Introduction

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 6.4% through 2026, 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

Population 1,815,857
Per Capita Income $22,714
Unemployment Rate 5.2%
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.

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

0 Employees2012
0 Employees2022
West Virginia 0% decrease
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

West Virginia Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $33,950
$41,110

Payroll Clerks

\ $33,540
$44,950

Credit Counselors

\ $40,450
$49,460

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $61,200
$68,420

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $45,460
$59,140

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $67,510
$77,920

Budget Analysts

\ $64,520
$77,170

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $88,120
$109,949

Financial Managers

\ $100,340
$143,530
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Parkersburg-Vienna
    $76,920
  2. Beckley
    $76,160
  3. Wheeling
    $69,800
  4. Weirton-Steubenville
    $68,330
  5. Huntington-Ashland
    $67,080
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Major firms headquartered in West Virginia

Count Firm Location 2014 Revenue (in millions)
1Arnett Carbis ToothmanCharleston, 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
Age Requirement18
Citizenship RequirementNo
Residency RequirementYes
Social Security # RequirementYes
Education Requirement for LicensureBachelor's degree (150 hours)
International ProgramsYes
Hours in Accounting27 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements120 hours
Experience Requirements1 year of accounting experience
Ethics ExamN/A

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in West Virginia

Total:$842
  • Application Fee $10
  • 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

Address

405 Capitol Street, Suite 908
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone Number

304-558-3557

Email

[email protected]

West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants

Address

900 Lee Street East; Suite 1201
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone Number

304-342-5461