Delaware may be the smallest state in the union geographically, but its lenient tax structure and advantageous business policies draw many companies to incorporate there, leading to a robust business and finance culture. The state's unique demographics underscore the its status as a financial hub — Delaware ranks 45th in population yet boasts a per capita income of $30,488, the 14th highest in the nation. The state's uncommon financial characteristics also lead to an uncommonly high number of accountants and auditors: more than 5,800 are employed in Delaware, compared against a total population of just 952,000. The state ranks third in the country for concentration of CPA jobs, with 139 CPA firms that also call Delaware home.

Delaware at a glance

Population 961,939
Per Capita Income $30,488
Unemployment Rate 4%
Fortune 500 Companies 2
Licensed CPA Firms 139

Accounting Programs in Delaware

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Between 2012 and 2022, the BLS projects that the number of positions for accountants and auditors in Delaware will expand by nearly 10%; this is only slightly behind the 13.1% average growth expected nationwide. With these estimates, the state should add 460 additional CPA positions by the end of the decade.

While the financial services industry isn't necessarily growing at the same clip as the rest of the country, Delaware's accountants and auditors do make a higher average annual salary than their counterparts do nationally. At $74,280, these professionals earn a full 33% more on average in annual salary than the statewide average for all occupations.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

5,660 Employees2016
6,060 Employees2026
Delaware 6.6% increase
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

Delaware Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $43,890

Payroll Clerks

\ $43,550

Credit Counselors

\ $49,200

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $69,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $60,400

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $79,250

Budget Analysts

\ $70,490

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $124,480

Financial Managers

\ $165,310
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Wilmington Metropolitan Division
  2. Dover
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Delaware

In order to use the professional designation of CPA in the state of Delaware, individuals must obtain a CPA Certificate. A CPA certificate is earned by meeting the education, examination and experience requirements as set by the Delaware Department of State's Division of Professional Regulation and the State Board of Accountancy.

Delaware CPA certification requirements are based on standards developed by the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and include:

  • At least 150 credits of post secondary education
  • At least 24 credits in each of the following; financial accounting, auditing and taxation
  • At least a bachelor's degree
  • At least two years of qualified professional experience

Delaware's CPA reciprocity rules conform with the AICPA CPA Mobility initiative. The initiative was developed by the AICPA in conjunction with the NASBA in order to enable CPAs to transfer valid licensing between states. The program requires mobility; applicants are actively licensed and meet their home state's CPE requirements.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Delaware

Unlike most other states, Delaware makes a distinction between possessing a CPA certificate and a CPA Permit to Practice. Individuals may only work as a CPA if they have a applied for and been granted a permit to practice by the State Board of Accountancy.

In addition to passing all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam, Delaware requires that prospective CPAs take and pass the Ethics Exam administered by the AICPA. Delaware standards for a CPA Certificate and or Permit to Practice only apply to individuals who have applied to become CPAs since 2012. CPAs who had a certificate or permit to practice prior to 2012 or are licensed by another state do not have to meet the new standards as long as their current licenses are in good standing.

Age Requirement N/A
Citizenship Requirement No
Residency Requirement No
Social Security # Requirement Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure Bachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International Programs No
Hours in Accounting 24 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 120 hours
Experience Requirements 1 year of accounting experience
Ethics Exam AICPA Ethics Exam

The rules and regulations regarding a CPA Certificate and or Permit to Practice are adjudicated by the Delaware State Board of Accountancy under Title 24 Professions and Occupations.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Delaware

  • Application Fee $150
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

Applicants who failed to pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam on their first attempt are subject to a re-examination fee of $75 each time they apply to retake one or more sections of the test.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Delaware Department of State Division of Professional Regulation's State Board of Accountancy is responsible for issuing CPA Certificates and CPA Permits to Practice. The Board also provides disciplinary oversight and processes consumer complaints pertaining to Delaware CPAs. Neither the State Board of Accountancy nor any other state agency administers the Uniform CPA Exam.

The Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants (DECPA) exists as a professional membership organization dedicated to providing legislative and public advocacy on behalf of member CPAs and CPA firms.

Delaware Board of Accountancy


861 Silver Lake Blvd Suite 203
Dover, DE 19904

Phone Number

(302) 744-4500

Delaware Society of CPAs


3512 Silverside Road
Wilmington, DE 19810

Phone Number

(302) 478-7442