Average Salaries for Auditors: Wage and Salary Information

Jan 22, 2020

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an auditor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

An auditor evaluates some aspect of a business or corporation, usually financial records. Auditors, regardless of their field, need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Professional certification, while not required, may be beneficial to a career.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for auditors and accountants will grow by 6% from 2018-2028. While job duties across differing auditing fields may be similar, the wages and salaries can vary greatly between internal, governmental and external auditors.

Career Options Internal Auditor Governmental Auditor External Auditor
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field
Job Outlook for Accountants and Auditors (2018-28) 6%* 6%* 6%*
Annual Salary $58,332 (average 2020)** $100,080 for federal government accountants and auditors (average 2018)* $52,843 (average 2020)**

**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com

Internal Auditor

Internal auditors are commonly hired as an employee of a business rather than an outside consultant. The primary goal of an internal auditor is to review and assess a company's procedures and policies, and then make an overall assessment of the company's performance based on these factors. Internal auditors review financial records, assess compliance with many company policies, as well as evaluating the efficiency of company operations. According to PayScale.com, the average salary for an internal auditor was $58,332 in January 2020, with a range extending from $43,000 to $79,000.

Governmental Auditor

Governmental auditors include accountants employed by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the auditing and accounting branch of Congress. The main duties of government auditors are to maintain and examine the records of individual divisions and agencies of the government. They also audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are regulated or taxed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to the BLS, the average salary of a governmental auditor was highly dependent on the field of governmental employment, and stated the following salaries for accountants and auditors in May 2018 (www.bls.gov):

  • Federal executive branch: $100,080
  • Local government: $68,030
  • State government: $63,920

External Auditor

The main difference between an internal auditor and an external, or independent, auditor is that an external auditor is neither an employee of the organization being audited, nor an employee of the government. An external auditor performs an examination similar to that of an internal auditor, with the objective of issuing a report containing a professional opinion on the business in question's financial statements, records and reports.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an auditor working for a private practice or firm, such as those that provide external auditing services for other companies, ranged from $43,650 to $122,840 in May 2018.

There are many types of auditors - internal, external, governmental - and their salaries range from $43,000 to $122,840 depending on that position.

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