Associate of Accounting: Accounting Degree Overview

Students who wish to obtain an associate degree in accounting may pursue an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Applied Science (AS) or Associate of Science in Accounting (AAS). Graduates are prepared for entry-level work in the field.

Essential Information

In pursuit of an AA, AS or AAS in Accounting, students learn how to set up financial records, prepare taxes and give financial advice. Graduates can also choose to transfer into bachelor's degree programs in accounting, business or finance. There are usually no prerequisites for an associate's degree program in accounting besides a high school diploma or equivalent.


Associate's Degree of Accounting

Students typically take courses directly related to both accounting and business, as well as some general education courses. Course topics covered in a program commonly include:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Professional speaking
  • Information technology
  • Cost accounting and managerial accounting
  • Business ethics
  • Forensic accounting and auditing

Popular Career Options

With an associate degree in accounting, students may find work with for-profit and non-profit businesses, government agencies or individuals. Possible careers may include accounting-specific jobs or business-related jobs. Possible job titles include bookkeeper, accounting technician, and collections worker.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an employment decline of 8% for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks over the 2014-2024 decade. These clerks earned a median annual wage of $37,250 in May 2015. Bill and account collectors are also expected to see a 6% employment decline from 2014-2024, and they earned a median annual wage of $34,440 in May 2015.

Continuing Education

A graduate with an associate degree in accounting who chooses not to directly enter the workforce may choose to continue into a bachelor's program in accounting or business. Possible bachelor's degree options include a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management or Bachelor of Business Administration.

Additional education, typically up through the master's degree level, can prepare students to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or for management positions in business. Employers may prefer certified professionals. Certification for accountants can include the Certified Management Accountant credential from the Institute of Management Accountants, or additional CPA credentials through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, such as the Personal Financial Specialist or Certified Information Technology Professional credential.

An associate's degree in accounting is the first step toward a career in the field. When students finish, they have the financial expertise they need to get entry-level jobs in the field or to continue on the educational track to becoming a CPA.


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