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Government Accounting Degree & Career Guide


Most people would rather face the executioner than receive a notification letter from the Internal Revenue Service that states, "You're being audited." So, with all the accounting degrees and accounting programs available in the scheme of number-crunching careers, why would you want to become a feared IRS or government accountant? Well, there are many good reasons to consider a government accounting degree or a government auditor degree position—first and foremost: stability and opportunity.

What Is Government Accounting?

As a government accountant or auditor, you'll work primarily in the public sector to maintain and examine the records of government agencies, as well as audit private businesses or sole proprietors whose business transactions are subject to government regulations. With a government accounting degree, you'll be employed by federal, state or local governments, making sure that revenues are received and expenses are reported and recorded in accordance with laws and regulations. You also might work as an Internal Revenue Service agent, an actuary, in financial management or in budget analysis and administration.

Government Accounting Degree & Career Overview

Required Education for Governmental Accounting

Government accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelors degree in accounting or a related field. Beginning accounting and auditing positions in the federal government usually require four years of college or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Some employers prefer a master's degree in accounting or a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Some universities and colleges are now offering programs to prepare students to work in growing specialty professions, such as internal auditing.

Government Accountant Salary

Government accountants are part of the larger field of accountants and auditors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics, the median national annual salary for accountants and auditors is $78,000. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Required Skills

People seeking a government accounting degree should have an aptitude for mathematics and be able to analyze, compare and interpret facts and figures quickly. They must be able to clearly communicate both verbally and in writing and must be good at working with people, business systems and computers.

Places government accountants work

Government agencies and government-affiliated corporations and companies and law enforcement agencies.

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