Entry-Level Accounting Career Options
There are several entry-level accounting positions available that differ in the education and level of on-the-job training they require. Learn about a few of these entry-level positions and their unique job duties below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Accountants and Auditors||$68,150||10%|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks||$38,390||-1% (decline)|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$90,530||14%|
|Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents||$52,060||-1% (decline)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Entry-Level Accounting Jobs
Accountants and Auditors
An obvious accounting job is that of an accountant or auditor, and these entry-level positions do not require prior work experience in a related job or any on-the-job training. These professionals are typically hired by various organizations to handle their taxes and check a variety of financial records for accuracy. They often help organize these files and may be able to provide management of the organization with some recommendations to cut costs or increase profits based on their analysis of these financial records. Accountants and auditors need a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field and typically need professional certification, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential.
Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks
For those with basic accounting skills, a career as a bookkeeping, accounting or auditing clerk may be a good fit. These positions usually require some moderate-term on-the-job training, but they do not require previous work experience in the field. These professionals usually handle and produce many of the financial records for an organization, including income statements, balance sheets, billing vouchers and more. Bookkeeping clerks typically handle financial transactions for an organization; auditing clerks make sure financial records are error-free; and accounting clerks usually specialize in managing a particular account, such as accounts receivable or loans. These clerks need to have great math skills and some knowledge of bookkeeping software, which they usually obtain through on-the-job training and some postsecondary education.
Budget analysts do not need related work experience or any on-the-job training to help organizations develop budgets and organize their finances. They begin their work by examining proposed budgets and accounts for accuracy and compliance with current laws and then make financial recommendations concerning the budget to management. Some of these analysts may monitor spending in an organization to make sure they are staying within budget and help create future budgets based on predicted financial need. Budget analysts need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, economics, statistics, business or a related field and usually need to have completed some coursework in accounting and statistics.
Personal Financial Advisors
Another entry-level position that involves accounting and no prior work experience is that of a personal financial advisor. These advisors work with their clients to discuss the various financial options, such as investments, savings accounts, insurance and mortgages, that may help them reach their short- and long-term financial goals. Personal financial advisors research these different options and must be able to explain the details of each option to their clients and answer any questions they may have about their accounts. They need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business or a related field, but advancement may require certification and a master's degree. Newly hired personal financial advisors typically undergo at least a year of on-the-job training.
Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents
Tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents have to undergo some moderate-term on-the-job training, but they do not need work experience in a related occupation before beginning their career. These professionals calculate taxes and examine tax records for accuracy and compliance with the laws. They check to ensure that individuals or businesses have not under- or overpaid their taxes, perform tax audits and manage detailed records of all of their cases. They typically need a bachelor's degree in accounting or a closely related field.