Accounting: Trade School Diploma Summary

Oct 12, 2019

In an accounting diploma program, students gain a foundation in accounting basics. Graduates of these programs can transfer credits earned to an associate's or bachelor's degree program.

Essential Information

An accounting diploma program provides students with a foundation in accounting. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and must submit an official transcript of any completed coursework. These programs consist of 15-42 credits, and some programs can be completed in as little as one semester. Students participate in a capstone experience at the end of the program.

Trade School Diploma in Accounting

A diploma program in accounting provides students with a solid knowledge base and prepares them for entry level positions in the industry. Instruction is given in tax accounting, payroll and spreadsheet applications and computer basics. Programs are designed to teach the foundations of accounting while emphasizing computerized accounting. Other topics may include the following:

  • Accounting introduction
  • Business law
  • Data processing
  • Computer introduction
  • Financial accounting
  • Document production

Popular Career Options

Graduates may find entry-level job opportunities in banks, financial institutions, healthcare, manufacturing and government agencies. At this level of training, graduates find positions as bookkeepers, payroll specialists and clerks. Some job titles may include:

  • Junior accountant
  • Accounts assistant
  • Budget accountant
  • Junior auditor
  • Accounting clerk

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an 4% decline in employment opportunities for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks between 2018 and 2028. The BLS reports this decline is due to technological advancements automating many bookkeeping tasks. The median annual wages for these workers was $40,240 in May 2018. The top paying states were the District of Columbia, Alaska and Massachusetts.

Continuing Education Information

Individuals earning diplomas may choose to further their education by enrolling in an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program. Individuals who wish to become certified public accountants must pass a certification exam and become licensed by the State Board of Accountancy, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics ( wishing to enter research or teach at the college level may consider enrolling in a doctoral degree program. Graduate certificates can provide training in specialized areas, such as forensic accounting or fraud examination. Graduate certificates can often be earned online.

Trade school accounting diploma programs prepare students for entry-level jobs as bookkeepers and payroll specialists at banks, government agencies and healthcare institutions, among others. Advanced degrees in accounting are available at the associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree levels and prepare students for more advanced employment opportunities.

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