Over the course of a two-year accounting specialist program, students learn basic accounting skills. Graduates are prepared to work in an office as a bookkeeper or an accounting clerk. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent for entry. They should also have basic computer and word-processing skills.
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Specialist
Students in these programs practice office and accounting skills and learn to use accounting software. Computer applications used in accounting include QuickBooks and Microsoft Office Suite. Topics of study may include:
- Managerial accounting
- Office technology
- Administrative office procedures
- Personal computing
- Financial accounting
Popular Career Options
Accounting specialist programs can cover the theories of accounting and allow students to gain practical skills for entry-level positions. Accounting specialists typically record and report transactions performed in banks, accounting offices or company payroll departments. Graduates beginning work in this field will typically work under close supervision of an experienced accountant. Some job possibilities include:
- Accounting clerk
- Personal income tax clerk
- Collection clerk
- Accounts payable/receivable clerk
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In 2018, bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned a median annual salary of $40,240 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The postal service was the top paying industry at that time. The BLS predicted a 4% decline in employment for these professionals from 2018 to 2028.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals interested in becoming auditors or accountants are typically required to hold at least a bachelor's degree in accounting. These degrees may be available through Bachelor of Science in Accounting programs or Bachelor of Business Administration programs that offer an accounting concentration. Although an associate's degree program is designed for individuals intending to directly enter the workforce, some graduates may choose to gain further education through a bachelor's degree. Beyond the bachelor's degree level, master's and doctoral degree programs in accounting are also available.
After earning an AAS in the field, aspiring accountants can enter the industry at the lowest level, or they can pursue more advanced education in order to expand their career opportunities.