Working in accounting can lead to a fulfilling career. According to a study by Totaljobs and Universum, accountants and auditors report the highest level of job satisfaction. They are also highly likely to be happy with their current employers.

Earning a certificate in accounting can prepare individuals for entry-level positions in the accounting field. Graduate certificates help those who already work in the field improve their skills or develop a specialization.

Students who earn an accounting certificate can qualify for entry-level positions as bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks without earning a college degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this career usually requires some college education but does not require a degree.

Should I Get a Certificate in Accounting?

Holding an accounting certificate gives applicants an advantage over other applicants who have no formal accounting training.

A certificate in accounting provides a quick way to enter the accounting profession, since entry-level positions often do not require a college degree. Holding an accounting certificate gives applicants an advantage over other applicants who have no formal accounting training.

A certificate in accounting can take 2-12 months to complete depending on the number of required credits. Many schools offer an online certificate in accounting, making it even easier to become qualified for an entry-level accounting job.

Graduate certificates enable accounting professionals with bachelor's or master's degrees to take their careers to the next level. These programs give students advanced skills in accounting and corporate finance and provide college credits that count toward the certified public accountant (CPA) credential.

While the projected growth rate for accountants and auditors between 2019 and 2029 equals the national average, the same is not true of all accounting careers. During the same period, the BLS projects a 6% decline in demand for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks.

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What Will I Learn in an Accounting Certificate Program?

An entry-level accounting certificate program teaches the skills needed for entry-level accounting positions. The curriculum may include courses in financial reporting and analysis, cost accounting, financial accounting, auditing, federal income tax, and accounting information systems.

A graduate certificate covers more advanced accounting courses. A typical program includes courses in corporate finance; intermediate accounting; managerial accounting; financial accounting; and essentials of accounting, finance, and economics.

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How to Get Into an Accounting Certificate Program

For entry-level accounting certificate programs, applicants typically need a high school or GED diploma or an associate degree. They must also submit official transcripts if they have previously earned college credits.

To enroll in a graduate certificate program, prospective students need a bachelor's degree. Postgraduate programs require a master's degree. Some programs require a degree in accounting and a minimum GPA.

What Can I Do With a Certificate in Accounting?

Companies in many industries hire accounting clerks, accountants, and other accounting professionals. Financial records form the foundation of any business activity, so whether a business sells airplanes or office supplies, it needs financial advisors.

An entry-level certificate in accounting prepares students for a career as a bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk; bill collector; financial clerk; or administrative assistant. The credits they earn can often apply toward an associate or bachelor's degree.

A graduate or postgraduate certificate in accounting provides credits that count toward the minimum number required to sit for the CPA exam. Graduate certificates can also prepare students to work in a more specialized accounting field like business analytics or forensic accounting.

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How Much Money Can I Make With a Certificate in Accounting?

Median annual salaries for graduates with an entry-level certificate in accounting range from $32,620 for bank tellers to $42,410 for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks. Bill and account collectors earned a median annual income of $38,100 in 2020, while financial clerks earned $41,520.

Individuals with graduate or postgraduate certificates often earn much more. Accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $73,560 in 2020. Related occupations include budget analyst ($78,970), financial manager ($134,180), and personal financial advisor ($89,330).

Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Accounting Programs

Do you need a certificate to be an accountant?

Most accountant positions require a bachelor's degree. However, entry-level accounting positions like accounts receivable clerk, accounts payable clerk, and financial reporting clerk typically require only a certificate or some college (without a degree).

How much does an accounting certificate cost?

The cost of an accounting certificate varies depending on the school's tuition rates and the number of credits required. Most programs charge $400-$600 per credit.

How long does it take to get a certificate in accounting?

Learners can complete a certificate in accounting in 3-12 months depending on the program and whether they enroll part time or full time.

Is accounting a good career?

Accounting can be a fulfilling career, especially for those who enjoy numbers and math. More accountants and auditors find their careers satisfying than any other occupational group.

Can you get an accounting job without experience?

Yes. Many entry-level accounting jobs do not require experience. Even without experience, you can find entry-level work as a bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk; teller; financial clerk; or bill and account collector.