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Add up the options available with accounting careers

Add up all the opportunities the study of accounting can lead to and you get the solution for an exciting career!

In Jackson College's accounting program, students learn how businesses track their income and assets over time. It is the language of commerce and important to a variety of fields, from business and industry to government, education, entertainment, even the legal system. As the marketplace continues to grow, expand and diversify, accounting jobs are more varied than ever before.

“No matter what the time, accounting as a career always holds its own,” said Suzanne Kiess, accounting professor. “All fields have a need for accountants at some level.”

Those who think of accounting as strictly a “numbers-cruncher” field should realize the job requires individuals with a variety of characteristics and personality types. Accounting is critical to business success, and while logical and analytical skills are important, today’s accounting professionals must have good interpersonal skills and be able to communicate well. For more information on the accounting professions, click here:

“You have to be able to communicate and interact with others,” Kiess said. “You will be working as part of a team more than you may think.”

Accounting careers differ depending on the level of schooling a person receives.

  • Certificate in accounting – bookkeeper, accounts receivable/accounts payable clerk, payroll clerk, inventory clerk. Salaries range from $20,000 to $30,000 annually.
  • Associate degree in accounting – accounts payable manager, payroll manager, investment analyst. Salaries range from $28,000 to $40,000.
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting – public accountant, payroll supervisor, private industry accountant. Salaries range from $38,500 to $78,000.
  • Master’s degree in accounting – tax manager, controller, professor. Salaries range from $50,000 to $110,000.
(Source: Salary data displayed here has been collected from the Robert Half 2008 Salary Guide for Accounting & Finance available at and from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics at

Those transferring to a four-year university after community college may be interested in becoming a certified public accountant, a bachelor’s degree that now requires about 150 credit hours of study. Bachelor-degreed accountants are sought after in business, and many are able to advance by combining their financial knowledge with vision and leadership ability.

“Accounting gives you a good understanding of how a business operates,” Kiess said.


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