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Wyoming, the ninth-largest state, boasts scenic landscapes. Half of the state's land is owned by the government, and Wyoming's key economic pillars include mineral extraction and agriculture. Fortunately for prospective accountants, Wyoming's strongest economic sectors employ accountants in a variety of roles, making the state a great place to pursue a career.
In Wyoming, certified public accountants (CPAs) must hold at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for certification. However, accountants in the state may also pursue careers in bookkeeping, auditing, credit counseling, and budget analysis. This makes an accounting degree a great pathway to a variety of lucrative and exciting fields.
This guide provides information on earning your accounting degree in Wyoming, including job growth statistics and how to pick the best program for you.
Wyoming at a Glance
|Per Capita Income||$33,522|
|Fortune 500 Companies||0|
|Number of Higher Learning Institutions||10|
|Climate||Average Annual Temperature: 42℉ |
Annual Precipitation: 12.9 inches
|Major Sports Teams||Cheyenne Grizzlies|
|Accountants in Wyoming||1,860|
Top Wyoming Schools for Accounting
- University of Wyoming
- Casper College
- Western Wyoming Community College
- Central Wyoming College
- Northwest College
Why Go to College for Accounting in Wyoming?
Despite Wyoming hosting the smallest population in the United States, students may find the state an ideal place to earn a degree in accounting. Home to gorgeous national parks like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Wyoming also features a variety of colleges offering online and on-campus accounting programs.
In the 2017-2018 school year, tuition costs in Wyoming averaged $4,443 for in-state students and $13,731 for out-of-state students. The national average for out-of-state tuition and fees that year was at $25,657, while the in-state average sat at $9,037, making tuition costs in Wyoming substantially lower than average for both in- and out-of-state students.
Wyoming's small population means smaller student bodies, leading to more individualized interactions with faculty. The state's largest institution, the University of Wyoming, hosts a student body of just 11,545, including on- and off-campus students. Just 42,962 students enrolled across all higher education institutions in Wyoming in the 2018-19 school year.
Graduates of Wyoming accounting programs can take advantage of pursuing careers in the state's largest industries, including agricultural technology, data centers and IT, and manufacturing. All of these industries employ skilled accountants in some form, and any of these fields could provide a lucrative, fulfilling career for an accounting graduate.
Education Statistics for Wyoming
Wyoming is home to 10 higher education institutions: two four-year and eight two-year colleges. Despite this small number of schools, the state allocates over 15% of tax revenue to high education, substantially higher than the national average of just 5.8%. In Wyoming, 11% of residents over the age of 25 hold an associate degree, exceeding the national average of 8.4%. The table below provides more statistics on higher education in Wyoming.
Higher Education in Wyoming
|Wyoming Data||National Data|
|Number of Four-Year Colleges||2||3,004|
|Number of Two-Year Colleges||8||1,579|
|Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education||38.1%||34.7%|
|Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student||$18,960||$8,196|
|Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education||15.2%||5.8%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree||11.0%||8.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree||17.4%||19.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher||9.5%||12.1%|
Accreditation for Wyoming Schools
As you learn more about accounting degrees in Wyoming, take each school's accreditation status into careful consideration. When a school is accredited, it means the programs offered there meet quality standards set by an accrediting agency or body. These standards ensure that students receive the best education possible, across all available programs at the school.
Schools may hold one of two types of accreditation: national or regional. Nonprofit colleges and universities hold regional accreditation, which allows for credits to transfer between regionally accredited schools and enrollment in most graduate programs. National accreditation is reserved for vocational and for-profit institutions.
The Higher Learning Commission serves as the regional accrediting body for schools in Wyoming. Prospective accounting students can use their website to verify a school's accreditation, and find out more about the HLC's accreditation process. Understanding this process may help inform your choice when looking for the best accounting schools in Wyoming.
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Considerations for an Accounting Degree in Wyoming
Learners should consider several important factors when deciding which program to attend, including course modality (online vs. in-person), concentration options, and which degree level is right for their career aspirations. The data below explores accounting degrees and programs in Wyoming, taking into consideration all of these factors. This section also explores options for funding your degree, including loans and state-based grants available in Wyoming.
Accounting Degree Levels
Depending on your career goals, you may want to pursue an accounting degree at a higher or lower level. Wyoming's state accounting board requires prospective CPAs to hold at least a bachelor's degree in accounting prior to earning certification. More specifically, CPAs must complete a minimum of 150 credit hours at an accredited institution.
Typically, bachelor's degrees require around 120 credit hours, so this designation requires further education beyond that minimum. Many master's programs in accounting require around 30 credit hours, which would fulfill those additional required hours.
Associate Degree in Accounting
An associate degree in accounting prepares students for entry-level careers in bookkeeping, payroll, and credit counseling.
