Written by Kathleen Swed


Known for its natural beauty, Maine is the easternmost city in the U.S. and boasts a thriving tourism industry. Students considering accounting degrees in Maine can take advantage of both in-person and online options, choosing from a variety of potential concentrations.

Career opportunities for accountants in the state increase by education level. According to Projections Central, demand for financial managers in Maine, who typically need a master's degree, is projected to grow by 10.3% between 2018-2028. However, accounting professionals at any level can find opportunities in the state.

On this page, prospective students can learn more about accounting degrees in Maine, including common concentrations and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Maine at a Glance

Population 1,345,790
Per Capita Income $32,095
Fortune 500 Companies 1
Number of Higher Learning Institutions 31
Climate

Average Annual Temperature: 41℉

Annual Precipitation: 42.2 inches

Major Sports Teams Portland Sea Dogs, Maine Red Claws, Portland Pirates
Accountants in Maine 4,390

Top Maine Schools for Accounting

  • University of Maine
  • University of Southern Maine
  • Husson University
  • Thomas College
  • University of Maine at Fort Kent
  • University of Maine at Augusta

Why Go to College for Accounting in Maine?

By pursuing an accounting degree in Maine, students living both in and out of the state can take advantage of tuition rates that parallel or fall slightly below national averages.

Because Maine participates in the New England Board of Education's Tuition Break regional exchange program, students living in the region can take advantage of potentially reduced tuition rates. In many cases, students who select online programs also benefit from reduced rates.

Though Maine does not host many large businesses, with only one Fortune 500 company in the state, accountants can still find excellent opportunities, particularly in the tourism industry. Furthermore, the state's proximity to Boston, Massachusetts, offers further opportunities to those living in southern Maine.

Education Statistics for Maine

The table below provides important data related to higher education in Maine, including state budgetary allocations, the prevalence of distance learning, and the percentage of adults who complete various levels of education in Maine.

Higher Education Statistics in Maine
Maine Data National Data
Number of Four-Year Colleges 21 3,004
Number of Two-Year Colleges 9 1,579
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education 35.4% 34.7%
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student $7,684 $8,196
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education 4.2% 5.8%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree 10% 8.4%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree 19.6% 19.4%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher 11.3% 12.1%
Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census Bureau - American Community Survey

Accreditation for Maine Schools

Prospective students in any state should ensure that the school they choose holds proper accreditation. National accreditation applies mainly to career-oriented, for-profit, and some religious institutions, while regional accreditation applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Graduates of unaccredited schools might find difficulty applying their credits toward a master's degree or professional qualifications like the certified public accountant (CPA) credential. Additionally, only students at accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid.

The New England Commission of Higher Education grants regional accreditation to institutions in Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Programs within a school may also hold accreditation. Accounting programs may hold accreditation from accrediting bodies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Considerations for an Accounting Degree in Maine

Degree-seekers should assess their career goals to determine the right degree level and concentration to pursue. They should also weigh factors like program structure and cost in relation to their personal preferences and financial situation.

The sections below offer details about these and other considerations for those considering accounting degrees in Maine.

Accounting Degree Levels

The following list outlines the various types of accounting degrees available to students.

Associate Degree in Accounting
Graduates with an associate degree can work as bookkeepers, accounting clerks, and auditing clerks.
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Bachelor's Degree in Accounting
A bachelor's degree in accounting qualifies graduates for entry-level positions in general accounting, plus jobs as management analysts, cost estimators, and tax examiners.
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Master's Degree in Accounting
Students who graduate with a master's degree in accounting qualify for CPA credentials in most states.
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Ph.D. in Accounting
The terminal degree in the field, doctoral graduates often work in academia as researchers and professors.
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Accounting Concentration Options

Students can choose from a variety of concentrations as they narrow in on the right accounting degree in Maine. Students can factor in the state's top industries to better situate themselves for job-market success. According to U.S. News & World Report, two of the state's major industries include tourism and paper production, so concentrations in these areas particularly benefit prospective accountants.

