What Is a Typical Accountant Salary?
An accountant salary is always quite good, but varies depending on the job title, level of responsibility and your years of experience. For instance, the average salary for the job title "Accountant" in Chicago is $46,300, while a Senior Accountant earns around $58,900, according to cbsalary.com. But, normally, those classified by that title are fairly new graduates, holding a Bachelor's degree with minimal work experience. At the same time, the average compensation for a CPA in the same market is $62,500 for the same basic background. As the level of responsibility increases, accounting salaries follow closely. A Controller in the Chicago area earns an average of $86,200, but earning the title assumes at least some solid experience in the field.
If auditing interests you, you can expect to earn around $57,400 as an Auditor with limited experience. As you gain experience, you'll find that your accountant salary will increase. An Auditing Manager earns around $81,400 in the Chicago area market. A similar category, Bank Examiner, earns around $48,900 early in his/her career. A newly-titled Financial Analyst earns an average of $51,700, while Senior Financial Analysts earn around $71,600. Should you reach the pinnacle of accountant titles -- Chief Financial Officer (CFO) -- your average earnings will be around $127,900 or higher.
As noted, responsibility level and experience bring direct financial rewards and can increase an average accountant salary. Remember, the data shown is applicable to the Chicago area. Geography also has a large influence on compensation. For instance, if you are working in a large city on either coast, such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, your accountant salary could be 20 percent to 50 percent more than in Chicago. Other mid-continent large cities, such as Dallas, Houston or St. Louis, will bring salaries similar to Chicago numbers. On the other hand, other cities in the southern United States and smaller areas usually mean compensation between 10 percent and 30 percent lower than the levels noted. However, the reduced cost-of-living in these areas still allow for a rewarding professional career in accounting.