Introduction

Alaska is both the largest U.S. states and one of the least populous, and its small economy is primarily based around the oil industry. While dips in the industry have led to an overall decline in the state’s economy, the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development reports that financial sectors have experienced smaller losses than many other industries in the state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positions for accountants and auditors in Alaska to grow by around 5% through 2024, which is below the national average. However, Alaska proportionally employs a higher percentage of accountants than the national average in many of its nonmetropolitan areas, particularly in the southeast region. Accountants can also expect to earn an annual mean wage of $82,180, which is dramatically higher than the national average.

Alaska at a glance

Population 741,894
Per Capita Income $33,062
Unemployment Rate 2.6%
Fortune 500 Companies 0
Licensed CPA Firms 89

Accounting Programs in Alaska

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the average annual salary for Alaskan CPAs is $78,400 per year. While the agency projects slow growth in the overall number of CPA positions between now and 2022, the state of boasts a high number of CPAs per capita and demand is expected to remain steady.

Alaskan CPAs are employed across the full spectrum of the Alaskan economy including; the Big Four CPA firms, state and regional firms, and government and private agencies.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

1,730 Employees2012
1,890 Employees2022
Alaska 8.5% increase
1,275,400 Employees2012
1,442,200 Employees2022
United States 11.6% increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Alaska Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $44,080
$37,250

Payroll Clerks

\ $47,050
$39,850

Credit Counselors

\ $0
$44,960

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $89,900
$63,660

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $85,670
$56,120

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $78,480
$72,500

Budget Analysts

\ $84,290
$72,560

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $92,062
$99,920

Actuaries

\ $0
$107,740

Financial Managers

\ $111,640
$126,660
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Fairbanks
    $80,730
  2. Anchorage
    $79,340
  3. Southeast Alaska, Non-Metro
    $75,930
  4. Railbelt/Southwest Alaska, Non-metro
    $75,440
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Alaska

Licensing requirements in Alaska conform to national standards determined by the AICPA and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. National standards include:

  • 150 Credit hours of postsecondary education
  • A baccalaureate degree
  • Practical employment experience under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA.

New and transfer licenses are administered by the Alaska State Board of Accountancy. CPAs who were licensed in Alaska and elsewhere prior to the adoption of the current standards are considered grandfathered in and are not required to meet the new qualifications so long as their licenses remain current.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Alaska

Alaska CPAs are required to possess a minimum of 150 hours of postsecondary education that includes a baccalaureate degree. The CPA designation is only awarded to candidates that have successfully completed all four parts of the CPA examination. Eligible candidates may elect to sit for the exam at any time after they have acquired at least one year of experience as a public accountant.

CPAs relocating to Alaska may apply for and receive a reciprocal license if their license is in good standing in the former state and they have at least four years of acceptable experience in public accounting.

Age Requirement19
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for Licensure150 hours (including bachelor's degree)
Participates in International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting24 semester hrs. or equivalent quarter hours in accounting (intermediate accounting can be included) and 3 hours each of business law, economics and college math/computer science.
Exam Sitting RequirementsB.A. or within 18 semester hours of completing B.A
Experience Requirements2-years in public accounting or, 3-years in private or government accounting. All experience shall include 500 hours of attest.
Ethics ExamMust pass AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Alaska

Total:$1,007
  • Application Fee $175
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

In order to become licensed by the state of Alaska as a CPA, candidates must pass all four parts of the CPA exam. In addition the application fee, registration fee of $85 is required each time a candidate sits for one or more sections of the test. There are no provisions for withdrawing from the exam and once the application or registration fees are paid they are considered non refundable.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Alaska Society of CPAs is a professional membership organization that provides assistance to members that includes continuing professional education as well as promoting cooperation with related professions.

The Alaska Board of Public Accountancy is a division of the Department of Commerce. Its function is to safeguard the public interest by ensuring that only qualified individuals are granted licenses as CPAs.

Alaska Board of Accountancy

Address

PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Phone Number

(907)-465-2550

Alaska CPA Education Foundation

Address

401 Merritt 7
Norwalk, AK 06856-5116

Email

[email protected]

Alaska Society of CPAs

Address

341 W. Tudor Road #105
Anchorage, AK 99503

Email

1-907-562-4025