Accounting Concentrations

On-Campus Versus Online Program Options

Accounting degree-seekers can choose from online, on-campus, and hybrid delivery formats, with each offering distinct advantages.

On-Campus

In a traditional on-campus program, students meet peers and professors face to face in a classroom. On-campus students benefit from access to campus activities and resources. Students who prefer more face-to-face guidance and interaction may decide to study on campus.

Online Programs

Online programs give students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Distance learning also allows students to attend programs around the country without relocating. However, online students must possess strong motivation and self-discipline, as these programs are typically not as structured as on-campus programs.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid programs combine on-campus and distance learning. Some hybrid programs feature only one or two on-campus requirements, while others require students to visit campus for weekly or monthly sessions.
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education
Enrolled Exclusively in Distance Education Courses Enrolled in Some but Not All Distance Education Courses Not Enrolled in Any Distance Education Courses
Maine Students 18.5% 16.9% 64.7%
United States Students 16.3% 18.4% 65.3%
Source: NCES

Paying for Your Accounting Degree

Students pursuing accounting degrees in Maine can seek out a variety of opportunities to help finance their studies, including scholarships, grants, and loans.

All students should begin the search for financial aid by completing the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal grants and low-interest student loans. In Maine, students who complete the FAFSA can also apply for the need-based Maine State Grant Program.

Prospective and current accounting students can also seek out scholarship opportunities from businesses and organizations. Scholarships may apply directly to tuition, though some allow students to purchase books or use the funds to pay for room and board.

Average Cost of College Tuition and Fees in Maine, 2017-2018
Maine National
Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year) $9,664 $9,037
Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year) $26,939 $25,657
Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year) $37,043 $30,731
Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year) $3,698 $3,243
Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year) $6,498 $7,971
Source: NCES

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Many public universities offer tuition discounts to state residents. As the table above illustrates, in-state students in Maine pay an average of $17,275 less than their out-of-state peers.

However, some institutions allow online students to pay in-state or otherwise reduced tuition, regardless of where they live. Maine also participates in a regional exchange program with other New England states. Tuition Break allows some students living in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to pay reduced rates when they attend colleges in Maine.

Maine's Cost of Living

In addition to tuition costs, students should consider the state's cost of living. Maine ranks as the 11th most-expensive state in the country, with cost index of 117.5, compared to the national average of 100. All six New England states rank in the top 15, making Maine's position consistent with the region.

Other School Selection Criteria

Students should consider several factors when researching potential accounting degrees in Maine. The following list outlines key considerations for prospective students.

School Size

Some students love a large, busy campus, with spectator sports and campus-wide events. Others prefer a more intimate setting, offering more personalized attention from faculty.

Staff Credentials/Diversity

Degree-seekers may want to research the faculty members who teach the programs that interest them. Depending on the individual's goals, students may prioritize professional experience, level of degree, areas of expertise, and diversity when researching faculty.

Alumni Network

Access to a thriving alumni network can jumpstart a graduate's job search. Typically, large schools offer similarly large alumni networks, but smaller schools may offer a more tight-knit alumni community.

University Resources

Many schools offer resources like career services, tutoring, and library resources that support a students' success before and after graduation.

Careers for Accounting Graduates in Maine

Ranked among the 10 least-populous states in the nation, Maine hosts only one Fortune 500 company. None of the "Big Four" accounting firms claim a presence in the state, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the state's business environment at 46 out of 51. However, the site places Maine at 24 out of 51 for economic growth.

With thriving state parks, a large section of the Appalachian Trail, and popular southern beaches, Maine hosts many tourists every year. The state also claims a large pulp-paper industry. Accountants looking to work in Maine might look to Portland for easy access to both beaches and Boston, or the more centrally located state capital of Augusta.

