Non-profit organizations rely on their bookkeepers to help them stay within their budgets, which is critical to their being able to serve their clients. If you’re considering working at a non-profit organization as a bookkeeper, you will want to know what kind of salary you can expect to help you make your decision.
There is mixed evidence about whether non-profits pay more or less than for-profits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in January 2016. The BLS reports that management, professional, and related workers earn less than service workers in non-profits, and that there is wage parity between the two industries for sales and office workers. Total compensation as a pay measure shows that there is parity between non-profits and for-profits for management, professional, and related workers and for sales and office workers, but nonprofit service workers have the upper hand in total compensation.
If you categorize bookkeepers as office workers, you can expect that you will earn a wage that is about the same in the non-profit industry versus the for-profit world. Total compensation would also be about the same.
Nonprofit employer compensation costs per employee hour for sales and office workers, as of March 2014, was $16.57 hourly for sales and office workers, and $24.71 for total compensation. For for-profits, sales and office worker employer compensation costs per employee hour was $16.25 hourly and $22.64 for total compensation. The availability of health and retirement benefits, as of March 2014, for sales and office workers stood at 81 percent in the non-profit industry, but this was just 68 percent for for-profit employers.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary of a bookkeeper is $16.92 per hour. This salary is based on nearly 18,100 salaries submitted to Indeed by users and employees, as well as past and current job advertisements over the previous three years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for bookkeepers was $39,240 annually, or $18.87 per hour, as of May 2017. The lowest 10 percent earned an hourly wage of $11.83, while the 90th percentile earned an average of $29.17 per hour, or $60,670 per year. The average annual salary was $41,110 per year, or $19.76 per hour.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not offer information on the salary of a bookkeeper in the non-profit industry, non-profit employers in the Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals industry, had an hourly mean wage of $20.05, or $41,000 per year. Those in the for-profit Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services industry earned an average of $19.84 per hour, or $41,290 per hour.
Those in the federal government Postal Office Industry earned $65,100 per year, on average, or $31.30 per hour. This was the highest-paying industry recorded by the BLS, and the fifth highest-paying industry was Scientific Research and Development Services at $23.69 per hour, on average, or $49,270.
While the size of the non-profit, its budget, location, your education and experience level, and other factors will impact your salary as a nonprofit, you can generally expect a salary that is close to that of a for-profit employer.