Financial Accountant Salary

by

Updated September 27, 2022

Interested in financial accounting? This guide explores the salary of a financial accountant, plus job outlook and top employment locations.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Credit: FlamingoImages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Financial accountants run crucial fiscal functions for their organizations, including payroll and tax management. As tax and labor laws change, employers need financial accountants to keep track of current regulations.

Financial accountants can pursue job opportunities with high salaries depending on where they live. Experience and education level also play a part in salary potential.

Read on for in-depth details about salary potential and job prospects for financial accountants by experience, location, and industry.

How Much Does a Financial Accountant Make?

As of January 2022, Payscale reported an average annual salary of $56,320 for financial accountants. The average salary for financial accountants increases to $59,520 with five years of experience in the field. With additional experience or relevant certifications, accountants can earn even higher salaries.

As of January 2022, Payscale reported an average annual salary of $56,320 for financial accountants.

Other factors that affect salaries for financial accountants include location, education, industry, and professional credentials. Accountants who specialize in particular areas, such as forensic accounting, earned an average annual salary of $70,490 as of January 2022.

Financial accountants may also advance to high paying jobs. Payscale reports that financial analysts made an average annual salary of $62,450 as of January 2022. Senior accountants earned $69,810.

Average Annual Salary, January 2022

$56,320


Source: Payscale

Salary by Education

By completing higher education, financial accountants can pursue higher salaries and advancement opportunities. According to Payscale, senior accountants with a master's degree earned more than those with a bachelor's.

Professional credentials can also impact how much an accountant earns. With certified public accountant credentials (CPA), accountants earn a higher average salary than those with just a master's degree. Every state requires CPAs to complete 150 college credits, beyond the typical 120 credits in a bachelor's degree. So, a CPA may also hold a master's degree.

The table below shows average annual salaries for senior accountants, rather than just financial accountants.

Higher education represents a significant investment of time and money. However, accountants can expect high returns on investment.

Salary by Experience

With experience, the average income for financial accountants also increases. Income can continue to shift over time. For example, employers may reward high performers with bonuses or benefits that go beyond salary alone.

According to Payscale, financial accountant salaries experience the largest increases in the early career levels. For example, as of January 2022, average early-career (1-4 years) salaries increase by $5,560 over entry-level salaries (<1 year). Average midcareer salaries increase by $5,530 over early-career salaries.

These salary increases could reflect employees' on-the-job training. Financial accountants who gain CPA certification early on in their careers may see a salary bump as well.

Salary by Location

Location plays a major role in salary for financial accountants. The District of Columbia pays the highest rates in the country, followed by New York and New Jersey. Accountants may encounter more high-paying positions in metropolitan areas.

While the salaries in major cities can run high, the cost of living in these areas also exceeds other parts of the country. Quality of life is also a consideration, as some professionals may prefer to live in a more rural setting rather than a fast-paced city environment.

The data below shows the top-paying locations for accountants and auditors as a whole, rather than financial accountants specifically.

Top-Paying States for Accountants and Auditors, 2020

State Number of Accountants and Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
District of Columbia 10,050 $110,140
New York 112,360 $101,440
New Jersey 39,060 $96,260
Massachusetts 34,710 $88,830
California 150,050 $88,130
Source: BLS

Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Accountants and Auditors, 2020

Metropolitan Area Number of Accountants and Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Salinas, California 690 $111,680
New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania 119,910 $105,720
Midland, Texas 1,610 $103,120
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California 15,360 $102,920
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California 24,510 $101,090
Source: BLS

Top Online Bachelor's

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Where Should I Work as a Financial Accountant?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for accountants and auditors will increase by 7% from 2020-2030. As international trade becomes more prevalent, businesses need skilled accountants to help them manage funds and optimize tax benefits.

Projections Central projects that accounting jobs will grow in every state from 2018-2028. Even if some fall below the national projection of 7%, many states will see higher growth. With growing opportunities everywhere, now is a good time to pursue accounting.

The onset of artificial intelligence into mainstream business may increase opportunities for aspiring accountants. As accounting tasks like data entry become more automated, accountants may find additional opportunities in analyzing data. They can use their expertise to advise employers and guide them toward solid financial choices.

These projections refer to accountants and auditors as a whole, including specializations such as financial accounting.

