How to Become an Accountant: A Guide to the Path for Your Dream Job!

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Jun 18, 2020 09:40 AM

An accountant is truly a dream job for some people, especially those who like routine and seek perfection. In accounting, you can’t make a mistake as the result will affect the entire calculations. The salary of being an accountant is also good, as nowadays an accountant isn’t only number crunchers, but they also drive business decisions through accurate finance management.

If you are still in high school right now and hope that someday you will become an accountant, then this is the perfect time to prepare early. Even though a degree is not required, most accountant holds at least a bachelor degree in accounting and finance. Very few people start from entry level accounting position, such as becoming a bookkeeper or clerk.

So, what is the most common path that people take to become an accountant? What kind of skills do they need to possess? How many years does it take before someone could work as an accountant? In this article, Tripboba will explain to you how to become an accountant and answer the questions people have been wondering about.

Scroll down to find out how to become an accountant!

1. How to become an accountant: the education

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As we have mentioned before, most accountants hold at least 4 years of bachelor's degree to become an accountant. Some of them even pursued a higher degree to become a certified public accountant. Here is a list of education options that you can pursue and what it could lead you towards in accounting job path:

Associate degree

By pursuing this degree, you will understand the solid basic knowledge about accounting and accounting technology. This degree will bring you to entry level job of accounting, such as bookkeeper, billing clerk, or accounts receivable clerk. It would take one to two years to finish an associate degree.

Bachelor’s degree

Available in traditional class as well as online class, a bachelor's degree allows you to take courses that would teach you a broader knowledge about accounting. The courses include the principles of accounting, business communications, accounting technology, business law, and more.

It will take you up to four years to finish a bachelor's degree, depending on your college credits.

Master's degree in Accounting

This is the right education path to choose if you want to pursue management-position jobs in accounting. Pursuing a master's degree will give you the knowledge of the accounting world in more challenging manners, such as accounting in big industries, from banking to high-tech industries.

It will take you one to two years to complete the courses in a master’s degree after you pursued a bachelor's degree.

Getting Accountant Certification (CPA)

To apply for senior accounting roles, it’s best if you become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). After you earned your master's degree, you will be eligible to take the CPA exam in most states.

Then, you will have to work under licensed CPA supervisors to prove your skills and knowledge. If you successfully passed this exam, you will get certified as an accountant as well.

2. How to become an accountant: the skills

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Now it's about the skills you need to master on how to become an accountant. Not only you will have to be good with numbers, there are several more skills that you need to possess so your path of becoming an accountant will go smoother. Here is a list of the skills you would like to gain in order to become an accountant:

Mathematics
Yes, and this is non-negotiable. In order to become an accountant, you have to be excellent in math or at least fluent with math formulas. With this skill, you will understand how cash flow and finances work more easily.

Organization
If you don’t like to be in the middle of a mess and move to go clean the mess up once you’ve seen it, then this job is perfect for you. Accounting is about maintaining accurate and orderly records, so it’s best that you’re not the chaotic-type of person. 

Analytical skill
You will need to see a pattern in your reports so you can come up with a good business decision for the company you work for. 

Able to operate software
If you want to become an accountant, you should expect to deal with spreadsheets and numbers. Technology has been helping accountants to get their job done faster and easier. So, if you want to survive the accounting world, it is important for you to become familiar with applications that help you manage the numbers. 

3. How to become an accountant: the salary and prospect

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There’s nothing wrong with being motivated by the salary when you’re pursuing a job. Money helps you survive the world, pay your bills, and buy your needs. Well, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the annual median salary for an accountant is USD 68,150 in 2018-2019.

Of course, the pay will be different amongst accountants. It depends on the location they worked at, accounting specialty, experience, and many more. For the management analyst, the median salary is USD 81,330 and for the financial managers, the median salary stood at USD 121,750.

That’s all about how to become an accountant! Hopefully, this will give you a general understanding of what path you should take to become an accountant. Good luck!

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