Introduction

Over 1,000 licensed CPA firms serve Maryland’s 6 million residents, and the state’s proximity to Washington, D.C. creates employment opportunities for financial services specialists in the government, industrial, and technology sectors. It’s no surprise that major Fortune 500 companies like Lockheed Martin and Marriot are headquartered in Maryland, nor that all the “Big Four” international CPA firms maintain offices in the state. Maryland is home to more than 26,000 accountants and auditors, which is proportionately much higher than the national average, and typical salaries are also higher, with an annual mean wage of around $80,930. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6.7% increase in accounting jobs from 2016 to 2026—slightly less than the national average.

Maryland at a glance

Population 6,052,177
Per Capita Income $36,338
Unemployment Rate 4.2%
Fortune 500 Companies 4
Licensed CPA Firms 1,087

Accounting Programs in Maryland

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Maryland accountants and auditors can anticipate an 8.9% percent rise in employment between 2012 and 2022, leading to over 31,000 potential positions. While this growth rate is somewhat slower than national averages, job opportunities are available in growing regional firms as SC&H Group Inc., Watkins Meegan, Aronson, and Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman.

Maryland’s accountants also earn a far higher average wage than their peers in other states. Annual wages range between $43,600 and $135,660 in this robust economy. Top-paying cities for accountants in Maryland include Cumberland, Baltimore and the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick metropolitan area.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

28,660 Employees2012
31,230 Employees2022
Maryland 8.2% 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

Maryland Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $45,130
$41,110

Payroll Clerks

\ $50,050
$44,950

Credit Counselors

\ $45,490
$49,460

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $71,130
$68,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $61,310
$59,140

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $80,930
$77,920

Budget Analysts

\ $86,000
$77,170

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $123,730
$109,949

Financial Managers

\ $148,990
$143,530
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville Metropolitan Division
    $87,320
  2. California-Lexington Park
    $79,710
  3. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson
    $79,100
  4. Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland nonmetropolitan area
    $67,730
  5. Hagerstown-Martinsburg
    $66,260
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Maryland

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1SC&H Group Inc.Sparks, MD$43
2AronsonRockville, MD$50
3Gelman, Rosenberg & FreedmanBethesda, MD$22
4Ellin & Tucker CharteredBaltimore, MD$23
5Calibre CPA GroupBethesda, MD$23

Accounting Today named these firms among the highest performing in a multi-state region. Rankings as based upon reported net revenues from 2014. Source: Accounting Today, "Top 100 Firms and Regional Leaders"

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Maryland

Maryland residents interested in sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination administered by NASBA must meet the requirements listed below. In addition to initial certification, Maryland supports the transfer of grades policy as well as reciprocal licensure. The list of schools ranked by CPA Exam pass rates below show a variety of colleges and universities in the state with top CPA Exam passing rates.

Candidates who are not successful in their first attempt to pass all four sections of the exam within the designated 18 month period may apply to take the CPA Exam again; a fairly common practice.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Maryland

In order to sit for the NASBA Uniform CPA Exam in Maryland, candidates must fulfill the requirements listed below:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Complete the 150 hour educational requirement
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree or be within 120 of receiving the degree
  • Earn 51 credit hours in accounting and related subjects
  • Take the ethics course and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam for initial licensure
  • Complete 1 year of practical work experience
Age Requirement18
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementNo
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for LicensureBachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International ProgramsNo
Hours in Accounting27 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements120 hours
Experience Requirements1 year of accounting experience
Ethics ExamAICPA Ethics Exam

Ensure that your coursework satisfies Maryland’s CPA licensure requirements by filling out this core course inventory worksheet.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Maryland

Total:$899
  • Application Fee $67
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

Special Fees: A license fee of $22 after successfully passing the exam. $67 for a reciprocity application, $67 for transfer of grades application.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy is a regulatory body that qualifies and licenses those individuals and firms who want to practice public accounting. Not only can the Board suspend or revoke licenses and investigate complaints, but also provide the information necessary to apply for and sit for the CPA Exam.

Anyone interested in becoming certified can join the Maryland Association of CPAs, a state professional organization that supports Maryland CPAs by providing networking opportunities, professional advocacy information, continuing professional education as well as additional member benefits.

Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy

Address

500 N. Calvert Street 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone Number

(410) 230-3680

Maryland Association of CPAs

Address

901 Dulaney Valley Road, Ste. 710
Towson, MD 21204

Phone Number

(443) 632-2320

Email

[email protected]