With an economy almost as diverse as the United States itself, Minnesota's major industries include agriculture, forestry, mining, technology, and biomedicine. The state is also home to many of the country's top corporations, including Target, UnitedHealth, Best Buy, 3M, and General Mills. The wealth of businesses and industry in Minnesota equates to a high demand for CPAs, and the state proportionately employs more accountants that almost all other U.S. states. The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area in particular is home to one of the highest concentrations of CPAs in the country, employing more than 8,450 accounting professionals total. Many of the region's top financial firms are also based in Minnesota, including BerganKDV, Lurie, and Boulay.

Minnesota at a glance

Population 5,576,606
Per Capita Income $32,638
Unemployment Rate 2.8%
Fortune 500 Companies 18
Licensed CPA Firms 918

Accounting Programs in Minnesota

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

Accounting Salaries and Employment

Over the next decade, accountants' jobs are slated to rise by more than 7% in the state of Minnesota alone. Great news for those who specialize (or who want to specialize) in agriculture or factories. In the entire United States, that number is expected to raise by 13.1%, leaving an impressive growth rate for the state.

Accountants make up more than 36% of the working population, and average $31.70 per hour, for a yearly salary of around $65,940 — with a low end of $40,850 and a high end of $115,950 as a national average. Minnesota sits closely in that range at $38,220 for bookkeepers and auditing clerks and up to $127,500 for financial managers.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

23,970 Employees2016
32,960 Employees2026
Minnesota 27.3% 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

Minnesota Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $42,660

Payroll Clerks

\ $48,410

Credit Counselors

\ $49,650

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $65,650

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $63,730

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $71,420

Budget Analysts

\ $75,010

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $109,250

Financial Managers

\ $133,980
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Mankato-North Mankato
  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
  3. St. Cloud
  4. Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area
  5. Duluth
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in Minnesota

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1 BerganKDV St. Cloud, MN $45
2 Lurie Minneapolis, MN $28
3 Boulay Minneapolis, MN $26
4 Abdo, Eick & Meyers Mankato, MN $20
5 Redpath & Co. St. Paul, MN $18

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 Minnesota

Like most states, in Minnesota, potential CPAs must pass a few layers of qualifications. After first completing the necessary educational requirements, they must take a CPA exam, an ethics exam, and complete certain hours of experience before they're able to obtain an actual license. Oftentimes those without their own CPA accreditation can practice under seasoned CPAs until their paperwork is finished.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Minnesota

Education requirements in Minnesota include a bachelor's degree, including at least 24 hours of accounting at an upper or graduate course level. There must also be 24 hours of undergrad level hours, with the option of an internship (though six is the maximum number of hours that can be included from internship-type credits). Potential CPAs can then take the CPA and ethics exam; their CPA test will differ, depending on where one obtained their degree, specifically the accreditation level.

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 Yes
Hours in Accounting 24 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 120 hours
Experience Requirements 1 year of accounting experience
Ethics Exam AICPA Ethics Exam

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Minnesota

  • Application Fee $190
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

Additional fees: $115 per exam section — four total, though applicants are required to take different numbers, depending on their level of education or where they obtained their degree.

Certifying and Professional Organizations

For more information on becoming a CPA in the state of Minnesota, reach out to the below. The Board of Accountancy can help you obtain your CPA and follow the necessary steps, as well as where to go for continuing education. The Society has information about educational programs, what entities to reach out to, and more. Head to their websites for specific information, or contact them to ask specific questions.

Minnesota Board of Accountancy


85 E. 7th Place, Suite 125
St. Paul, MN 55101

Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants


1650 West 82nd Street, Suite 600
Bloomington, MN 55431

Phone Number

(952) 831-2707