Bachelor's Degree in Accounting
A bachelor's degree prepares students for higher level roles in accounting, including cost estimators and tax collectors.
Master's Degree in Accounting
Earning a master's degree fulfills most state requirements for earning CPA certification, and prepares graduates for upper-level roles in accounting.
Accounting Concentration Options
While pursuing an accounting degree in Wyoming, you may wish to pursue a focus or concentration within the program. Degree concentrations allow students to specialize their education and emphasize learning skills and knowledge in a specific area of accounting. For instance, students may wish to pursue a career in forensic accounting, and a concentration in that area would better prepare them for that role.
The concentrations below serve as just two examples of concentrations students in Wyoming may benefit from pursuing.
|Environmental Accounting||Because agriculture is one of the top industries in Wyoming, preparing a concentration in environmental accounting prepares students for careers in this industry could prove lucrative. Students learn about sustainability and examine the environmental impacts of the company or organization they work for.|
|Information Systems||In Wyoming, IT and data are two key industries. Accounting students can pursue a concentration in information systems to gain the skills they need to enter this field. Students learn how to use and troubleshoot accounting software, and understand the functions of networks and security systems.|
On-Campus Versus Online Program Options
Schools in Wyoming offer students multiple options for pursuing their accounting degree. Depending on your lifestyle, you may thrive in an on-campus, online, or hybrid learning environment. Learn more about each option below.
On-campus learning offers the benefits of an in-person college community. Students on campus can take advantage of the school's study spaces and resources, including student centers, organizations, on-campus housing, and in-person classes. Students who thrive with structured school environments and set meeting times may benefit most from this option.
Online accounting degrees in Wyoming offer students the flexibility to complete their degree from anywhere. Many online programs operate asynchronously, meaning they have no set meeting times for students. Online students complete assignments by set deadlines, view pre-recorded webinars and lectures, and use online learning platforms like Canvas or Blackboard.
Students who work well independently and who can successfully manage their time may thrive in online learning environments. Also, learners working full time or balancing school with family life may find online learning especially accessible.
Hybrid programs offer students the benefits of both online and on-campus learning. In hybrid accounting programs, students may attend some courses on-campus and some online. Alternatively, online courses may require some minimal on-campus attendance, such as an intensive workshop or residency. This option best suits students looking for both flexibility and the benefits of on-campus life.
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|
|United States Students||16.3%||18.4%||65.3%|
Paying for Your Accounting Degree
With the cost of a college degree continually rising, funding your education may seem like a daunting task. However, a variety of options exist for students at all degree levels.
As outlined in the table below, tuition costs in Wyoming sit below the national averages for both in- and out-of-state students at public four-year universities. However, you may need additional aid to cover your tuition and fees. Private and federal loans provide funding that students will pay back upon graduation. Grants and scholarships, on the other hand, can be need- or merit-based and do not require repayment.
Average Cost of College Tuition and Fees in Wyoming, 2017-2018
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$4,443||$9,037|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$13,731||$25,657|
|Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year)||N/A||$30,731|
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$3,142||$3,243|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$7,678||$7,971|
In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition
Students who live in Wyoming and establish appropriate residency can take advantage of in-state tuition rates at Wyoming colleges and universities. In-state costs are often substantially lower than tuition rates for out-of-state students, as demonstrated in the table above. Fortunately, Wyoming's in- and out-of-state tuition rates run below average.
Wyoming schools also participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange. This program allows students in 16 states, including Wyoming, to pay no more than 150% of in-state rates at more than 160 participating institutions. Some participating neighboring states include Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and South Dakota.
Some Wyoming schools may offer flat-rate or in-state options for online learners, allowing out-of-state students to pay in-state rates, regardless of residency.
Wyoming's Cost of Living
Tuition and fees only make up part of a student's cost of attendance. Prospective accounting students should consider the cost of living in Wyoming, particularly if they plan to live in the state while earning their accounting degree in Wyoming.
The cost of living index, which accounts for costs like housing, utilities, and food, measures how each state ranks based on a national average score of 100. In Wyoming, the cost of living index rests below that average, at 89.3. This means it generally costs less to live in Wyoming than most states.
Other School Selection Criteria
Tuition costs, learning model, and location serve as just some of the important factors prospective accounting students should consider when choosing a school. Other key factors include:
School SizeWyoming's small population means that overall student populations are smaller. Smaller schools often provide students with more opportunities for individualized instruction, and one-on-one work with faculty.
Program LengthThe state accounting board in Wyoming requires at least 150 credit hours at an approved institution to earn certification. Students should consider the program requirements and credit hours to see how those may factor into their career goals.
