June 18, 2024

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How Much Does An Accountant Make Right Out Of College?

3 min read
How Much Do Accountants Make Accounting, How to find out, College

The Attractive Starting Salary of Accountants

Graduating from college can be an exciting time, filled with dreams of a successful career and financial independence. One profession that attracts many fresh graduates is accounting. So, how much does an accountant make right out of college? Let’s delve into the details.

A Competitive Field with Lucrative Opportunities

Accounting is a highly competitive field, and the starting salary for accountants varies depending on several factors. These factors include the location, the size of the firm, the candidate’s qualifications, and the demand for accountants in the job market.

On average, entry-level accountants can expect to earn around $50,000 to $60,000 per year. However, keep in mind that these figures are just a starting point and can increase significantly with experience and further qualifications.

The Impact of Location

The location plays a significant role in determining an accountant’s starting salary. Major cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, tend to offer higher salaries due to the higher cost of living and increased demand for accountants in these areas. On the other hand, smaller towns or rural areas may offer lower starting salaries.

For example, an entry-level accountant in New York City can expect to earn around $60,000 to $70,000 per year, while in a smaller town, the starting salary may range from $45,000 to $55,000.

The Size of the Firm Matters

The size of the accounting firm also plays a role in determining the starting salary. Larger firms tend to offer higher salaries compared to smaller firms. This is because larger firms often have more resources and a higher volume of clients, which translates into higher revenue and more competitive salaries for their employees.

So, if you’re aiming for a higher starting salary right out of college, it might be beneficial to target larger accounting firms that can offer better compensation packages.

Qualifications and Certifications

Having additional qualifications and certifications can significantly impact an accountant’s starting salary. For example, candidates who have obtained their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license may receive higher starting salaries compared to those without this certification.

Furthermore, having a master’s degree in accounting or a related field can also lead to a higher starting salary. Employers often value advanced degrees as they demonstrate a higher level of expertise and commitment to the profession.

The Demand for Accountants

The demand for accountants in the job market can also influence their starting salary. If there is a high demand for accountants, employers may offer more competitive salaries to attract top talent. On the other hand, if the job market is saturated with accountants, starting salaries may be lower.

Currently, there is a growing demand for accountants due to the increasing complexity of financial regulations and the need for accurate financial reporting. This demand is expected to continue growing, which can lead to higher starting salaries for aspiring accountants.

The Potential for Growth

While the starting salary is an important consideration for fresh graduates, it’s crucial to also look at the potential for growth in the field of accounting. Accountants have various opportunities to advance their careers and increase their earnings over time.

With experience, additional qualifications, and a proven track record, accountants can climb the corporate ladder and take on more senior roles such as financial managers, controllers, or even CFOs. These positions come with higher salaries and increased responsibilities.


So, how much does an accountant make right out of college? While the starting salary may vary depending on factors like location, firm size, and qualifications, aspiring accountants can expect a competitive salary ranging from $50,000 to $60,000 per year. However, it’s important to remember that this is just the beginning, and with dedication and further professional development, accountants have the potential for significant growth in their careers.

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