Succeeding in today’s job market takes more than the usual amount of careful planning. While everyone of course wants to follow their heart and do something with their lives they can be proud of, you must join that with a bit of pragmatism or risk joining the millions of other out of work graduates in the unemployment line. There are just too many highly-qualified individuals willing to take a step back into an entry-level position, so you must bring that same level of passion and dedication to seeking your own entry-level job. If you are good at math and have a keen mind for business, you’ll do well for yourself going into accounting. As a career it gets a bad rap, with most people thinking it consists solely of unending hours in solitary confinement with a calculator and reams of paperwork. But that isn’t always the case. Experienced accountants can work for the FBI or the IRS, can testify in a courtroom or handle billions of dollars in assets as the CFO for an international company. But you’ve got to put the time in on the low levels first, so here is a look at some of the best entry-level jobs in accounting.
The first place to look is for a position as an accountant. Even though you will be the lowest rung on the totem pole, accountants are always in demand. Regulations change almost every year, so new graduates come out of school with the most accurate information on hand. Every single business in every single industry employs accountants. It’s an absolute must for making a company work. So you should be able to find an entry-level position fairly easily, even in a rough economy. And since mid-level accountants often either move up, start their own practice or are courted by larger companies, you’ll have a way to move up the ladder even when starting at an entry-level. You’ll only need a bachelor’s degree in accounting to do this work, and you’ll make between $45,000 and $55,000 straight out of school.
Another entry-level job for accounting graduates that is not quite as appealing is a position in accounts payable. The salary starts lower, somewhere around $35,000 a year, but you don’t even need a college degree to land these jobs. You’ll do the nuts and bolts of the accounting organization for a company, making sure everything runs smoothly and the books are kept accurate. These jobs are also frequently available even in down economies, especially since businesses cannot afford to lose money because of bookkeeping oversights.
If you have a degree in accounting or finance and are interested in continuing your education, consider finding work as an auditor. Professional auditors are up on all the federal compliance regulations for businesses, as well as how they change based on the political climate. Auditors help companies protect their investment, while also making sure no one is taken advantage of through fraudulent acts, intentional or otherwise. People may look at you with fear when you show up at the company, but respect will quickly follow if you do your job right. And you’ll earn at least $50,000 right out of college.
Finally, consider work as a mortgage underwriter. You’ll need your BA in finance, even though most of what you’ll be doing is looking over a bank’s standards for approving credit and deciding if those standards are being met by the client. You won’t have to earn your online MST or any further degree, and will also leave school immediately earning $50,000 a year. As you can see, even entry-level jobs in accounting pay more than a lot of experienced professionals make, and offer you many chances to move up within a corporation. Just make sure the entry-level job you choose provides that clear pathway up the ladder in the direction you would like to take your career. The applications of accounting are almost limitless, but you don’t want to waste your time going in the wrong direction.