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How Much Does an Accountant Make?

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Median annual Accountant salary

Accountants, who maintain and analyze financial records and data, earn a median annual salary of $78,000. Salaries vary considerably, however. For instance, the bottom 10% earn less than $48,560 annually, while the top 10% earn $132,690 or more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Salaries are based on many factors, including location.

Accountants and Auditors
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Median Hourly Wage$38

Job growth4.4%

Total Employment1,402,420

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $63,120 $44,340 $110,780
Alaska $77,540 $50,530 $119,760
Arizona $76,690 $48,170 $128,490
Arkansas $62,260 $39,660 $104,640
California $83,640 $56,410 $146,110
Colorado $79,290 $49,960 $133,350
Connecticut $80,410 $54,550 $129,700
Delaware $77,460 $49,090 $127,550
District of Columbia $102,060 $64,040 $164,090
Florida $73,350 $43,430 $127,540
Georgia $76,400 $45,930 $136,270
Hawaii $65,150 $49,000 $103,020
Idaho $63,730 $43,990 $103,120
Illinois $75,800 $48,290 $130,870
Indiana $71,080 $46,430 $115,270
Iowa $63,940 $46,340 $104,620
Kansas $70,170 $47,540 $106,900
Kentucky $64,860 $43,430 $105,280
Louisiana $63,860 $40,150 $104,020
Maine $72,310 $50,530 $110,150
Maryland $80,500 $49,770 $134,750
Massachusetts $83,030 $60,040 $140,160
Michigan $73,160 $48,270 $114,400
Minnesota $76,200 $49,890 $128,250
Mississippi $59,420 $34,940 $107,070
Missouri $64,340 $38,400 $122,570
Montana $68,460 $45,030 $106,090
Nebraska $65,100 $43,940 $107,070
Nevada $63,160 $36,920 $100,970
New Hampshire $76,540 $50,010 $114,490
New Jersey $95,770 $63,250 $144,970
New Mexico $63,640 $45,360 $104,000
New York $99,090 $59,490 $175,940
North Carolina $77,030 $48,890 $133,340
North Dakota $63,690 $42,850 $102,490
Ohio $72,740 $46,280 $118,080
Oklahoma $73,190 $46,170 $115,430
Oregon $75,310 $50,340 $115,000
Pennsylvania $72,730 $46,240 $120,740
Rhode Island $82,690 $52,020 $139,980
South Carolina $64,480 $43,330 $108,190
South Dakota $67,350 $51,680 $100,900
Tennessee $64,220 $44,840 $104,750
Texas $78,020 $49,350 $130,120
Utah $69,100 $40,090 $124,690
Vermont $68,530 $47,600 $107,850
Virginia $79,880 $49,370 $135,060
Washington $81,180 $60,060 $131,760
West Virginia $65,240 $44,110 $101,800
Wisconsin $72,210 $49,340 $108,450
Wyoming $66,920 $44,990 $113,470

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

In this Article

Highest-paying metropolitan areas for accountants

Location can influence how much you'll earn as an accountant. The 10 metropolitan areas with the highest annual median salaries for the field are located primarily on the East and West coasts and tend to be in densely populated areas.

The difference in wages can be significant: Median salaries in the top 10 metro areas are between $13,000 and $22,000 higher than the median wage for the U.S. overall. 

Metro Area Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $103,580
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $101,820
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $100,450
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $94,530
Trenton, NJ $91,410
Napa, CA $88,850
Parkersburg-Vienna, WV $87,300
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $84,810
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $84,690
Boulder, CO $84,090

How does an accountant's salary compare to similar occupations?

Here's a look at how median salaries for accountants compare to similar professions that require comparable education, according to the BLS.

Career Median Annual Salary
Accountants and Auditors $78,000
Budget Analysts $82,260
Personal Financial Advisors $95,390
Financial Managers $139,790

Factors that influence Accountant pay

Aside from location, there are several other factors that can play a role in your salary. You may want to consider how they will affect your career—not just now, but also in the future.

Initially, your education and becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) will have the biggest influence on your salary, said Angel Chatterton, a senior instructor of accountancy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a CPA herself.

"Starting out, it's definitely the CPA and your education," she said. "As you get more experience, it's going to be the experience factor and your industry." 


Having more education will often play a role in which positions you qualify for, and as a result, what you will earn.

For example, an associate degree can prepare you for a job as a bookkeeper or accounting clerk, roles that the BLS states have an annual median salary of $45,860. 


Accountants with experience often are rewarded with higher salaries. In addition to seniority, taking continuing education courses can help you qualify for a promotion into management or leadership and boost your pay.


Becoming a CPA can increase your earning power. Not only do CPAs typically draw a higher salary than other accountants they also stand out, both to clients and potential employers, as professionals at the top of their field. Many CPAs have a master's degree in accounting or a master's in business administration (MBA) with a focus on accounting.


The top-paying industry for accountants is transportation. Here's a look at median annual salaries for three of the top-paying industries.

  • Pipeline transportation: $123,230
  • Information services: $112,900
  • Computer manufacturing: $123,210


Having a specialty beyond the CPA designation can also help boost your salary potential. A sample of these certifications include:

Job outlook for Accountants

Jobs in accounting will grow by 4.4% through 2032, just under the rate for jobs overall, according to the BLS. Demand may be particularly strong in international trade and technology.

Globalization will require accountants with expertise in international business and fields such as mergers and acquisitions, according to the BLS. Complex tax laws and regulations also will drive demand for accountants.

Jobs in accounting will grow by 4.4% through 2032, according to the BLS, and demand may be particularly strong in international trade and technology.

Chatterton agrees that accounting should continue to see strong growth and points to steady demand shown in U.S. labor reports. Accounting is generally a "recession-proof type of job. It's one of the last things that an entity will cut," she said. 

mj grenzow

Written and reported by:

M.J. Grenzow

Contributing Writer

angel chatterton

With professional insights from:

Angel Chatterton

Senior Instructor of Accountancy, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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