Liquidation — the disposing of assets into liquid cash — occurs after an organization declares that it is insolvent and cannot pay its outstanding debts. Typically, liquidators are appointed trustees who oversee the management of debtors’ assets and business affairs during the liquidation process. Average annual wages for liquidators range from just under $90,000 to six-figure salaries, depending on factors such as geographic location and work experience.
The average salary for liquidation professionals working in the United States was $89,000 per year, according to Indeed.com as of July 2011. Liquidators can be accountants, lawyers or business executives, depending on the case and legal requirements. The average salary for accountants working in the United States was $68,690 according to a May 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Salaries ranged from as low as $38,940 to as high as $106,880. Liquidators who are trained lawyers have the potential to earn considerably higher salaries according to the BLS. The BLS reports that average annual wages for attorneys ranged between $54,130 and $165,470 annually as of May 2010.
Different cities reported varying liquidator salaries acccording to a July 2011 SalaryExpert.com report. Liquidators employed in Houston averaged $113,675 per year, those working in Dallas averaged $111,781 per year. Professionals employed in Chicago averaged $102,282 annually. In New York City’s Manhattan borough the average salary for liquidators was $163,180. Liquidators averaged $102,047 in Charlotte, $130,499 in Miami and $110,881 in Los Angeles. The lowest average salary was reported in Phoenix, where liquidators averaged $96,806 annually.
Similar to other sectors, liquidators can augment their salaries with employee benefits and performance bonuses. Liquidation professionals reported benefits totaling an average of $16,361 per year, according to SalaryExpert.com. Benefit amounts ranged from $12,182 to as high as $20,449. SalaryExpert.com also showed that average bonuses for liquidators fell between $5,209 and $8,744 per year.
Bankruptcy courts often appoint accountants or impartial trustees to liquidate a company’s or estate’s assets. The number of accountants, including those who handle liquidation and bankruptcy engagements, will increase 22 percent during the 2008 to 2018 decade. Economic growth and increasing competition in the marketplace will drive demand for accountants with both general and specialized expertise. Candidates with professional certification, excellent technical and computer skills, and expertise in debt restructuring should have the best job opportunities for accounting jobs handling liquidation cases.