.

.

.

Salary, Wages, Pay: Accountants and Auditors




In 2002, the median wage and salary annual earnings of accountants and auditors were $47,000. The middle half of the occupation earned between $37,210 and $61,630. The top 10 percent of accountants and auditors earned more than $82,730, and the bottom 10 percent earned less than $30,320. In 2002, median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of accountants and auditors were:

Federal Government $51,070
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services 49,520
Management of companies and enterprises 49,110
Local government 44,690
State government 42,680

According to a salary survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, bachelorís degree candidates in accounting received starting offers averaging $40,647 a year in 2003; masterís degree candidates in accounting were initially offered $42,241.

According to a 2003 salary survey conducted by Robert Half International, a staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance, accountants and auditors with up to 1 year of experience earned between $29,500 and $40,500. Those with 1 to 3 years of experience earned between $34,000 and $49,500. Senior accountants and auditors earned between $41,000 and $61,500; managers earned between $47,500 and $78,750; and directors of accounting and auditing earned between $66,750 and $197,500 a year. The variation in salaries reflects differences in size of firm, location, level of education, and professional credentials.

In the Federal Government, the starting annual salary for junior accountants and auditors was $23,442 in 2003. Candidates who had a superior academic record might start at $29,037, while applicants with a masterís degree or 2 years of professional experience usually began at $35,519. Beginning salaries were slightly higher in selected areas where the prevailing local pay level was higher. Accountants employed by the Federal Government in nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions averaged $69,370 a year in 2003; auditors averaged $73,247.