A career in accounting requires at least a 4-year bachelor degree in business or accounting, or finance. For positions requiring administration, larger corporations desire management or specializations then a Master degree or PHD in accounting.
A certified public accountant is a license that confers the designation of CPA and a minimum of a Bachelor degree with 24 credit hours of concentration in auditing, financial accounting, or management accounting. Those requirements may also be met by a professional in their advanced Degree such as a Master Degree with 24 credit hours in financial accounting, management accounting, taxation, or a PHD with concentration in accounting. In addition to those requirements, a CPA must successfully pass a licensing examination.
However, a CPA license is not required for lucrative accounting jobs the designation signals mastery and opens of accounting jobs with potential for advancement and better compensation as well as the potential to set up their own public accounting businesses.
A job accounting for resources or money (both incoming and outgoing) can be found with the state, city, or federal government and although these may not be the accounting jobs with the most potential for advancement they are certainly well paid and stable. A job accounting in private industry including auditing or management accounting is a growing job market with plenty of room for advancement. Non-profit accounting jobs perhaps may be less well paid but still reasonably well compensated with the added inducement of being able to work for a favorite nonprofit cause.
Specializations within accounting jobs are common and many certificates and professional organizations exist to keep the accountant current with their chosen specialization. Tax accountants or Auditors have their own organizations and certifications available and certification though not required for many accounting jobs is a plus for the resume and helpful in keeping continuing education requirements up to date.
Theoretically, an accounting clerk holds an accounting job but the compensation for this position is low compared to that for a job accounting, which requires a 4-year degree. The greater the degree of specialization the job accounting requires, the better the compensation usually. An accountant seeking a job should highlight any specializations or certifications they hold as many of these are in demand.
Accounting job conditions are normally indoor work with little traveling required, exceptions to that may be a job accounting management level or that of an internal auditor for an organization who regularly audits various branches of a corporation.
An Accounting job at the federal level requires a 4-year degree and is usually a civil servant job, which requires the civil service test for consideration. However, accounting jobs for private industry and nonprofit organizations can be found through the newspaper, online by searches or registering at corporate sites, word of mouth through friends and even with startup companies.
A graduate with a 4-year degree in accounting with no certifications will still have many job opportunities available to them. Networking with other professionals and through professional interest specialization sites can be an excellent way to find a hidden job accounting. Not all positions in this industry are advertised publically.
The tax accountant or auditing accountant have specialized skills, true but can accept job accounting on the general level as well which gives them more choices in today's global market. Many graduates are beginning their own businesses as well in accounting. The income for a personal accounting consultant is equal to that of one employed in a medium sized company but the fringe benefits may be lacking.
Whatever a job seeker's specialty in accounting is there is a bright future and stable job outlook ahead because there is one thing surer than death and taxes and that is; someone must do the work of accounting for currency and goods and projecting shortfalls and profits over any cycle in any business, whether it is profit or non-profit.