Change in Projected Employment from 2020-2030

+7%


Source: BLS

Best Areas

Financial accountants work in every state. However, professionals can find the most jobs in major cities. Some of the top-employing metropolitan areas align with the top-employing states like New York, California, and Texas. Opportunities also show up in metropolitan areas like Chicago, Illinois.

Aspiring accountants should also consider up-and-coming areas. Projections Central names Utah and Georgia among the top states for growth in accounting jobs, with Colorado close behind. With Utah and Colorado claiming the top two spots on U.S. News' list of best state economies, and Georgia landing at 12, it makes sense that demand for accountants would be on the rise in these states.

States with lower projected growth include Maine and Michigan. However, Projections Central still projects 3,510 openings in Michigan between 2018-2028, so aspiring accountants can take advantage of growth throughout the country.

The top-employing nonmetropolitan areas for accountants include Kansas, North Northeastern Ohio, and West Northwestern Ohio, according to the BLS.

The tables below display job outlook statistics for all accountants and auditors, not just financial accountants.

Top-Employing States for Accountants and Auditors, 2020

State Number of Accountants and Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
California 150,050 $88,130
New York 112,360 $101,440
Texas 109,470 $80,170
Florida 73,690 $74,960
Pennsylvania 50,240 $77,810
Source: BLS

States With the Greatest Projected Increase in Employment for Accountants and Auditors, 2018-28

State Percent Projected Change, 2018-28 Average Annual Openings
Greatest Projected Percentage Increase
Utah 31.1% 1,590
Georgia 21% 4,880
Colorado 20% 5,000
Texas 18.8% 15,480
Nevada 18.1% 1,130
Most Projected Average Annual Openings
California 7.7% 17,650
Texas 18.8% 15,480
New York 12.7% 13,550
Florida 13.9% 9,040
Pennsylvania 6% 5,870
Source: Projections Central

Top-Employing Metropolitan Areas for Accountants and Auditors, 2020

Metropolitan Area Number of Accountants and Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania 119,910 $105,720
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California 61,740 $83,660
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin 42,080 $78,640
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia 41,890 $98,030
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas 37,040 $83,850
Source: BLS

Best Industries

Financial accountants work across a variety of industries. The BLS reports that the largest employers of accountants and auditors include accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services; finance and insurance; and government.

The job's focus can vary depending on the industry. Some roles might call for more specialized tax knowledge. Other industries, like finance and insurance, might want accountants well-versed in risk management.

Industry also impacts salary for financial accountants. As the tables below illustrate, accountants who work in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing make the highest average annual salary of $112,680, according to the BLS.

The data below details the top-paying and top-employing industries for accountants and auditors as a whole, including financial accountants.

Top-Paying Industries for Accountants and Auditors, 2020

Industry Number of Accountants and Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing 3,910 $112,680
Federal Executive Branch 22,160 $105,980
School and Employee Bus Transportation 120 $105,060
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities 31,450 $102,020
Other Information Services 4,660 $99,810
Source: BLS

Top-Employing Industries for Accountants and Auditors, 2020

Industry Number of Accountants and Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services 339,020 $85,050
Management of Companies and Enterprises 97,250 $82,770
Local Government 46,060 $71,420
State Government 41,780 $68,460
Real Estate 36,180 $78,370
Source: BLS

Questions About the Income of Financial Accountants

How much money does a financial accountant make?

According to Payscale, financial accountants earn an average annual salary of $56,280 as of December 2021. The average financial accounting salary can increase depending on the professional''s years of experience, education, location, and industry.

What is an average salary in financial accounting?

Payscale reported an average annual salary of $56,320 for financial accountants as of January 2022. According to the BLS, accountants and auditors make a median annual salary of $73,560.

What are the highest-paying financial accountant jobs?

The top-paying industries for accountants and auditors are computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing; the federal executive branch; and school and employee bus transportation.

Where is the best state to work as a financial accountant?

It depends on the individual worker's goals. The top-paying areas for all accountants and auditors are Washington, D.C., New York, and New Jersey. The top-employing states include California, New York, and Texas.

What is the best industry to work in as a financial accountant?

The top-employing industries for all accountants and auditors include accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services; management of companies and enterprises; and government.

The top-paying industries include computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing; the federal executive branch; and school and employee bus transportation.


Featured Image: FlamingoImages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Recommended Reading

Search top-tier programs curated by your interests.

Let us know what type of degree you're looking into, and we'll find a list of the best programs to get you there.