Bookkeeping is an excellent career choice for prospective employees who want to gain experience with the clerical side of accounting. Bookkeepers typically excel in math, navigating accounting software, and written and verbal communication.

While usually considered an entry-level position, bookkeeping can yield career mobility: Bookkeepers can advance through experience or education to become full-charge bookkeepers, staff accountants, and accountants. Read on to learn more about average bookkeeper salaries and U.S. job growth projections.

Learn More About a Career as a Bookkeeper

How Much Do Bookkeepers Make?

Median Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual bookkeeper salary is $40,240 per year, with a median hourly rate of $19.35. Bookkeeping salaries vary depending on the individual's education, level of experience, and location.

Salary by Experience

As bookkeepers gain experience, their salaries can increase. While details may vary by the employee's educational background and location, the table below shows average hourly pay rates for bookkeepers based on the level of experience they have working in the field.

Experience Salary
< 1 year $14.30 per hour
1-4 years $15.27 per hour
5-9 years $17.38 per hour
10-19 years $18.61 per hour

Salary by Degree

While no degree is a guarantee of salary, a bachelor's or master's degree can expedite advancement in the field. Not all bookkeepers hold these degrees, and advancement may be possible through other avenues. The table below illustrates the average bookkeeper salary by degree.

Accounting Salaries

Bachelor's Degree

Median Salary: $69,000

Master's Degree

Median Salary: $91,000

Career Path Salaries

Bookkeepers who wish to advance from entry-level positions may take on more responsibilities as full-charge bookkeepers or they may pursue various types of accounting. Advancement may require additional education or certification, depending on the position sought. The table below details some career possibilities, along with an average annual bookkeeper salary.

Potential Next Step Salary
Full-Charge Bookkeeper $48,623
Staff Accountant $49,797
Accountant $50,706

What Are the Top States for Bookkeeper Pay?

In addition to education level and work experience, location is a factor in bookkeeper salaries, which vary from state to state. The table below lists the top states for bookkeepers, along with the annual mean wage for each location.

  • 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 Bookkeeper Pay?

Bookkeepers work in a variety of industries, which allows graduates a certain amount of choice when it comes to work environment. Bookkeeper salaries also vary depending on industry. The table below details the top industries for bookkeepers and the annual mean wage for each industry.

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Postal Service $68,580
Metal Ore Mining $56,420
Monetary Authorities - Central Bank $51,690
Natural Gas Distribution $51,220
Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution $50,150

Are Bookkeepers in Demand?

Historical Career Growth

While the national demand for bookkeepers is projected to decline between 2018 and 2028, there is short-term growth in certain states that points toward an upward trend. Between 2018 and 2020, Arizona will see an encouraging 4.1% rise in demand for bookkeepers, with Utah close behind at 3.9%. States and territories expecting a slight decline in the short term include Delaware, Puerto Rico, and Connecticut.

Future Career Growth

While national demand for bookkeepers is expected to decline between 2018 and 2028, many states expect to see solid growth in the field. Arizona expects 7.9% increase in job opportunities, while Florida, Maryland, and Nevada project similar numbers, and demand in Utah is set to rise 18.2%.

States with rising need for bookkeepers - 4% growth or higher

  • Georgia: 4.1% growth (2018-2028)
  • Alaska: 4.3% growth (2018-2028)
  • Idaho: 4.5% growth (2018-2028)
  • Tennessee: 5.9% growth (2018-2028)
  • Texas: 7% growth (2018-2028)
  • Washington: 7.3% growth (2018-2028)
  • Florida: 7.4% growth (2018-2028)
  • Arizona: 7.9% growth (2018-2028)
  • Maryland: 8.1% growth (2018-2028)
  • Nevada: 11.5% growth (2018-2028)
  • Utah: 18.2% growth (2018-2028)

Top States for Job Growth

Many states expect to see an increase in jobs for bookkeepers between 2016 and 2026. The table below details the five top states expecting robust growth in bookkeeping positions, along with projected growth percentage.

Utah

18.2% Change from 2016-2026

Nevada

11.5% Change from 2016-2026

Maryland

8.1% Change from 2016-2026

Arizona

7.9% Change from 2016-2026

Florida

7.4% Change from 2016-2026

How do Bookkeepers Compare to Other Accounting Careers?

While bookkeeping can constitute a full career in and of itself, it is also a good jumping-off point for careers in accounting, auditing, and business. Between 2016 and 2026, Projections Central predicts:

  • A 10% rise in demand for accountants and auditors across the United States
  • A 9.8% rise in demand for financial clerks across the United States
  • An 8% rise in demand for managers across the United States

By advancing to higher-level jobs in accounting, business, and management, bookkeepers can expect to earn higher salaries commensurate with experience, education, and location.

Take the First Step in Your Career Today

Learn More About Bookkeeper Salaries and Job Growth

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS is a federal agency that collects and publishes data about careers in the United States, presenting information on work environments, salary averages, industries, required education, and expected growth.
  • Projections Central Projections Central provides data on projected growth in occupations. The information is searchable by occupation and state, and it is arranged to facilitate comparisons between various careers and locations.
  • PayScale PayScale provides detailed information on employment, with searchable data that includes salary level, lucrative degrees, advancement paths, industries, and even recent job postings by location.
  • O*Net O*Net provides specific information about 974 individual occupations in the United States, including common work environments; necessary skills, education, training, and experience; and projected job growth.
  • CareerOneStop CareerOneStop is an O*Net site that helps prospective employees research careers based on skill, salary, or job growth in a particular area. The site also provides information on finding the right training, searching for a job, and seeking out local resources.