Accountants and Auditors

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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What Accountants and Auditors Do

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.

Work Environment

Most accountants and auditors work full time. In 2014, about 1 in 5 worked more than 40 hours per week. Overtime hours are typical at certain times of the year, such as at the end of the budget year or during tax season.

How to Become an Accountant or Auditor

Most employers require a candidate to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Certification within a specific field of accounting improves job prospects. For example, many accountants become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Accountants and auditors

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records.

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    Job Trends for Accountants and Auditors

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    This occupation supported 1,275,400 jobs in 2012 and 1,332,700 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 4.5%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 13.1% in 2022 to 1,442,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 1,308,700, compared with an observed value of 1,332,700, 1.8% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 11.2% in 2024 to 1,475,100 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 1,475,500 jobs for 2024, 0.0% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.