CPA Salaries – How Much Does A CPA Make?


Asking about CPA salaries is a valid question to ask, especially by those who are considering pursuing accounting degrees. After all, their whole lives will surely be affected by their career choice, which is why it never hurts to think about their options even before they actually become certified public accountants. This article will serve as an unofficial CPA salary guide for you to know how much CPA salaries are, at least on average.

Difference between an accountant’s salary and CPA salaries

What’s great about this profession is that there will always be a demand for accountants, regardless of what the industry is. It is in fact one of the most stable and in-demand careers out there, especially since there seems to be a permanent shortage when it comes to this profession.

As several surveys have shown, accountants that have gotten their certification have reported receiving substantially higher salaries compared to those who don’t. As such, making the extra effort to get the certification will pay off in the end, with even beginning CPAs receiving $10,000 more than those who aren’t certified. Senior CPAs can even demand practically twice the same amount that the accountants without certification are making. However, on average, CPAs are known to get 10% more than those without certification.

How Much are the Starting CPA Salaries?

As you probably know, certified public accountants are some of the most highly paid people out there, and even those who have just freshly graduated and gotten their certifications are eligible to ask for a hefty pay check. Starting CPAs can have an average salary between $39,400 to $51,000 annually. However, this number is somewhat relative, as the amount may or may not include commissions, profit sharing, and other sources for compensation.

CPA Salaries

How Much is the Salary of  a Senior Certified Public Accountant?

Senior certified public accountants get the best part of the deal, as they are the ones who can actually demand a large pay check. For example, those who are at the senior level (that is, CPA’s who have 4 to 6 years of experience) can command any amount between $47,750 to $75,500 annually if they’re working for a small company, and $69,750 $167,250 annually if they’re working for large firms. Officers, such as the Chief Financial Officer, can demand for almost $400,000 annually if they’re part of large corporations, while those who are working for smaller organizations can demand as much as $182,250. On the other hand, the Corporate Controller can demand between $81,750 to $138,750 for small to medium-sized companies, or $125,500 to $206,750, if they’re from large companies.

Do note that accountants, like other professions, may get behind in terms of salaries the longer they stay with the company. As such, accountants who want to earn bigger pay checks usually jump to other companies instead of staying with their old one. Alternatively, you can also get further education to help make demands for higher salaries from the firm that you’re working for.

Certainly, the amount of CPA salaries will ultimately depend on how much the CPA firms will be giving their employees. The amount of experience and the level of education can also impact how much you will be getting in this line of profession. The geographic location and revenue of the employer may also affect the amount of salaries given to employees. Even so, this article can be used as a guide to give you a rough idea on how much a certified public accountant earns to help you determine whether this is a good career choice for you or not, or if you want to find out if you’re getting the amount of money that you should be earning given your experience and training.

Check out this awesome video that discusses CPA salaries in depth.

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