Select Accounting Careers in Maine

Personal Financial Advisor

Working for individuals rather than organizations or businesses, personal financial advisors meet with clients to determine best practices for their investments, mortgage arrangements, and estate plans. They may handle investments directly, or simply provide advice. Specializations may include wealth management or retirement. Many personal financial advisors hold a master's degree.

Job Outlook in Maine: +1.6% (2018-28)

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Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee finances for their organization. They handle investments, prepare and assess financial reports, and supervise related staff. They may work as controllers, treasurers, credit managers, or risk managers. Employers often seek financial managers with a master's degree.

Job Outlook in Maine: +10.3% (2018-28)

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Accountant

Often focusing on tax preparation, accountants work for companies and individuals. They assess financial documents, prepare tax returns, and ensure adherence to regulations. They may also advise clients on financial matters. Job titles include public accountant, management accountant, and government accountant. Many accountants hold a master's degree.

Job Outlook in Maine: +.2% (2018-28)

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Maine Employment Trends

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

5,270 Employees2018
5,280 Employees2028
Maine .2% increase
1,424,000 Employees2018
1,514,700 Employees2028
National 6.4% increase

Source: Projections Central

Explore more careers here

Projections Central projects significant drops in demand for many accounting positions in Maine between 2018-2028, including bookkeepers, payroll clerks, and cost estimators. While other associate and bachelor's-level jobs fare slightly better, the site projects little to no job growth for credit counselors and tax examiners. These projections indicate that the state's accounting professionals benefit from earning an advanced degree.

For example, jobs for personal financial advisors, who typically need a master's degree, are projected to grow 10.3% between 2018-2028. Professional credentials, such as the CPA credential, also expand employment opportunities for accountants.

Maine Requirements for Certified Public Accountants

CPA requirements vary by state, so prospective CPAs should research the requirements in the state where they plan to practice. In Maine, CPA candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • 150 credit hours of college-level coursework, including, 15 credits in accounting, auditing, and ethics.
  • Two years of public accounting or auditing work experience, with acceptable areas including management advisory services, financial advisory services, consulting services, and tax advising and preparation.

Unlike many other states, Maine does not maintain requirements related to age, citizenship, residency status, or ethics examination scores. However, candidates must pass the CPA exam.

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Is accounting a good career in Maine?
Accountants can find opportunities in Maine, with demand growing in certain areas of the field -- particularly for those who complete master's-level studies. General accountants, financial managers, and personal financial advisors can anticipate some growth in the field between 2018-2028.
How much do accountants earn in Maine?
Maine accountants earn a mean annual salary of $70,090, which is slightly below the national average.
What accounting jobs are there in Maine?
Maine accountants can look to industries like tourism and paper production to expand their job prospects. Personal financial advising pays well in the state, while financial management counts among the top up-and-coming positions in terms of growth.
Can I get an accounting degree in Maine?
Yes, many excellent schools in Maine offer accounting degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Does Maine have online accounting programs?
Yes, many Maine institutions, including the University of Maine and Husson University, offer online accounting programs that allow students to earn their degree from a distance.

Maine Accounting and Education Organizations

  • Finance Authority of Maine FAME offers a wealth of resources for college students in Maine, including funding opportunities such as the Maine State Grant Program and low-interest loans. The site also provides advice about how to finance a college degree.
  • Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants Dedicated to serving CPAs working across the state in various industries, MECPA offers member benefits such as job listings and career services, a member directory, discounts, legislative advocacy, and committee participation.
  • Maine Association of Professional Accountants Committed to high standards in the field of accounting, MAPA serves its members through regular continuing education seminars. The association also offers scholarship opportunities for aspiring accountants.
  • Maine Future Business Leaders of America A chapter of the global FBLA organization, Maine FBLA connects aspiring business leaders with their peers and encourages educational initiatives related to business. The organization also offers annual scholarship opportunities.

Accounting Programs in Maine

Prospective students researching accounting degrees in Maine can find ample information on the list of schools below. Updated annually, the list only includes regionally accredited institutions.