Accounting Programs, Careers, Salaries, and More in the State of Alabama

Aspiring accountants in Alabama can first pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting and then review the necessary steps to become a certified public accountant (CPA). Alabama functions as a two-tier state, meaning that candidates who pass their CPA exam receive a certificate but also must document the necessary work experience before they can practice.

In 2018, the Alabama Department of Labor reported approximately 17,380 auditors and accountants employed in the state. In May 2019, the state reported roughly 5,330 auditors and accountants working in the Birmingham-Hoover area.

Alabama at a Glance
Population 4,898,246
Per Capita Income $26,498
Unemployment Rate 3.5%
Fortune 500 Companies 1
Licensed CPA Firms 1,349
Updated: August 2019 View Accounting Degree Programs in Alabama

Accounting in Alabama

Individuals exploring accounting in Alabama can discover many exciting opportunities. Professionals in the field enjoy access to some large accounting employers that boast a variety of job opportunities. Some of these companies include Warren Averett, LLC; Carr, Riggs & Ingram; PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; BMSS LLC; and Ernst & Young.

Alabama ranks 45th in terms of employment

On the list of states with the best economies, Alabama ranks 45th in terms of employment. However, Alabama is a particularly interesting state to base a career since it is the only state in the country that has all of the major natural resources needed to make steel and iron. The state is also the largest supplier for steel pipe and cast iron products.

Employment Trends
  Alabama United States
Projected Job Growth 8.9% 6%
Mean Accountant Salary $70,310 $78,820
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; ProjectionsCentral

Montgomery, Alabama, offers one of the country's highest concentrations of jobs and location quotients in the accounting field. In Montgomery, 2,250 professionals in the field earn an annual mean wage of $65,940.

In Montgomery, 2,250 professionals in the field earn an annual mean wage of $65,940.

Some of the top industries for accounting jobs include the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services industry along with the management of companies and enterprises industry.

The accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services industry and the oil and gas extraction industry offer the highest concentration of accounting positions. Alabama's annual mean wage is among the country's highest, making the state an attractive option for accounting professionals.

State Requirements for Accountants

In the section below, you can review requirements for becoming an accountant in Alabama, including the general requirements, potential focus areas, graduate program opportunities, and certification options. Since requirements vary by state, students should review state-specific guidelines.

General Requirements

To become an accountant, individuals must first earn a degree. Most accounting positions require individuals to obtain a bachelor's degree while some advanced positions require professionals to hold a master's degree. Those interested in entry-level roles can pursue associate degrees to prepare them with foundational skills and knowledge in accounting.

Many accounting professionals pursue careers as certified public accountants, requiring them to earn their CPA license. CPA licensing requirements include required coursework, experience aspects, and a comprehensive exam. Requirements vary by state.

Choose Your Focus

Students pursuing accounting programs in Alabama can consider specialization opportunities to cater their degrees to their personal interests and career goals. Specializations allow degree-seekers to deepen their skills and knowledge in a specific area, usually focused on their career pathway.

Taxation

This specialization allows degree-seekers to review the fundamentals of tax accounting, including preparing tax returns for individuals, nonprofits, and corporations. Professionals also review concepts of tax law.

Forensic Accounting

In this specialization, students learn the skills they need to review embezzlement and fraud situations, analyzing financial information for legal proceedings.

Actuarial Science

Students in this specialization review risk and analyzation methods in finance, insurance, and other industries, evaluating how likely specific events are to occur and what financial impacts they pose.

Find the Right Program

While researching the best accounting programs in Alabama, degree-seekers should focus on a variety of elements to determine the best fit for their needs. Since each individual college and university features its own unique tuition structure, students should review each school's tuition rates to discern what they can afford.

Learners should also review whether schools offer online, hybrid, or on-campus opportunities. By reviewing sample coursework, students can ensure a program appeals to their personal interests along with their professional goals.

Consider a Graduate Program

To advance career opportunities and salary potential, students can seek graduate program opportunities in accounting. Many bachelor's programs allow students to translate their undergraduate credits into advanced opportunities at the same institution, enabling them to earn their master's degree sooner.

Degree-seekers can also consider accelerated master's options to enroll in more credits each semester and graduate sooner. To open the door to some of the field's highest paying jobs, students can consider Ph.D. in accounting opportunities.

Review Certification Requirements

When researching how to become an accountant in Alabama, professionals must first obtain their CPA license. This license allows them to practice. To qualify for the CPA exam, individuals must complete one year of professional experience in public accounting or two years of accounting experience unrelated to public accounting, including work in government, academics, and the private sector.

Aspiring CPAs must complete 150 semester hours of certification courses and hold a graduate degree in accounting.

Aspiring CPAs must complete 150 semester hours of certification courses and hold a graduate degree in accounting. Earning a CPA license in Alabama allows professionals to practice in the state. Professionals should note that some states offer reciprocal license opportunities, while others do not. Before exploring their certification opportunities, professionals should determine their long-term goals.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) is the professional membership organization that represents CPAs in the state. The ASCPA represents CPAs engaged in public practice, private industry, and government service. The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy is responsible for licensing, maintaining standards and ethics, and administering disciplinary actions when required.

Alabama State Board of Accountancy

Address

PO Box 300375
Montgomery, AL 36130-0375

Phone Number

(334) 242-5700

Alabama Society of CPAs Education Foundation

Address

1041 Longfield Court
Montgomery, AL 36117

Phone Number

(334) 834-7650

Alabama Society of CPAs

Address

1041 Longfield Court
Montgomery, AL 36117

Phone Number

(334) 834-7650


Accounting Programs in Alabama

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Alabama, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.