Accountant positions fall under two broad payscale standard occupations: budget accountants and billing accountants. Each type performs essential accounting functions which provide corporate management and individuals with a complete accurate picture of cash flow, tax liability, costs analysis, invoicing and dozens of other items of information so that proper business and personal decisions can be made.
The median annual salary for accountants in the United States ranges from just over £26,650 for people with less than a year of experience to just short of £30,550 for people with 20 or more years of service.
Accountant salaries vary widely by type of accounting job. Junior account clerks earn an average of £16,445, while corporate treasurers pull in over £68,250 per year.
Accreditation within the financial community frequently leads to increased income. Accountants who hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation can command higher pay rates than accountants who do not.
According to the federal government's Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2009, most accounting jobs will require at least a bachelor's degree, but the most lucrative jobs will go to those with a master's degree or higher (see Resources).
The Occupational Outlook Handbook anticipates faster than average growth in the accountant job market due in part to changing financial regulations and the need for greater scrutiny of company finances.