University ResourcesBoth on-campus and online students can benefit from the resources offered at a college or university. This includes career services, tutoring, writing assistance, and advising. Consider what resources each university offers, both on campus and online.
Admission RequirementsDepending on the degree level, admission requirements may be more or less stringent. For instance, graduate-level programs may prove more difficult, and admissions more selective. Undergraduate programs often require transcripts, standardized test scores, and a short admissions essay. Graduate programs may require additional elements, like letters of recommendation, additional test scores, and a statement of purpose or intent.
Acceptance RateConsider the acceptance rate for the school, and the specific program if applicable. More prestigious and rigorous programs may be much more selective of candidates.
Explore Our Rankings For the Best Accounting Programs at Each Level
Careers for Accounting Graduates in Wyoming
In addition to scenic national parks and wide open landscapes, Wyoming also boasts an economy that strongly supports its local and small businesses. According to the state's Economic Development Agency, Wyoming offers some of the best business resources in the country, including the state's stable financial reserves, access to legislators, and state business loans. This financial stability and startup ease for businesses potentially makes Wyoming a great place for accountants.
Some of Wyoming's key industries include agricultural technology and food products, data centers and IT, and manufacturing. All of these industries employ accountants in some way, as all of these industries need skilled and qualified people to help manage finances, and ensure compliance with finance and tax laws.
The sections below introduce some possible career paths for accountants in Wyoming, and provide insight into job growth in the field. Keep reading to learn more about starting your accounting career in Wyoming.
Select Accounting Careers in Wyoming
Accountants and Auditors
Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks
Wyoming Employment Trends
Projected Job Growth for Accountants
In Wyoming, accountants who hold a higher degree, like a bachelor's or master's, tend to earn more than those in accounting careers with an associate degree. The table above breaks down the average salaries of various accounting careers in Wyoming, compared to national averages for those positions.
In some cases, accountants in Wyoming earn less than the national average, and in others, they earn more. Earnings can vary widely based on factors like education, experience, employer, and specific geographic location. Based on the information above, prospective accountants in Wyoming may want to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree for the highest earning potential in upper-level accounting roles.
On average, personal financial advisors and financial managers tend to earn the most among typical accounting careers in Wyoming. On the other end of the spectrum, careers like bookkeeping and payroll work tend to earn less.
Wyoming Requirements for Certified Public Accountants
Although not the only career option for graduates of the best accounting schools in Wyoming, many students choose to go on and work as certified public accountants. CPAs serve in a variety of roles and work in all kinds of industries. Some may work as independent contractors, providing services to individuals and businesses. Others may work for large accounting firms.
However, Wyoming's Board of Certified Public Accountants holds certain requirements for working as a CPA in the state:
CPAs in Wyoming should keep up with the state board's requirements, and stay aware of any changes or new laws.
Frequently Asked Questions About Accounting in Wyoming
Is accounting a good career in Wyoming?
Yes. Accountants in Wyoming earn solid salaries and can expect faster-than-average job growth from 2018-28. Given Wyoming's relatively low cost of living, accounting is a great career option in the state.
How much do accountants earn in Wyoming?
Accountants and auditors in Wyoming earn an average salary of $66,360 per year. However, this salary is not guaranteed; earnings vary based on factors like education, location, employer, and experience.
What accounting jobs are there in Wyoming?
Yes. Jobs in accounting continue to grow. The BLS projects accounting jobs in Wyoming to grow by 10.1% from 2018-28, adding hundreds of new jobs in the field. This surpasses the national projected growth rate for accounting.
Can I get an accounting degree in Wyoming?
Wyoming hosts a variety of colleges and universities offering both on-campus and online degree options in accounting.
Does Wyoming have online accounting programs?
Yes. In addition to on-campus options, some colleges in Wyoming offer entirely online or hybrid learning options for earning an accounting degree.
Wyoming Accounting and Education Organizations
Wyoming Board of Certified Public Accountants
To earn certification as a CPA in Wyoming, candidates must complete requirements set forth by the state board. This website offers information on this process, licensing, and renewal. CPAs may apply and renew online.
Wyoming Community Colleges
Wyoming boasts a variety of affordable community colleges, ideal for students pursuing a two-year degree in accounting. This website offers resources for students on the application process, funding options, state college initiatives, and access to available scholarships for Wyoming community college students.
Wyoming Society of Certified Public Accountants
This state-based CPA organization provides members with professional development opportunities, legislative updates pertaining to practice, and a member directory of other CPAs. Nonmembers can also learn about education opportunities and scholarships.
Wyoming Association of Public Accountants
This association offers IRS-approved continuing education for public accountants working in Wyoming. Additionally, members can use the website to learn about new legislation, locate nearby chapters, and obtain copies of state forms commonly used and filed by accountants.
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