Is a career in accounting able to maintain an expensive lifestyle? Does this depend on position?
I'd like to maintain a fairly lavish lifestyle but im not picky with what that might mean. I'd just like to be paid an above average salary. #financial-accounting #accounting #accountant #finance #career
You may be surprised what "average" salary is, and it depends on who you're comparing against--the whole USA? College degree? HS diploma? Median household income countrywide is around $75k, and that may include multiple earners in the household, so the individual pay is even lower. That number is also across all education levels and blue/white-collar jobs. In general, a college degree gives you an immediate leg up in terms of pay, however there are good-paying jobs without a degree as well; I recently read that electricians can earn a pretty good living, and that's without a college degree.
If pay is your top criteria, do a search on top-paying jobs and work your way down that list based on your interests and abilities. Various types of doctors may be on top, but that may not be your area of interest or strength. At the moment, data science and other computer science-related jobs are booming and paying very well.
Best of luck!
There are a lot of accountants so if you want to thrive professionally, and financially, in accounting then getting your CPA and keeping it active is important! This is an industry wide acknowledgement that you have a body of knowledge that is valuable to accounting and that you worked hard to get the certification. Being a CPA will directly improve your salary opportunities.
Additionally, I would recommend finding something about accounting that you are interested in and getting your first role doing something that lets you enjoy the work. It’s so much easier to work hard when you like what you do! While in that role, these are a few things you can do to help you be a good candidate for promotion:
1. Get all your work done on time – all of it, all the time.
2. Pay attention to detail, accounting is often very detail oriented so the details matter.
3. If you have a challenge that is keeping you from getting something done and you cannot find a solution yourself, ask for help or direction early. Do not wait until you task is due to ask for help. It is important that you try to find solutions on your own first: use help files, search the internet, ask your peers.
4. When you ask for help or guidance – have some ideas to share of what might be a solution? Don’t just ask “What should I do?” Ask “Is this the right thing to do or should I be using this other solution?” The key here is to show that you can think of solutions and not just problems.
5. Volunteer for projects and take on challenging assignments and complete them. Show that you want to learn and grow in your career.
6. Listen to the questions people ask about your work and be prepared for them in the future. Learn to anticipate the questions your leaders will ask and understand why they are asking.
As your career progresses meet with mentors and sponsors to help your career develop in ways that you enjoy and to get you the salary you want. Best of luck!!
Christina recommends the following next steps:
One of the comments touched on this as well, but there are multiple areas of accounting you can go into. This is not always the case, but accounting roles that are more "advisory" or "consulting" in nature have a higher starting salary than someone who goes into audit or corporate accounting. I would say money should not be the ultimate reason you pick between advisory, consulting, audit, or any other type of accounting since this will affect your future career options and job satisfaction. For example, consulting could have a higher pay, but you may not enjoy it as much as tax or audit.
Having an accounting background can increase your salary potential later on in your career, but I would also suggest doing your own research and asking yourself if you are interested in the field. There are many careers outside of accounting that can have high salaries, but make sure accounting can satisfy your professional goals.
My advice is for anyone who wants to achieve long-term financial success in the accounting field (or any field for that matter) is to focus on the short-term role/position that will lead to the long-term role that you want. When focusing in short-term roles, short-term money should not be the driving factor but rather focus on building a resume that will allow you to achieve your end goals.
It depends on your academic background - whether or not you have a masters degree or CPA , your work ethic - do you have attention to detail, and the company you're working for - public or private. It also depends on what kind of accountant do you want to be? Do you want to be a Accounts Payable accountant or a Chief Financial Officer?
I suggest you go into a field you're passionate about. When you like what you're doing and you're good at what you do the money will come. Doors will open.
But if you idea of a lavish lifestyle is celebrity status, I would say most accountants to not earn enough to live that lifestyle.
In general, Accounting backgrounds and careers pay well and better than the average American. The higher you go up the corporate ladder and years of experience or qualifications (CPA, CMA, CFA, etc.), than the higher pay you'll have allowing you live well off. Also depending the area of Accounting or Finance that you're in, for example Senior Internal Auditors and Senior Tax Analysts/Accountants earn more than a General Corporate Senior Accountant. Technical Accounting, Finance FP&A, Corporate Development all pay better than Corporate Accounting.
In an expensive cost of living state, I've placed a 5-year Senior Accountant at $80-95K while a 5-year Senior Financial Analyst in FP&A was $90-105K.
In fact, different jobs have different salary depending on many factors, e.g. knowledge & skills, years of experience, etc. However, sometimes you can make more money on the job for the time being, it may not give you a good career path. Also, if the job you have no interest, it is really a pain to spend so many hours every day.
Have you ever thought about to run your own business? , i.e. to be entrepreneur. If you really have brilliant ideas and new to the market, you can start your own business.
I would suggest you can think about what subjects that you have interest or have strength on. You can get good grades in the college and enter an prestige enterprise. It is a good start of your career. If you work hard, you can move to senior roles so that your salary will increase.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Hope that helps.
Absolutely! Accounting is such a great start to your career where you will have an array of options and as you gain more experience, your salary will start to increase. You will definitely achieve an above average salary after a few years in accounting especially at a Big 4 firm or other major corporations.