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Salary Information for Bookkeepers

Career News October 27, 2013

Bookkeepers are responsible for recording business transactions for a company, and this job description typically includes balancing ledgers, reconciling checkbooks and bank statements, and preparing summary reports. Their job differs from a Certified Public Accountant because they are usually hired to provide financial advice, at least to the extent that a CPA has. The bookkeeper works under supervision and reports to a manager.

The bookkeeping position can vary, according to salary. After all, this is a job that doesn’t require a four-year degree, though some students will earn one anyway, in hopes of progressing. A bookkeeper earns a median average of $34,000 and slightly less for office administrative positions. The lower percentile earns as little as $21,000 per year, while the highest earners make $51,000.

This tends to be a full-time job, and oftentimes an entry-level or part-time job. Bookkeepers for active entertainment or hospitality services sometimes work overtime because of the holiday season.

Salary and Changing Market Conditions

Bookkeeping is a profession that grows with the economy, though it’s a job title that not many businesses can do without, even in the worst of times. In general, accounting is expected to grow at a rate of 14 percent, until the end of the decade.

The more business companies do, the more bookkeepers are required to keep receipts in order. This is also an age of stricter regulation and tighter laws, and this increases the demand for bookkeepers who know the law and have a CPA or near-CPA level of knowledge.

Technology changes also factor in. You stand to make a lot more money if you embrace new software and anticipate what applications that your future employer might use. Knowledge of how to use electronic banking and bookkeeping is a decided asset, as you will reduce your employer’s need to send and receive checks via postal mail. Whatever you can do to assist accountants, managers, or company owners, will go a long way in commanding a larger salary.

The friendliest industries, to bookkeeping, include science and technology, retail, and insurance and banking. Another important factor to realize is that many bookkeepers work part-time, which might indicate why there is such a low percentile of earners. Full-time workers tend to make more.

Education That You Need and an Optimistic Outlook

Education is paramount, of course, and if you enter an interview with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, you are sure to catch the interviewer’s attention. Work experience is very important. You will benefit from becoming a CPA with few years of learning experience and direct supervision under your name, especially if you want to progress to the duties of a Certified Public Accountant.

At this point in time, many bookkeepers are leaving the profession behind for retirement. This is the ideal time for you to start applying for a top paying salary, provided that you can offer your potential employer as much knowledge and experience as a senior-level accountant might have. Maybe you won’t have the ideal resume, but every extra accolade and skill you attain will go a long way in establishing your profile.

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In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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