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Excerpted from the United States Career Guide

Experience and advanced financial skills are once again in high demand in many US employment markets. Those professionals who took advantage of the recession to add to their skills repertoire, particularly by adding an MBA or advanced IT degree, are finding the job search much easier now that employers are selectively hiring financial talent who can bring more to the table. Employers are increasingly seeking specialization, both in industry and financial function, in new hires.

Areas of Job Promise

  • Tax professionals: Demand for tax professionals with various levels of experience is surging as the economy recovers, with more than a quarter of firms having trouble filling open positions, according to a recent survey by the market research firm CPA Trendlines. Major accounting firms and corporations are increasing hiring. Part of the problem is a lack of supply. In particular demand are mid-career professionals who can serve as mentors to less-experienced colleagues. New graduates should not delay taking their CPA exams. Although many work long hours especially during tax season, tax managers with five to seven years of experience can earn 125,000 to 150,000 USD a year, while tax directors are paid 200,000 to 300,000 USD, and sometimes more.

  • Research: Increased advisor oversight and SEC probes and inquiries are creating a need for more research positions. Asset managers are also seeking new research people.


Among new graduates, the average salary for accounting majors is 50,500 USD, an increase of almost 4 percent. Starting positions in tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services average salaries of 47,050 USD. However, the highest-paying jobs for accounting majors are in securities, commodities and financial investments, where starting salaries average 53,910 USD. Economics majors earn even more, with salaries averaging 54,400 USD, up 6.3 percent.

Organizations and Trade Associations

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
The AICPA is the premier national professional association for CPAs in the United States and is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession. It has nearly 386,000 members in 128 countries. It established national auditing and reporting standards, prepares and grades the Uniform CPA examination and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who pursue designated accounting subspecialties. Members work in many sectors of the business and financial services profession, including public accounting, tax, business and industry, law, consulting, education and government. The AICPA publishes the Journal of Accountancy, The Tax Advisor, the AICPA Insights blog and several informational newsletters each month, conducts industry research, presents continuing education programs and surveys CPA practices. The AICPA Career Center allows users to search the online AICPA classifieds, post résumés, review company profiles and build mentoring relationships. Members can assess their personal strengths and skill development needs with online articles and surveys, and peruse other career-related resources such as a salary guide and career advancement articles.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-8775
Tel: +1 (212) 596-6200
Fax: +1 (212) 596-6213
Email: service@aicpa.org

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete United States Guide.

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