Accounting often tops lists of the “best of” career choices in a variety of categories. People who wish to earn high salaries, are introverted, are changing careers, or want a high-growth industry all would do well to consider a career in accounting or its companion, auditing. Working in accounting provides substantial benefits in terms of financial well-being and stability, and a closer look at this industry reveals other reasons accounting and auditing are top choices.

Ease of Career Transition

Accounting is a field that has a range of job titles, which makes entry into the field a bit easier than for other careers.  To be an accountant, one needs at least a bachelor’s degree although many small firms will accept someone with a bachelor’s degree in an alternate field and an associate’s degree in accounting. Otherwise, getting a certificate, which often takes only one semester, in accounting can open the door to work as an accounting clerk with the possibility of moving up with later experience and education.

Salary Range for Accounting

In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median pay for accountants and auditors was $61,690. Median means that half of people in the field make more money, and half of accountants make less. The range of pay for the field was $33,000 to $106,000, which depends largely on qualifications, experience, and sub-field. Accounting jobs often start out paying hourly, though some private accountants are salaried.

Career Growth

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that accounting jobs will grow by only about 16% over the next decade, many industry sources report a potentially higher growth curve. This growth will occur largely because of increased regulatory requirements for businesses to be audited in addition to changes in standard accounting reporting practices in the United States. The U.S. has its own system, and federal regulators are considering making some changes to put the American system in line with that of Europe and the majority of Asia. Those changes will increase the need for accountants and auditors.

Work Expectations

Most accountants and auditors work indoors in office environments although some auditors in particular should expect to travel for a good portion of the workweek.  About 20 percent of accountants report working more than 40 hours per week although most people in accounting work overtime during tax season and the end of the company’s fiscal year. The job overall requires employees work in a typical 9-5 office environment.