Accounting Assistant Salary Guide

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Updated September 27, 2022 · 6 Min Read

An accounting assistant salary varies based on experience, education level, industry, and location. Explore typical salary ranges for these professionals.

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Accounting assistants, entry-level workers in the accounting field, offer administrative services to finance and accounting departments. For instance, they might help with bookkeeping, tax, and invoicing tasks.

Because these professionals assist others and require fewer educational credentials, accounting assistants typically earn a lower salary than accountants. However, through further experience or additional education, accounting assistants may be able to take on more responsibilities and earn higher salaries.

Use this guide to discover typical accountant assistant salaries and the factors influencing earning potential as you prepare for your career.

What Are Accountant Assistant Salaries?

Accounting Assistants

Average Annual Salary, August 2022
$43,080

Source: Payscale

As an entry-level career, accounting assistants typically earn lower salaries than other professionals in the field. However, with experience and further education, these workers may qualify for higher pay and more advanced positions such as accountant, auditor, loan officer, or budget analyst.

Location, industry, experience, and education may also affect an accounts assistant salary. For instance, Payscale data from August 2022 shows that entry-level professionals earn an average of $15.80/hour. However, those with 20 or more years of experience make $19.50/hour on average.

Accounting Assistant Pay by Education

Accounting assistant positions may not require education beyond a high school diploma. However, earning other credentials can increase career and salary opportunities.

The following table lists Payscale data that groups salary information for all professionals with these degrees or certifications — not just accounting assistants.

A degree or certification can verify accounting assistants' employable skills in areas like computer literacy and complex math. Candidates with advanced education may also stand out in the job application process.

Pursuing a certificate or degree can take time and money. Employers may allow accounting assistants to complete their education while employed, resulting in a potential salary increase upon completion. Other employers may even incentivize these pursuits with partial or full tuition reimbursement.

Salary by Experience

As accounting assistants gain career experience, their salaries typically increase. For example, the Payscale data below notes a $3.20/hour increase in average salary from entry-level accounting assistants to those with 10 or more years of experience.

Individuals considering this career should expect shifts in income over time based on the experience they gain on the job. For instance, excellent performance can lead to salary boosts. Also, accounting assistants who take on additional responsibilities or prove their skills in specific areas might receive bonuses or pay increases.

Salary by Location

Location can also influence an accounting assistant's salary. For the following data, we used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, a broad career category that includes accounting assistants.

Some states have a higher demand for these professionals than others, like California, which employs 170,580 annually. It is also one of the highest-paying states for these workers — they earn an average annual salary of $51,080.

Areas with dense populations and high costs of living also tend to pay more for accounting assistants. For example, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area of Connecticut pays an average salary of $54,710, higher than the median annual salary of $45,560 for this profession. However, Connecticut has a higher-than-average cost of living.

Top-Paying States for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, 2021
State Number of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks Employed Average Annual Salary
District of Columbia 2,800 $60,130
Massachusetts 39,740 $53,340
Washington 33,170 $51,460
California 170,580 $51,080
Connecticut 15,810 $51,050

Source: BLS

Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks Employed Average Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California 9,350 $59,750
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California 20,200 $58,670
Napa, California 770 $54,940
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut 3,890 $54,710
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Massachusetts/New Hampshire 29,130 $54,590

Source: BLS

Where Should I Work as an Accounting Assistant?

The BLS projects a 3% decline for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, a broad career category that includes accounting assistants. This could in part be due to technology, as software has automated many accounting assistant tasks, such as tax preparation, financial statement organization, and budgeting.

However, the BLS notes that accounting assistants' roles may change over time to accommodate these automation shifts. In the coming years, accounting assistants may take more control over financial analysis, reporting, and consulting.

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Change in Projected Employment from 2020 to 2030
-3%

Source: BLS

Best Areas

Some areas offer higher employment levels and salaries for accounting assistants. For example, California, Florida, New York, and Texas are among the highest-employing states for these professionals. Additionally, California, New York, and Texas host some of the top-employing metropolitan areas.

Some states with lower overall average annual openings, like Utah and Idaho, are among the states with the highest percentages for projected employment changes from 2020 to 2030. This lower total number of job openings is a reflection of their lower overall populations. New York, Texas, and Florida yield slightly lower percentages for projected employment rates, but have high yearly average openings and higher state populations.

The following tables include BLS data for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk careers, a broad category that includes accounting assistants.

Top-Employing States for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, 2021
State Number of Accounting Assistants Employed Average Annual Salary
California 170,580 $51,080
Texas 132,510 $43,550
Florida 92,730 $42,440
New York 88,400 $50,720
Pennsylvania 66,260 $44,470

Source: BLS

States With the Greatest Projected Increase in Employment for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, 2020-30
State Percent Projected Change, 2020-30 Average Annual Openings
Greatest Projected Percentage Increase
Utah 16.6% 2,090
Idaho 14.2% 1,270
New York 11.9% 13,070
Washington 11.2% 5,150
Alaska 11% 570
Most Projected Average Annual Openings
California 4.4% 21,460
Texas 8.9% 16,980
New York 11.9% 13,070
Florida 8.4% 12,200
West Virginia 6.8% 8,380

Source: Projections Central

Top-Employing Metropolitan Areas for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Accounting Assistants Employed Average Annual Salary
New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania 88,160 $52,810
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California 63,270 $50,470
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin 43,300 $47,800
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas 38,900 $45,610
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas 31,060 $44,990

Source: BLS

Best Industries

The following data about industry employment and average salaries uses BLS data for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, a broad career category that includes accounting assistants.

The accounting and bookkeeping industry employs the highest number of accounting assistants to help with accounting tasks. However, the government postal service pays these professionals the highest average annual salary. Accounting assistants can find work in highly diverse industries, like electric power generation, business management, and real estate.

Top-Paying Industries for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, 2021
Industry Number of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks Employed Average Annual Salary
Postal Service (Federal Government) 330 $70,350
Metal Ore Mining 150 $64,410
Support Activities for Water Transportation 680 $61,050
Monetary Authorities-Central Bank 460 $59,630
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 2,340 $57,720

Source: BLS

Top-Employing Industries for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, 2021
Industry Number of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks Employed Average Annual Salary
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services 102,170 $44,500
Management of Companies and Enterprises 84,410 $46,820
Local Government, Excluding Schools and Hospitals (OEWS Designation) 62,160 $46,760
Real Estate 49,610 $46,400
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 and 5223 only) 36,940 $44,220

Source: BLS

Questions About Accounts Assistant Salary

What do accounting assistants do?

Accounting assistants are entry-level professionals who do clerical work for accountants or accounting departments. Some of their most common duties include tracking expenses, organizing mail and documents, and creating financial reports.

Where is the best state to work as an accounting assistant?

BLS data from 2021 shows Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts pay the highest average bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk salaries. However, the average salary in California and New York — two of the top-employing states for this field — also exceed $50,000 per year.

What is the best industry to work in as an accounting assistant?

The BLS shows the federal postal service pays the highest average salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks at $70,350. Other industries, such as accounting and real estate, offer much higher employment numbers and average salaries above $44,000.

How much does an accounting assistant make in the USA?

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks nationwide is $45,560 as of 2021. An accounting assistant's additional credentials, experience, and work performance may increase salary. Income also varies by industry and location.

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