Introduction

Over 1,000 licensed CPA firms service the nearly 6 million residents of this densely populated New England state. In fact, Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the nation in terms of individual wealth — as of 2013, 7.7% of state residents were millionaires and Maryland’s median household income was $73,538. No other state comes close in terms of per capita wealth.

It’s no surprise that four Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Maryland, nor that all of the “Big Four” international CPA firms (Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Pricewaterhousecoopers and Ernst & Young) maintain offices in the state. Proximity to Washington, D.C. creates employment opportunities for financial services specialists in government, industrial and technology sectors.

Accountants also find major opportunities working in Baltimore which happens to be the eighth largest port in the nation, through which commodities and materials like iron, sugar, fertilizers and petroleum travel through en route to the Midwest.

Maryland at a glance

Population 5,976,407
Per Capita Income $51,971
Unemployment Rate 5.4%
Fortune 500 Companies 4
Licensed CPA Firms 1,087

Accounting Programs in Maryland

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Maryland, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Maryland accountants and auditors can anticipate an 8.9% percent rise in employment between 2012 and 2022, leading to over 31,000 potential positions. While this growth rate is somewhat slower than national averages, job opportunities are available in growing regional firms as SC&H Group Inc., Watkins Meegan, Aronson, and Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman.

Maryland’s accountants also earn a far higher average wage than their peers in other states. Annual wages range between $43,600 and $135,660 in this robust economy. Top-paying cities for accountants in Maryland include Cumberland, Baltimore and the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick metropolitan area.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

28,660 Employees2012
31,230 Employees2022
Maryland 8.2% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Maryland Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

$43,600
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

$43,800
$39,850

Credit Counselors

$48,550
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

$71,020
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$60,740
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Tax Examiners and Collectors

$60,740
$72,500

Accountants and Auditors

$80,360
$72,560

Budget Analysts

$83,770
$99,920

Personal Financial Advisors

$106,150
$107,740

Actuaries

$
$126,660

Financial Managers

$135,660
$0
Source: BLS OES

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick MD Metropolitan Division
    $89,710
  2. Baltimore-Towson, MD
    $76,670
  3. Cumberland MD-WV
    $61,310
  4. Hagerstown-Martinsburg MD-WV
    $61,290
  5. Salisbury MD
    $59,070
Source: OES Data Tool

Major firms headquartered in Maryland

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1SC&H Group Inc.Sparks, MD$58
2Watkins MeeganBethesda, MD$49
3AronsonRockville, MD$49
4Gelman, Rosenberg & FreedmanBethesda, MD$22
5Ellin & Tucker CharteredBaltimore, MD$19
6Calibre CPA GroupBethesda, MD$18
7Gross MendelsohnBaltimore, MD$17
8Smith Elliott Kearns & Co.Hagerstown, MD$17
9KatzAboschTimonium, MD$15

Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting today "Top 100 Firms"

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Maryland

Maryland residents interested in sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination administered by NASBA must meet the requirements listed below. In addition to initial certification, Maryland supports the transfer of grades policy as well as reciprocal licensure. The list of schools ranked by CPA Exam pass rates below show a variety of colleges and universities in the state with top CPA Exam passing rates.

Candidates who are not successful in their first attempt to pass all four sections of the exam within the designated 18 month period may apply to take the CPA Exam again; a fairly common practice.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Maryland

In order to sit for the NASBA Uniform CPA Exam in Maryland, candidates must fulfill the requirements listed below:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Complete the 150 hour educational requirement
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree or be within 120 of receiving the degree
  • Earn 51 credit hours in accounting and related subjects
  • Take the ethics course and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure
  • Complete 1 year of practical work experience
Age Requirement18
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including B.A.)
Participates in International ProgramsNo
Hours in AccountingStudents should have at least 51 semester hours in accounting courses, including a baccalaureate degree or higher degree that the Board equates to a major in accounting from an accredited institution of higher education.
Exam Sitting RequirementsB.A. Degree (120 hours) in accounting or its equivalent.
Experience Requirements1 year of practical work experience that is obtained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice
Ethics ExamMust pass AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure

Ensure that your coursework satisfies Maryland’s CPA licensure requirements by filling out this core course inventory worksheet.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Maryland

Total:$827
  • Application Fee $67
  • Auditing & Attestation $200
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $200
  • Regulation $180
  • Business Environment & Concepts $180

Special Fees: A license fee of $22 after successfully passing the exam. $67 for a reciprocity application, $67 for transfer of grades application.

Schools Ranked by CPA Pass Rates, 2014

RankLogoSchool NameCandidatesPass RateAverage Score

Schools are ranked by pass rate unless otherwise noted. Results are comprised of scores from both first-time test takers and those returning to take the whole exam or specific sections of it again. Source: National State Boards of Accountancy

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy is a regulatory body that qualifies and licenses those individuals and firms who want to practice public accounting. Not only can the Board suspend or revoke licenses and investigate complaints, but also provide the information necessary to apply for and sit for the CPA Exam.

Anyone interested in becoming certified can join the Maryland Association of CPAs, a state professional organization that supports Maryland CPAs by providing networking opportunities, professional advocacy information, continuing professional education as well as additional member benefits.

Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy

Address

500 N. Calvert Street 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone Number

(410) 230-3680

Maryland Association of CPAs

Address

901 Dulaney Valley Road, Ste. 710
Towson, MD 21204

Phone Number

(443) 632-2320

Email

rebekah@macpa.org