Accounting Degrees in West Virginia
One of the smallest states in terms of both population and size, West Virginia is nevertheless home to a diverse economy based around logging, coal mining, tourism, and natural gas. The state’s GPD sits at $73.4 billion, which ranks 40th in the country, but West Virginia has experienced strong economic growth after being hit particularly hard by the recession, with one of the fastest growing state GDPs in the nation. Much of this growth is due to gains in the mining and natural gas sectors—two of the largest industries in West Virginia. Unfortunately, these economic gains haven’t translated to a higher demand for accountants and auditors—the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Projections Central predicts accounting job growth of just 2.1% through 2024, which is among the lowest in the country. However, these projections could change as West Virginia’s economy continues to grow.
West Virginia at a glance
|Per Capita Income||$22,714|
|Fortune 500 Companies||0|
|Licensed CPA Firms||251|
Accounting Programs in West Virginia
Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in West Virginia, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.
- Degree Levels
Accounting Salaries and Employment
West Virginia has been making significant strides in the past few years by establishing itself as a region that is diversifying its business interests. It is becoming more active in the hospitality and tourism sectors, as well as automotive and education. Businesses such as these require close relationships with CPAs and other individuals with financial backgrounds, making the state a destination to consider.
Accounting salaries are currently slightly below the U.S. average for larger cities, but West Virginia is a good place for newly minted CPAs to gain experience. The market is less competitive and candidates have a number of small and industry-specific corporate firms to choose from.
Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Accounting Salaries by Specialty
Associate Degree Recommended
Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks
Bachelor's Degree Recommended
Tax Examiners and Collectors
Master's Degree Recommended
Accountants and Auditors
Personal Financial Advisors
Top-paying cities for accountants
- Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH$67,940
- Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH$64,940
- Wheeling, WV-OH$57,820
- Morgantown, WV$56,990
- Charleston, WV$55,280
Major firms headquartered in West Virginia
|Count||Firm||Location||2014 Revenue (in millions)|
|1||Arnett Carbis Toothman||Charleston, WV||$33|
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 West Virginia
The requirements for working as a CPA in West Virginia are quite similar to most other states. You must, of course, pass a CPA exam and possess the minimum education requirements mandated by the state.
West Virginia maintains reciprocity with individuals who are licensed as CPAs in other states. Details can be viewed on West Virginia Board of Accountancy’s website. This state also allows out-of-state CPAs to legally provide accounting services to clients without opening a licensed office in the state.
Eligibility for CPA Licensure in West Virginia
The process of CPA licensure in West Virginia is comparable to requirements in other states:
- State residency status or reciprocal licensing approved
- Educational requirements of 150 credits including a bachelor’s degree and 27 credit hours in accounting
- One year of general experience in accounting
- Successful completion of all four parts of the uniform CPA exam administered by the state
|Social Security # Requirement||Yes|
|Education Requirement for Licensure||150 hours (including bachelor's degree)|
|Hours in Accounting||27 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours in specific accounting courses, excluding introductory accounting courses covering the principles of accounting components, including the minimum requirements of 6 hours in financial accounting or intermediate accounting, 6 hours in auditing or accounting information systems with a minimum of 3 hours in auditing, 3 hours in taxation, 3 hours in cost, managerial, governmental or not-for-profit accounting and 9 hours in accounting electives|
|Exam Sitting Requirements||Bachelor's degree (120 hours)|
|Experience Requirements||1 year general experience gained through the employment in private practice, government, industry, not-for-profit organization, academia or public practice.|
|Ethics Exam||No ethics exam|
Source: The American Institute of CPAs
CPA exam fees in West Virginia
- Application Fee $170
- Auditing & Attestation $208
- Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
- Regulation $208
- Business Environment & Concepts $208
West Virginia CPA testing windows are as follows: January/February, April/May, July/August, October/November
Certifying and Professional Organizations
When considering working as a CPA in West Virginia, it is important to become familiar with two organizations. First is the West Virginia Board of Accountancy. Second is the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (WVSCPA).
Both organizations have Web sites that contain valuable information about the steps required to work as a CPA in the state, as well as advantages to being a member of the state’s professional organizations.
West Virginia Board of Accountancy
405 Capitol Street, Suite 908
Charleston, WV 25301