Associate in Applied Science (AAS): Accounting Degree Overview

In an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in accounting degree program students learn essential business accounting functions, like tax preparation. Get details about the program, course topics and employment opportunities for graduates.

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Essential Information

During an AAS in Accounting program, students receive occupational training in bookkeeping and spreadsheet data processing. Students become knowledgeable in such computer programs as Peachtree and QuickBooks, as well as Microsoft Access, Word and Excel. In some programs, they can participate in internships or field experiences. Associate's degree programs in accounting typically require approximately 60 credit hours of coursework, which can be completed in two years. A high school diploma or the equivalent is generally required prior to admission.


Associate in Applied Science in Accounting

Students acquire analytic, technical and problem-solving skills while they study the fundamental principles of accounting. They can learn about payroll, accounts payable and financial statement preparation and about entering accounting data into financial ledgers and professional balance books. Some programs offer coursework in business topics or offer electives in specialized business and accounting subjects, such as financial planning, agricultural business or real estate, in addition to basic accounting principles and practices. Possible course titles could include:

  • Microeconomic principles
  • Tax law
  • Business law
  • Payroll accounting
  • Business communication

Popular Career Options

Graduates may qualify for entry-level employment with accounting firms, tax preparation companies, government agencies, banks or in the finance departments of a variety of businesses. Some job titles could include:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting clerk
  • Bank officer
  • Payroll technician

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an 8% decrease in employment opportunities for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks over the 2014-2024 period. Median earnings for these clerks were $37,250 in May 2015.

Payroll and timekeeping clerks have an expected 3% decline in job openings from 2014-2024, and loan officers (includes bank officers) are projected to see 8% employment growth over the same period. May 2015 median earnings were $41,000 for payroll and timekeeping clerks and $63,430 for loan officers, reported the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

An Associate in Applied Science in Accounting degree program is typically geared toward students seeking immediate employment. Those interested in advanced career opportunities or who wish to become Certified Public Accountants can pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Graduates of an Associate in Applied Science in Accounting program are equipped with the proper accounting, finance and business law knowledge to work entry-level jobs in the field. Bachelor's degree programs are available for students who wish to advance their careers.

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