While a job as an accountant may seem like the only logical destination that begins with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, the reality is that many jobs become available with that educational status, and many of them are exciting and challenging.
Despite the advances in technology that have made some accounting functions obsolete, accounting and auditing jobs broadly are projected to grow by about 6% through 2028, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Let’s take a look at the 11 best jobs you can get after completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Revenue agents are responsible for ensuring tax code is being followed by reviewing filed returns, investigating and auditing returns to verify information and following up with taxpayers who owe additional money on their returns. These agents work at the state or federal level, and generally are charged with reviewing returns and verifying information provided by large corporations or organizations that typically have very complicated tax situations. Depending on their area of interest and expertise, revenue agents may have a special focus, such as multinational corporations or companies in a particular industry.
Salary range: $55,000-$83,000
Internal auditors work for major corporations or other large organizations to ensure compliance with a variety of financial and legal regulations, and their specific job duties could include evaluating controls and procedures and recommending improvements. Internal auditors may work to examine specific areas or departments in the business, so their expertise should be quite broad and varied, as they may be called upon to offer guidance in a variety of matters. In other cases, they may focus solely on one particular area, such as risk management or corporate operations, and they generally will be required to present their findings to upper management, so good communication skills are helpful.
Salary range: $75,000-$105,000
Loan officers work with companies or individuals to determine their financial fitness for being granted a loan. This could include verifying income, examining credit history and ensuring applicants are attractive candidates for loans. Generally, loan officers will focus on one major loan type, commercial, consumer, mortgage, auto, farm, student or other as each area has specific laws and regulations governing them. They also may specialize in a particular step of the process. For instance, some loan officers focus on the underwriting or loan qualification process, while some may instead focus on the repayment process, ensuring clients are able to make their payments on time.
Salary range: $45,000-$90,000
A bookkeeper will generally work for a smaller company, nonprofit or government body, fulfilling duties related to ensuring all financial records, accounts and ledgers remained balanced and reconciled. Depending on the company, they may prepare materials like 1099 tax documents, or they may work to match purchase orders with invoices received. They will usually monitor office expenses as well as tracking banking account balances and reporting financial results to management. Many bookkeepers will be in charge of company accounts, or the general ledger, ensuring all transactions are posted, including debits and credits. They may also do broader financial tasks, such as handling payroll and securing payment of overdue accounts.
Salary range: $50,000-$75,000
Accounting Software Developer
All software developers are in charge of designing, developing and testing software to meet a particular user need, and for individuals with hands-on experience and coding knowledge who have earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a natural career would be as an accounting software developer. Such individuals use their in-depth knowledge of matters related to finance, taxes, investing and more to conceptualize, build and test software for any number of accounting purposes, such as assisting individuals with filing their taxes or helping small-business owners prepare a profit-and-loss statement. They will most often work for technology companies, though they may also be hired by very large corporations to maintain their proprietary internal software.
Salary range: $65,000-$90,000
Cost estimators are responsible for estimating the overall cost of a potential project, including identifying factors such as materials, production time and labor, and developing estimates for the overall expense involved. They generally will specialize in a particular industry, such as construction, roadwork or manufacturing, and they may be asked to account for a variety of factors, such as weather, holidays, material availability and more, and adjust their estimates as needed. These individuals will need to consult with client representatives, vendors and internal staff to devise their estimates.
Salary range: $50,000-$75,000
Compensation and Benefits Manager
Compensation and benefits managers work within business, typically large corporations or organizations that have complex payroll, insurance and retirement plans, and they are responsible for setting the pay and benefits structure and determining wages and compensation plans. They must be knowledgeable about all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding pay, benefits and other related matters, and they will need to monitor broader trends throughout the economy and the specific industries their employers are part of. In some cases, they may focus more on one area, such as administering a retirement plan or determining pay structure.
Salary range: $80,000-$135,000
Logisticians are in charge of managing the entire lifecycle of goods or services, from its inception to how it’s distributed and delivered. They coordinate an organization’s supply chain to ensure efficient flow from the company to its consumers, including analyzing how a product is acquired or manufactured to how it gets to consumers and every step in between. They may be responsible for directing resources to ensure ideal flow of the supply chain, and they will make recommendations for strategies to minimize cost and maximize value. They most often will focus on a specific industry they have personal interest or experience in, such as electronics, household goods and more.
Salary range: $65,000-$95,000
A tax specialist is an accounting professional who focuses solely on one area — taxes. Depending on their employer, that could mean focusing on business taxes or individual income taxes, and tax specialists work year-round to ensure their employer or clients are maintaining good tax practices year-round. They may also be responsible for helping prepare and file tax returns for their employers. It’s important that they stay up-to-date on all legal and regulatory matters that impact taxes, and depending on their job, they may need to be well-educated in the tax regulations of foreign countries.
Salary range: $75,000-$100,000
Public accountants provide their employers or customers and clients with general accounting services, and depending on their specific job duties, they may be required to earn the Certified Public Accountant designation, though that generally requires more education than just a bachelor’s degree. Specific day-to-day duties for public accountants include things like conducting reviews of financial statements, tax returns and internal audit reports. In some cases, they may need to represent their employers or clients in matters before local, state and federal governments or revenue agencies, such as the IRS.
Salary range: $50,000-$75,000
Management analysts analyze financial data, internal processes and procedures and gather information about the general function of a company and advise leaders on steps to improve procedures and raise the bottom line. They will most often specialize in a particular area, such as corporate structure or supply chain management, or a particular industry, such as media or healthcare. Management analysts must be knowledgeable about all applicable laws and regulations as well as being communicators, as part of the job involves meeting with a variety of people within an organization, usually including top-level leadership as well as rank-and-file workers.
Salary range: $85,000-$100,000
A bachelor’s degree in accounting is a good first step to becoming a Certified Public Accountant, which is a popular job title for many people with a passion for accounting. But even if that’s not a person’s ideal path, earning an accounting degree provides a very solid foundation for a diverse array of possible job titles.
- Salary information was gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale.com and Indeed.com.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accountants and Auditors. (2019.) Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm