Waived Enrollment Fee

Frequently Asked Questions

A key difference between a diploma and a degree in accounting is required coursework.

Typically, an accounting diploma takes 6-8 months, while a degree may take two or more years. In a diploma program, you'll take classes specific to the field of accounting with no general education courses.

It's a cost-effective way to get foundational knowledge in a subject and can help you qualify for an entry-level job.

Accounting is much more specific to managing and analyzing money in and out of organizations. An accounting degree offers students in-depth knowledge to a range of advance accounting principles and processes.

Business administration is often limited to basic accounting principles. Instead, a degree in business administration focuses on many aspects of business, including operations, management, and business strategy.

Students choosing a business administration degree program with an emphasis on accounting and finance may learn big picture business principles while learning the fundamentals of day-to-day financial management and analysis.

While you may not be required to hold a degree to qualify for jobs that include bookkeeping and accounting tasks, employers may prefer earning a degree if you plan to become an accountant and continue advancing your career in accounting and finance. It’s difficult to obtain senior-level roles in accounting without earning an accounting-specific undergraduate degree. 

Many states require that you must have a bachelor’s degree plus additional credit hours to sit for the exam to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). State-specific requirements may vary.2

Yes! All of Herzing’s accounting programs can be completed online on your schedule, at your pace.

The difference between finance and accounting is that accounting focuses on tracking the day-to-day flow of money into or out of an organization, while finance is the general management of assets and liabilities and includes future growth planning. The curriculums of their respective degree programs follow suit.

Additionally, if you would like to pursue your CPA, a degree in accounting is often the more preferred choice.

There are many different types of accountants with varying levels of required education. Herzing offers the following undergraduate accounting degree options:

  • Associate of Science in Accounting/Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

We also offer an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Accounting and Finance.

Bookkeepers record financial transactions and maintain accurate financial ledgers. They may also oversee accounts payable and receivable, process payroll, and track financial transactions.

To become a bookkeeper, you'll want strong math skills, a keen attention to detail, and strong organizational skills. A diploma in a bookkeeping can provide a strong foundation in basic payroll accounting and skills needed to help you find an entry-level job. The programs often take less than a year and can be completed online.

Make your accounting career possible with Herzing

Your first step towards growing this potentially lucrative career path is getting educated. We offer several options for you depending on the education you've already earned:

Our goal is to support your career success as your lifelong partner in learning. You are possible with Herzing University.

Discover our many educational options in the field of accounting


2. This Bachelor of Science in Accounting program at Herzing University does not fulfill all of the requirements for a graduate to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or apply for licensure as a CPA in most states/jurisdictions. Most states/jurisdictions require a specific amount of study beyond a bachelor’s degree (typically, a total of 150 semester credit hours, but this varies by jurisdiction) as well as several years of professional experience working in accounting to be eligible to apply for licensure. Some states (including, but not necessarily limited to, Texas) require the program to have specific programmatic accreditation for graduates to apply for licensure as a CPA, which this program does not have at this time, and no representation has been made as to when or if such an accreditation will be obtained. Applicants interested in becoming a CPA should check with their state board of accountancy regarding CPA eligibility requirements prior to enrolling in any accounting program. Students planning to pursue certifications other than the CPA exam should also contact the respective certifying organization to confirm requirements for certification prior to enrolling in any accounting program.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

Classes Start July 8th

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