What Are the Best Careers for Accountants?

An accounting degree is a fantastic career tool because it’s able to be used in so many different industries and applied to a growing variety of jobs. There are many possible occupations you could pursue with an accounting degree, but here are five of the best:

  • Financial manager. Duties for financial managers vary by location and specific title, but the role typically involves the preparation of financial reports and the development of monetary strategies. Job opportunities for financial managers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, are projected to grow by 13% through 2016, which is about as fast as the national average for all occupations. The increased need for qualified financial managers will be driven by the expanding global economy. In 2006, median annual earnings for financial managers were $90,970, with the top 10% of earners recording annual wages of more than $145,600. The largest number of financial managers were employed in securities and commodity contracts intermediation, with median earnings of $131,730.
  • Actuary. Actuaries use knowledge of statistics and finance to assess risk and protect their clients. Employment for actuaries is predicted to grow 24% through 2016, much faster than the national average. In 2006, more than half of all actuaries were employed by insurance carriers, and the insurance industry is expected to maintain steady employment for actuaries over the next decade. Median annual earnings for actuaries were $82,800 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the top 10% able to earn $145,600.
  • Financial analyst/personal financial planner. Graduates with accounting degrees can also go on to work as financial analysts or personal financial planners; broadly, both require you to analyze financial and market information and then make recommendations for your clients. Employment for personal financial planners is expected to grow a strong 41% through 2016, and median earnings in 2006 were $66,120. The outlook is good for financial analysts, as well. Their employment is projected to grow 34% through 2016, and recent median earnings were $66,590.
  • Budget analyst. As a budget analyst, you’ll examine your company’s budget with a focus on improving efficiency and profits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for budget analysts will grow 7% through 2016, which is about as fast as average for all occupations. Salaries for analysts vary based on education and experience, though in 2006, median annual earnings were $61,430, with the highest 10% earning more than $93,080.
  • Loan officer. Loan officers work with clients to assist them in applying for loans, and employment in the area is set to grow 11% by 2016. Recent information showed that median earnings for loan officers were $51,760, though the top 10% earned more than $107,040.

Those are just a few careers available to you with your accounting degree. Ultimately, with a good online degree from an accredited university, there are countless opportunities for accountants.