Accountants perform a variety of duties, such as looking closely at financial statements to make sure they are precise and follow any applicable laws and regulations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also calculate how much in taxes an organization or individual owes, and they prepare taxes and make sure they are paid correctly. They also make sure records are organized, up to date, and efficient.
The mean hourly wage was $36.89 for accountants, and the average annual salary was $76,730, as of May 2016, according to the BLS. The 10th percentile earned $20.26 per hour, or $42,140 per year. The median earned $32.76 per hour, or $68,150, and the 90th percentile earned $58.13 per hour, or $120,910 per year.
Salary by Industry
Find a job working in Other Investment Pools and Funds if you want to work in the highest-paying industry for accountants, where the hourly mean wage was $49.01, or $101,950 per year. The Securities and Commodity Exchanges industry came in second place at $46.21 per hour, or $96,120 per year. The third highest-paying industry was the Federal Executive Branch, where the hourly mean wage was $46.07, or $95,810 per year. The next on the list was the Security and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage industry, and the hourly average wage was $45.99, or $95,660 per year. The fifth highest-paying industry was Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil at $44.65 per hour, on average, or $92,880 per year.
Salary by State
New York was the highest-paying state for accountants, where the hourly mean wage was $44.85, or $93,280 per year. Head south to the District of Columbia if you want to earn an average of $44.81 per hour, or $93,210 per year. New Jersey paid the third-highest salary for accountants: $42.76 per hour, on
average, or $88,940 per year. Virginia accountants earned an average of $40.09 per hour, or $83,380 per year. California paid an average of $39.72 per hour to accountants, or $82,620 per year.
Salary by Metro Area
California held the top two spots for the highest-paying metro areas for accountants in the country. San Rafael, CA was in first place with an hourly mean wage of $56.03 per hour, or $116,530 per year, on average. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA was in second place at $48.59 per hour, on average, or $101,070 per year. New York-Jersey City – White Plains, NY-NJ held third place at $47.35 per hour, or $98,480 per year, on average. Salinas, CA was in fourth place at $44.47 per hour, on average, or $92,500 per year.
Salary by Non-Metro Area
The southwest Idaho non-metro area held the highest spot for accountants in non-metro areas with an hourly mean wage of $42.90, or $89,230 per year. The Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard non-metro area paid an average of $41.21 per hour, or $85,720 per year. The southeast Alaska non-metro area paid an average of $39.92 per hour, or $83,020 per year. The Balance of Alaska non-metro area paid an average of $39.66 per hour, or $82,490 per year