You can't help but wonder how to get a job without experience and how to get experience without a job. In the accounting field, this conundrum is even more evident, since the work often involves a company's finances. Company leaders seldom want to take a chance on someone without the adequate experience. If you look carefully however, you will be able to find an accounting job with no experience.
Look for entry-level positions advertised in the classifieds and online career websites like Monster, Careerbuilder and HotJobs. Although the majority of accounting professionals and firms will want to hire people with experience, a good deal of the accounting firms also offer entry-level positions. Entry-level candidates are less experienced, so the firm has the opportunity to train them in the way the company does business. Entry-level positions also pay less due to the lack of experience, and many companies would prefer to save in payroll costs rather than having to pay a higher salary for a more experienced and seasoned candidate.
Get educated in accounting principles, practices and accounting software programs. Even if you don't have real-world accounting experience yet, get as much training as you can in an accounting degree program at a university or enroll in community college courses with a focus on business accounting and bookkeeping. You will learn valuable accounting principles, and the professional training you receive will make you a much more appealing candidate to accounting firms and businesses.
Apply for jobs in related fields. Seek work as a bookkeeper, accounts receivable clerk or even an accounting assistant position. Even a job as a cashier requires the ability to balance a cash drawer and provide accounting at the end of the shift. As you learn skills and gain experience from one job, you will be able to translate that experience into another position until you work your way up to the perfect accounting job.
Send your résumé and letter of interest to companies advertising for accounting positions even if you do not feel that you meet the minimum qualifications. Explain in your letter of interest that you do not yet have the experience they desire, but you are motivated and willing to learn. Request consideration as an intern or entry-level trainee. A company might be willing to take a chance on training you even though you don't yet have experience.
2016 Salary Information for Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $68,150 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, accountants and auditors earned a 25th percentile salary of $53,240, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $90,670, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,397,700 people were employed in the U.S. as accountants and auditors.