Tax Preparer Salary Guide

To succeed as a tax preparer, you must enjoy math and economics, and learning about laws and policies. You must also have a keen eye for detail, as tax preparers are tasked with helping people save money on their tax returns by identifying deductions and avoiding costly penalties. Thousands of Americans turn to tax preparers each year to file their federal and state income taxes, so it's no wonder that this field is projected to grow rapidly each year. The guide below outlines the average tax preparer salary, degree requirements, career outlook, and how the job compares to similar careers in the field.

Learn More About a Career as a Tax Preparer

How Much Do Tax Preparers Make?

Median Salary

As you consider potential career paths, the average salary for professionals in the field is likely to be one of your top factors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average salary of a tax preparer as $46,860, however this number can increase if you earn an additional degree and gain experience. In addition, firms in cities with a higher cost of living tend to pay tax preparers more.

Salary by Experience

A tax preparer's salary depends on their years of experience. After all, you can gain significant knowledge each tax season, and this can help you unearth more tax deductions for your clients. Review the chart below to discover how salary for tax preparers vary based on years of experience.

Experience Salary
< 1 year $11.04 per hour
1-4 years $12.18 per hour
5-9 years $15.02 per hour
10-19 years $16.46 per hour

Salary by Degree

Furthering your education with an accounting degree can also increase your earning potential as a tax preparer. However, keep in mind that earning an additional degree doesn't necessarily guarantee a job in this field. In addition, not every tax preparer gets a degree in accounting. For example, some tax preparers major in finance, economics, or a related discipline.

Bachelor's Degree

Median Salary: $69,000

Master's Degree

Median Salary: $91,000

Career Path Salaries

You won't find a specific blueprint that reveals all the right steps to take to become a successful tax preparer. In fact, after you earn your degree, you may have several different next steps available to you. Take a look at the chart below to learn about how three different career paths can impact your salary.

Potential Next Step Salary
Enrolled Agent $48,257
Accountant $50,706
Office Manager $46,894

What Are the Top States for Tax Preparer Pay?

Where you live plays a huge role in how much money you can earn as a tax preparer, as every region has a different cost of living. Take a look at the chart below to get an idea of the top states for tax preparers.

What Are the Top Industries for Tax Preparer Pay?

Nearly every industry that generates revenue needs qualified tax preparers. Take a look at how the industry you choose to work in can affect your career as a tax preparer. We've outlined five top industries for tax preparers, as well as the annual mean wage for each.

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services $46,740
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $60,960
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $70,360
Nondepository Credit Intermediation $33,320
Management of Companies and Enterprises $60,680

Are Tax Preparers in Demand?

Historical Career Growth

Before committing to a career, you should consider the historical career growth. Projections Central is an excellent resource for viewing data about the historical growth of careers in every state. Explore the regions around America that offer the most opportunity for tax preparers.

Future Career Growth

Projections Central also offers data about the projected career growth for tax preparers. You can view the states with the most short-term and long-term growth for this field. For example, Florida has a higher projected growth rate for tax preparers than average, ranking at 22.2% for projected long-term growth. You can also compare the job growth between this career field and others.

Top States for Job Growth

Although experts project the job growth for tax preparers to increase all across America, they expect it to increase more rapidly in some regions than others. Take a look at the top five states that should have the highest percentage growth through 2026. Planning a move to one of these states could help you more quickly earn a job as a tax preparer.

  • Tennessee: 40.5% Change from 2016-2026
  • Utah: 36.1% Change from 2016-2026
  • Nevada: 25.4% Change from 2016-2026
  • Florida: 22.2% Change from 2016-2026
  • Texas: 20.4% Change from 2016-2026

How Do Tax Preparers Compare to Other Accounting Careers?

Before pursuing a career as a tax preparer, consider some related fields. Below we've listed related jobs, their projected job growth, and median salaries according to the BLS. For reference, the average tax preparer salary is $46,860, and BLS projects this field to grow by 6% from 2018-28. You can find all the data below on www.bls.gov.

Average Yearly Income Projected Job Growth

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Learn More About Tax Preparer Salaries & Job Growth

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information about tax preparers and related fields. Explore the website to learn about a tax preparer's responsibilities, potential pay, and how wages vary by region.
  • PayScale.com PayScale.com is a go-to source for gathering information about careers. Browse the tax preparer page to examine easy-to-read graphics that can inform you about the average salary, top employers, and job responsibilities.
  • Projections Central Projections Central offers extensive data on projected job growth in many career fields. You can view short term projections and long term projections for the tax preparer career field and related fields.
  • Center on Education and the Workforce This helpful website pools together data from 137 college majors and the average wage earned by program graduates. You can compare undergraduate and graduate degrees to determine whether it makes a significant positive impact on salary.
  • O-Net Online O-Net Online can help you identify occupations that match your interests and skills. Here, you can learn more about a tax preparer's typical duties and suggested skills. You can also learn about the average tax preparer salary.