Alaska is both the largest U.S. state and one of the least populous. 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 4% from 2016 to 2026, 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 $82,040, which is dramatically higher than the national average.

Alaska at a glance

Population 739,795
Per Capita Income $33,062
Unemployment Rate 6.5%
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

2,180 Employees2016
2,110 Employees2026
Alaska 3.3% decrease
1,397,700 Employees2016
1,537,600 Employees2026
United States 9.1% 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

\ $47,580

Payroll Clerks

\ $51,630

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $84,080

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $85,390

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $82,040

Budget Analysts

\ $79,920

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $99,910

Financial Managers

\ $108,090
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Fairbanks
  2. Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area
  3. Anchorage
  4. Balance of Alaska nonmetropolitan area
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 Requirement N/A
Citizenship Requirement No
Residency Requirement No
Social Security # Requirement Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure Bachelor's degree or within 18 hours of completion (150 hours)
Participates in International Programs Yes
Hours in Accounting 24 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 150 hours
Experience Requirements 2 years of accounting experience
Ethics Exam AICPA Ethics Exam

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Alaska

  • 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


PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Phone Number


Alaska CPA Education Foundation


401 Merritt 7
Norwalk, AK 06856-5116


Alaska Society of CPAs


341 W. Tudor Road #105
Anchorage, AK 99503