Salary and Demand

Every business, organization and overpaid celebrity needs a CPA.

From the smallest start-ups to the biggest government agencies to the Paris Hiltons of the world, every moneymaking body requires the skills of a CPA. The CPA credential is highly respected and internationally recognized. To a potential employer, it means high ethical standards, valuable experience, a superior education and crazy good skills. And employers are willing to pay for that.

The getting is good

Take a look at the average salaries for college graduates in public and private accounting. Keep in mind if you also have a CPA license, you’ll make 10-15% more when you start out.

    Jr. Level (0 - 3 yrs.) Sr. Level
Tax Services Public Accounting $40,500-$93,500 $62,000-$115,500
Audit/Assurance Services Public Accounting $40,500-$85,250 $54,250-$103,500
Tax Accountant Corporate Accounting $44,750-$104,500 $74,750-$131,250
Compliance Analyst Corporate Accounting $65,750-$106,000 $75,250-$128,500
Financial Analyst Corporate Accounting $44,250-$107,750 $70,250-$134,750
Business Analyst Corporate Accounting $43,250-$115,250 $79,500-$147,750
Data Analyst Corporate Accounting $45,750-$118,750 $81,250-$153,250
Internal Auditor Corporate Accounting $39,750-$98,250 $77,750-$124,250
IT Auditor Corporate Accounting $43,750-$122,000 $78,500-$150,500
Financial Reporting Corporate Accounting $51,250-$96,250 $74,000-$123,750
Financial Systems Project Manager Corporate Accounting $83,750-$183,250 $83,750-$183,250
Forensic Accountant Corporate Accounting $78,750-$149,750 $78,750-$149,750

Serious earning potential over time gives CPAs great job security. Here are some examples of upper-level salaries for managers in corporate accounting:

Position Range
Chief Financial Officer $122,000-$500,500
VP of Finance $110,500-$404,250
Corporate Controller $106,500-$264,000
Tax Manager $94,250-$167,250

(Geographic region, experience, education, CPA certification and company size each play a role in determining salary.)

You’re hired

CPAs are consistently well paid because they’re consistently in demand. And when you’re in demand, you can count on career stability, a competitive salary and lots of chances to advance. The Department of Labor and Statistics predicts employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The growth will mainly be to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. The best job opportunities will be for accountants and auditors who have an accounting degree and CPA license.

CPAs are needed anywhere and everywhere. Here’s what you can expect to be paid starting out where you live:

Boston $54,270 - $101,505
New York $56,902 - $106,429
Miami $42,930 - $80,295
Chicago $50,220 - $93,930
Denver $44,955 - $84,083
San Diego $57,105 - $106,808
Dallas $44,955 - $84,083


Wondering how much dough you could be rolling in as an accountant? Find out.