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According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of Accountants and Auditors is $69,350. In order for an accountant to maximize their earning capabilities, they will need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam. Even with those two prerequisites, the annual salary of an accountant can vary based on a number of different variables. Some things to take into account when projecting your possible earnings as an accountant are:

  • Employer: Many accounting firms hire recent graduates from accounting programs, where you can expect to earn a higher salary than as a self-employed personal tax accountant. To earn an even greater salary, accountants can apply to work for major institutions or corporations.
  • Experience: As in most fields, entry-level salaries are lower than employees with years of work experience.
  • Local Economy: There are different costs of living depending on your physical location, so you can generally expect to make a higher salary if you live and work in an urban environment as opposed to a rural one.
  • Level of Education: While a bachelor’s degree will suffice to get your foot in the door as an accountant, there are also master and doctoral degrees available in accounting, which will significantly raise your expected salary.

There are currently 1,397,700 accountants and auditors employed in the United States, and that number is expected to increase by 10% over the next decade, which is faster than average for most fields. This could mean that there will be a skills gap between qualified accountants and the number of jobs available, which can potentially increase the salary of accountants by the time you have graduated and hit the job market. While it is difficult to project into the future, a good first step at estimating the return on investment for your accounting degree would be to conduct a Cost/Benefit Analysis of A Bachelor’s Degree. In order to ensure that you are getting the best deal on your accounting degree, you should find a school with competitive tuition rates. To help you on your search we have compiled a ranking of great accounting degree programs that offer annual tuition rates under $10,000. Earning your bachelor’s degree will:

  • Increase your expected salary by an average of $20,000 per year.
  • Qualify you for a number of jobs that are not available to applicants with high school diplomas.
  • Provide you with the ability to earn a masters or doctoral degree if you choose.

As an accounting major, you will learn how to calculate risk and reward of potential investments which can significantly increase your annual income. You will also be more aware of your expenditures and be able to create effective personal finance strategies to ensure that you’re able to save for retirement while maintaining a comfortable standard of living. All of these dynamics mean that earning an affordable accounting degree is one of the best routes to financial stability. If any of the schools on our ranking of the top cheapest bachelor degrees in accounting pique your interest, be sure to visit their website and request more information.