If you want to pursue a career as an accounting assistant, you'll encounter an evolving job market. New technology has changed the way accounting assistants perform essential financial recording tasks. Consequently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects reduced demand for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks through 2028. However, despite the projected decline in employment, professionals can take advantage of an influx of job openings as workers leave the field.

Use this guide to explore how to land a job as an accounting assistant. You can also learn the average salary of an accounting assistant and top states for accounting assistants when it comes to pay rates.

How Much Do Accounting Assistants Make?

Median Salary

How much does an accounting assistant make? An accounting assistant's salary depends on many variables. College experience, career background, and location all influence pay. Salaries also vary depending on an accounting assistant's employer and industry. Bookkeepers, accountants, and auditing clerks earned a median annual salary of $40,240 in 2018, according to the BLS. Browse more detailed career information below.

Salary by Experience

As you gain accounting experience, you will probably gain more responsibility and a bigger paycheck. An entry-level accounting assistant starts at an hourly salary of about $14.51, while a professional with 10-19 years of experience can make $17.63. Although actual salaries differ, the chart below highlights detailed projections of the average salary of an accounting assistant by experience level.

Experience Salary
Entry Level (0-12 Months) $14.51 an hour
Early Career (1-4 Years) $15.47 an hour
Mid Career (5-9 Years) $17 an hour
Experienced (10-19 Years) $17.63 an hour

Salary by Degree

With a higher degree, data shows that an accounting assistant's salary increases. Professionals with a bachelor's degree typically take home larger salaries than accounting assistants with only an associate degree. This is not to say that earning a higher degree is the only way to increase your salary. View the table below for more salary information by education level.

Accounting Assistant Salaries

Bachelor's Degree

Median Salary: $69,000

Master's Degree

Median Salary: $91,000

Career Path Salaries

A career as an accounting assistant can be a stepping stone to high-level positions. Ambitious working professionals can earn higher salaries through promotions. Here are some common upward career trajectories for accounting assistants and their average salaries.

Potential Next Step Salary
Staff Accountant $50,000
Accountant $51,000
Accounting Manager $70,000

What Are the Top States for Accounting Assistant Pay?

Location influences an accounting assistant's salary. Below you can explore the top locations for accounting assistants in terms of pay rates. While certain states pay more according to BLS data, keep in mind that other factors also influence salary.

  • District of Columbia

    Annual Mean Wage: $54,970

  • Alaska

    Annual Mean Wage: $48,640

  • Connecticut

    Annual Mean Wage: $47,890

  • California

    Annual Mean Wage: $47,750

  • Massachusetts

    Annual Mean Wage: $47,020

What Are the Top Industries for Accounting Assistant Pay?

Education, location, industry, and experience all affect how much an accounting assistant earns. Accounting assistants work in a variety of different settings, including accounting, real estate, and management companies or in local government. Here are a few of the top industries for accounting assistants.

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services $42,960
Management of Companies and Enterprises $43,160
Local Government, Excluding Schools and Hospitals $43,130
Real Estate $43,050
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities $41,160

Are Accounting Assistants in Demand?

Historical Career Growth

In 2016, the top states with the highest concentration of bookkeepers, accountants, and accounting clerks included California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Ohio. All states except California increased jobs in accounting from 2016-2018.

State 2016 2018
Texas 125,140 131,250
New York 115,270 104,580
Florida 94,170 97,300

Future Career Growth

The BLS doesn't project significant long-term career growth for some accounting jobs. However, many states should see significant growth in accounting employment on a short-term basis. The top five states with projected job increases through 2019 include:

  • Arizona with a 6.9% increase
  • Utah with a 6.4% increase
  • Georgia with a 5.6% increase
  • Nevada with a 5.3% increase
  • North Carolina with a 5% increase

Top States for Job Growth

Despite changes in the accounting field that could result in employment cuts, Projections Central projects accounting jobs to increase by 10% through 2026. Other states with notable projected increases in jobs for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks include:

Arizona

4.1% Change from 2016-2026

Utah

3.9% Change from 2016-2026

Georgia

3.8% Change from 2016-2026

Nevada

3.6% Change from 2016-2026

Washington

3.3% Change from 2016-2026

How Do Accounting Assistants Compare to Other Accounting Careers?

Salaries differ depending on your accounting job title. Accounting assistants primarily perform administrative tasks. They typically hold an associate degree or a bachelor's and make an average annual salary of $40,022, according to PayScale. Compare that to financial clerks, who typically only have high school diplomas and make a median annual salary of $39,570.

On the higher side, accountants and auditors -- who usually hold at least a bachelor's degree -- make a median annual salary of $70,500. Different positions in accounting also project different growth rates. While the BLS projects that jobs for accounting clerks will decline through 2028, jobs for accountants and auditors are projected to grow 6%. This growth is on pace with other careers.

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Learn More About Accounting Assistant Salaries and Job Growth

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics The BLS provides national occupational information, including statistics on accounting assistants and state-by-state salary estimates.
  • CareerOneStop Using information from the U.S. Department of Labor's sources, CareerOneStop provides career-specific information on salaries and educational and skill requirements. The website also offers a database for job searchers and access to training opportunities.
  • PayScale This website provides information about what accounting assistants can expect to get paid based on their experience, education level, and location. Prospective employees can also enter their personal information to get a personalized salary report.
  • Projections Central This website allows users to explore short-term and long-term career growth projections in the accounting field. Data collected on the Projections Central website comes from information provided by state employment security agencies, the BLS, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Current Employment Statistics CES provides national employment and salary projections based on its monthly survey of businesses. The website allows users to search employment databases and explore historical growth in specific industries.