Accounting Degrees in Arizona


Updated July 10, 2023

Accounting is a rapidly growing field in Arizona. Discover accounting degrees in Arizona, accounting roles, and how much accountants make in Arizona. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, has the sixth-highest growth rate in the U.S. for gross state product and the number of businesses, according to Ibis World. The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity projects jobs in the state to grow at an annual rate of 2.2% from 2020-2030, eclipsing the expected U.S. career growth rate of 0.7% during the same timeframe.

The state has a diverse economy: Walmart, Raytheon, and the University of Arizona are the three biggest employers. Large companies and economies have an inherent need for accountants to monitor and track financial transactions.

Individuals interested in accounting careers should consider a degree in accounting. Accounting professionals can choose roles such as auditor, tax preparer, and budget analyst.

Accounting professionals can pursue careers across the U.S. Read on for an outline of accounting degrees and careers in Arizona. Learn how the state compares to others in the U.S.

Arizona at a Glance
Population 7,276,316
Climate Average Annual Temperature: 60.3 F
Annual Precipitation: 13.6 inches
Major Sports Teams Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Rising FC, Tucson Roadrunners
Number of Higher Learning Institutions 62
Per Capita Income $34,644
Fortune 500 Companies 8
Accountants in Arizona 24,820

Sources: U.S. Census, Current Results, NCES, Statista, BLS

Why Go to an Accounting School in Arizona?

Arizona has several two-year and four-year institution choices for prospective students. Some universities in Arizona were founded before the state joined the U.S. Arizona State University, one of the largest universities in the U.S., has over 73,000 students.

The total number of students attending postsecondary institutions in Arizona exceeded 600,000 in 2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (ACPE), a part of the Arizona government, has set a goal to have 60% of working-age adults complete postsecondary education by 2030. Currently, only 30.3% of adults in the state have a bachelor's degree or above. The ACPE also offers students grants and links to scholarship resources.

Individuals who wish to start a career in Arizona accounting may benefit from attending a university in the state. Students who attend school locally have the opportunity to network with other students and faculty and obtain local internships. Jobs at well-known corporations can be highly competitive. Students can use networking to maximize their potential of being accepted to competitive roles.

Education Statistics for Arizona

Arizona has a nearly 1-to-1 ratio of two-year to four-year colleges. In contrast, the U.S. has a ratio of approximately two four-year colleges for every two-year college.

Arizona has a higher percentage of adults with associate degrees than the rest of the U.S., which may be in part due to the higher proportion of two-year colleges in the state. A smaller percentage of adults in Arizona have bachelor's, master's, or higher degrees than in the U.S. overall.

Higher Education Statistics Arizona Data National Data
Four-Year Colleges 30 2,520
Two-Year Colleges 32 1,216
Students Enrolled in Distance Education 71.6% 72.8%
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student $6,194 $9,327
Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education $14,906 $15,959
Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree 8.9% 8.6%
Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree 18.8% 20.2%
Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher 11.5% 12.7%

Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census ACS

Accreditation for Arizona Schools

Students should check an institution's accreditation status before applying. Schools are accredited by third-party accrediting bodies that determine whether or not a college or university meets a certain set of education standards.

Individual programs may also be accredited for meeting certain subject-specific standards, such as in nursing or business.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an active regional accrediting institute in Arizona, has accredited a total of 33 institutions in the state.

Popular Online Accounting Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Delivery Formats for an Accounting Degree in Arizona

Students must take into account many factors when choosing a future college or program. Individuals should consider if they want to be in an online, on-campus, or hybrid program. Each program type offers pros and cons.

According to NCES, online students make up the largest percentage of higher education learners in Arizona (51.3%). Arizona's online student proportion exceeds the nationwide percentage, and the hybrid and on-campus student population in the state is smaller, proportionally, than in the U.S.

On-Campus Programs

On-campus programs require students to physically attend class. Students that choose on-campus programs have a greater ability to network and engage in extracurriculars. As students need to attend live classes, they should live near their school. Arizona is home to a number of college towns full of activities, restaurants, and sights for students to enjoy.

Online Programs

Online programs allow students to work from the comfort of their home. Students interested in online programs can find options with synchronous and asynchronous classes. Online students have more flexible schedules, so they should be self-motivated in their studies.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid programs offer a mix of on-campus and online classes. Students who prioritize flexibility but also want the opportunity to meet other students in person may find that a hybrid program meets their needs.

Paying for Your Accounting Degree

In-state tuition at public four-year institutions in Arizona averages higher than at public four-year schools in other U.S. states, according to NCES. However, other types of two- and four-year institutions in Arizona have lower tuition rates than the national averages for similar schools.

Students who choose to invest in an education have many financial aid opportunities to consider. Arizona offers the Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AzLEAP) grant, a need-based grant, which offers students up to $2,500 per academic year. Students can also seek out scholarships, fellowships, or loans:

  • Financial aid: Any type of fiscal aid for students
  • Scholarships: Merit- or need-based aid for students that do not need to be repaid
  • Fellowships: Financial aid that does not need to be repaid, mostly for graduate students
  • Grants: Usually financial need-based aid that does not need to be repaid
  • Loans: Financial aid that needs to be repaid, often with interest

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition

Colleges and universities often offer two types of tuition rates: in-state and out-of-state tuition. In-state students reside in the same state as the institution they're attending, while out-of-state students are from other states.

Institutions usually have lower in-state tuition rates as they receive assistance from the state government, which local taxpayers fund. As out-of-state students and their families have not contributed to the local tax base — and, by extension, to the local schools — they are charged a higher tuition rate.

