The market for accounting professionals is challenging and competitive, but it is projected to grow. Four sectors, in particular, are expected to grow the fastest, and job candidates who choose a career in one of these areas may have an easier time finding work.
Regardless of the post accounting professionals pursue, candidates will find that companies are looking for employees with more than experience and skills. Eager to avoid hiring failures, they are also looking for a good cultural fit for their enterprise, as close to 90 percent of hiring failures are due to cultural dissonance between the employee and the company. However, before a candidate can start to explore the culture of a prospective employer, they have to know which path they want to follow.
Jobs for bookkeeping, accounting professionals and auditing clerks are expected to see the most growth, followed by accountant and auditor, financial analyst, and billing and posting clerks. These jobs have relatively similar duties but different levels of intensity, income and responsibilities. When choosing their dream job, candidates need to consider more than the numbers. They also have to think about how they will feel performing that job daily for years.
An extra 204,000 bookkeeping, accounting and auditing positions are expected to be added to the market between 2010 and 2020, a 14-percent increase in the total number of jobs in this sector. As financial regulations become more complex, accounting professionals with keen organizational skills will be needed for these posts, and as accountants from established firms move to in-house positions with smaller companies, entry level posts in large firms will become available. The average base salary in this field is approximately $32,000.
Projections indicate that 166,000 accountant and auditor positions will also be created. These positions are challenging and offer upward mobility. Although wages vary based on job description and employer, a staff accountant at a public firm earns an average base salary of $54,000.
The growing international economy and its complex financial practices is projected to increase the number of financial analysts by 133,000. Financial analysts focus on the prediction part of the accounting profession; they forecast trends and prepare quarterly reviews. These positions offer an average base salary of $75,156.
Approximately 93,000 billing and postal clerk jobs are projected to be added, and this 18-percent projected increase is related to the aging population, increasingly complex medical-billing practices and the demand for more medical care. With a median annual wage of $33,000, these professionals earn about the same amount as an accounting professional with the clerk title. However, many of them work from home which equates to a flexible schedule and a relatively low-stress environment.
As the industry grows and changes, accounting professionals will have the opportunity to explore new challenges. They will also have an increased number of jobs in front of them, making it easier to find a dream job with the right cultural fit.
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