Arizona, a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), has a tuition reciprocity program with other states. WICHE offers the Western Undergraduate Exchange, which allows students to attend public universities in other member states for no more than 150% of in-state tuition.

Cost of Living in Arizona

Many students must budget for tuition, housing, food, and other daily necessities. Each state has a different cost of living, which will impact a student's budget.

Arizona has a cost of living score of 103.2, according to World Population Review. The U.S. has a base cost of living score of 100, which means Arizona is more expensive than the average state in the U.S.

Careers for Arizona Accounting Graduates

Projections Central estimates that U.S. accountant careers will grow 6.9% between 2020 and 2030. Arizona accountant careers are expected to grow 21.6% in the same timeframe.

Arizona's three largest sectors are real estate, manufacturing, and healthcare. Each of these requires skilled accountants to keep track of project progress, inventory, and internal finances.

The Big Four accounting firms all have a presence in Arizona, possibly due to the state's growing economy. The Big Four's offices, spread around Arizona in Tempe, Tucson, and Phoenix, demonstrate that accounting positions exist across the state.

Read on to learn more about accounting careers in Arizona and average salaries for these roles in the state.

Popular Accounting Careers in Arizona


Accountants can create financial statements, analyze tax documents, and determine a company's financial risks. Prospective accountants should have a solid grasp on math, critical thinking, and organizational skills. Accounting careers usually require a bachelor's degree, with additional opportunities available for certified public accountant (CPA) license holders.

Job Outlook in Arizona (2020-2030): 22%


Bookkeepers record financial transactions and cross-check internal finances. Bookkeepers often need to use accounting software to monitor financial records. Some employers may require bookkeepers to have a related degree, while others may accept relevant work experience. Prospective bookkeepers do not need a license or certification.

Job Outlook in Arizona (2020-2030): 11%

Financial Managers

Financial managers usually work with senior management to analyze the company's finances and conduct business evaluations. Multiple industries can utilize financial managers, so daily tasks may differ. Individuals pursuing financial manager opportunities usually must have a bachelor's degree and relevant work experience.

Job Outlook in Arizona (2020-2030): 36%

Arizona Employment Trends

Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Job Availability Arizona National
2020 Employment 25,280 1,392,2500
2030 Projected Employment 30,740 1,488,200
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30 22% 6.9%

Source: Projections Central

Accounting Salaries by Career
Career Arizona Employment Arizona Average Annual Salary National Average Annual Salary
Associate Degree Recommended
Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks 27,550 $46,960 $47,440
Credit Counselors 1,530 $46,650 $51,650
Payroll Clerks 3,910 $48,320 $52,300
Bachelor's Degree Recommended
Compliance Officers 11,140 $67,700 $76,980
Cost Estimators 4,320 $77,740 $76,740
Property Appraisers and Assessors 1,610 $57,740 $80,460
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 10,010 $73,050 $100,740
Tax Examiners and Collectors 250 $78,930 $64,410
Tax Preparers 2,030 $58,740 $55,840
Master's Degree Recommended
Accountants and Auditors 24,820 $82,130 $86,740
Budget Analysts 1,150 $76,250 $87,680
Financial Analysts 4,750 $94,810 $108,790
Financial Managers 12,460 $152,690 $166,050
Personal Financial Advisors 5,700 $104,790 $137,740

Source: BLS OEWS

Accounting professionals can choose from multiple career paths with different responsibilities and salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many accounting professions in Arizona pay average salaries similar to the national averages. Tax examiners in Arizona are an exception — these professionals earned an average annual salary of $78,930, over $14,000 higher than the national average salary for tax examiners.

Individuals interested in pursuing an accounting career can benefit from earning a relevant associate, bachelor's, or graduate degree. Prospective accounting professionals can choose from many majors, including taxation, accounting, or forensic accounting.

Arizona Requirements for Certified Public Accountants

Accountants in the U.S. must pass the Uniform CPA Examination; exam questions are identical across the nation. However, each state has the right to create prerequisites to sit for the exam and obtain licensure. The Arizona State Board of Accountancy has a list of requirements for prospective CPAs:

  • At least 18 years old
  • U.S. citizen
  • Holder of a valid Social Security number
  • Exam sitting requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree or higher, including 120 semester hours of courses
      • 24 semester hours of accounting courses, with 12 hours of upper-level coursework
      • 18 semester hours of related courses, which can include business, finance, statistics, and others
  • Licensure requirements:
    • At least 150 semester hours, including 36 semester hours of accounting
      • 30 semester hours of upper-level coursework
      • 30 semester hours of related courses
    • And 2,000 hours of experience

Questions About Accounting in Arizona

Is accounting a good career in Arizona?

Accounting is a good career in Arizona. Projections Central expects positions for accounting professionals in the state to grow 21.6% between 2020 and 2030. Prospective accountants can also earn a CPA to potentially expand their career choices.

How much do accountants make in Arizona?

According to the BLS, accountants in Arizona made an average of $82,130 annually in 2022. Accounting professionals can pursue related positions, such as financial manager. These professionals earned an average annual salary of $152,690 in Arizona the same year.

What accounting jobs are there in Arizona?

Accounting professionals in Arizona can choose from a wide variety of jobs including accountant, bookkeeper, financial manager, and more. Some accounting professionals must have an associate degree, while others need a bachelor's or graduate degree.

Can I get an accounting degree in Arizona?

Individuals interested in pursuing accounting can find accounting programs in Arizona. Students should ensure their institution is accredited before applying.

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