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Top 10 jobs for accounting majors and who’s hiring

Thinking about your career in accounting? Check out our list of the top 10 most in-demand accounting jobs and who’s currently hiring.

If you’re an accounting major or recent grad looking for work, you might think your job opportunities are limited to working for a “big four” accounting firm like Deloitte. The truth is that many industries need accountants — from sports to health care.

Read on for an overview of the accounting functions you can pursue. We also highlight some companies currently hiring for accounting jobs on Handshake so that you can jump-start your career.

Should you pursue a career in accounting?

Accounting is all about numbers. Clearly, math proficiency is a must if you want to thrive in this field. That said, there are other important skills, including:

  • Tech skills. Accountants use tools like Microsoft Excel, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and data analytics technologies.
  • Analytical ability. In addition to running data, accountants must interpret and draw conclusions from it.
  • Communication. As an accountant, you don’t just crunch numbers. You have to present them and explain their meaning in reports or presentations.
  • Customer service. Accountants have to work with other teams, for example, providing numerical data to department heads. A customer service mentality can help.
  • Time management. Accountants may work on multiple projects at once. For example, you might do a company’s annual report figures while managing day-to-day accounting procedures, like processing expense notes. It’s helpful if you can manage your time and prioritize tasks.

If you’ve got these skills, we’ve got good news for you: There are plenty of job opportunities for people with accounting skills, from financial analysts to tax preparation experts.

Plus, the demand for accounting professionals is expected to increase, growing 6% through 2031.

Best degrees to land accounting jobs

An advanced degree can open opportunities in accounting, paving the way to more senior job titles and better pay. Here are some degrees that give accounting professionals a competitive edge:

  • Finance. A finance degree can lead to job opportunities like audit clerk, accounts payable specialist, and accounts receivable clerk. A more advanced degree like a master’s can open the doors to a budget analyst role.
  • Accounting. An accounting degree can allow for job options like bookkeeping or staff accounting. Again, a master’s opens more doors, like budget analysis.
  • Medical billing. Medical billing or coding is a unique field (we explain it below) that generally requires a certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

When studying finance or accounting, you can gain expertise in certain areas, like tax preparation or auditing. Depending on the path you want to take, honing in on a niche like this can be helpful.

Industries where you can build an accounting career

Again, you don’t have to work as a certified public accountant (CPA) at a big four accounting firm to work in accounting — although you can if that’s what you want!

Alternative industries include:

  • Healthcare. Healthcare facilities like nursing homes and hospitals may hire accountants, accounts payable specialists, or budget analysts. For example, you could work as a budget specialist for a hospital, figuring out how to save money. Medical coders or billers are also possible job roles.
  • Education. Higher education institutes like colleges and universities have plenty of numbers to crunch. For example, you could work as an accounting associate allocating funds to different departments or in a student loan office.
  • Sports. If you’ve dreamed of working for your favorite sports team but aren’t an athlete, you can still be their accountant! Sports accounting entails managing budgets, payroll, and cash flow for sports organizations.
  • Entertainment. Hollywood movies and streaming TV productions have big budgets. Who oversees them? It could be you. As an accounting clerk, you might work for an entertainment accounting firm or production studio.
  • Government. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs tax accountants and tax return auditors. Other government agencies need to fill accounting roles, as well, like payroll specialists.

Top 10 entry-level jobs in accounting

You don’t have to have years of experience to enter the accounting field. Check out these entry-level job descriptions.

1. Bank clerk

Bank clerks, also called bank tellers, work in banks and deal directly with customers. They may process transactions, answer questions, and help with administrative tasks.

Median salary: $33,280 per year


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Background check might be required


  • Professional appearance
  • Good customer service skills
  • High level of accountability and trustworthiness

2. Accounting assistant

Accounting assistants work in accounting departments, helping with clerical tasks like recording transactions, preparing reports, and fact-checking and filing. They may also communicate with clients or vendors.

Median salary: $37,440 per year


  • Associate degree in a field like accounting


  • Proficiency with bookkeeping software
  • Good time management
  • Professionalism and strong ethics

3. Audit clerk

Auditors help review financial records, bookkeeping journal entries, and other financial reporting documents to ensure accuracy. They may work in-house for companies or as external consultants. Auditors may also work for the IRS.

Median salary: $33,280 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business, or similar
  • Accounting experience generally required


  • Good eye for detail
  • Analytical mindset
  • Proficiency with bookkeeping and financial software
  • Integrity

4. Accounts payable specialist

Accounts payable specialists manage an organization’s expenses. They organize and analyze expense reports, invoices, and other financial statements to ensure accuracy.

Median salary: $41,600 per year


  • Associate or bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or similar


  • Competency in accounting software like Zoho Books
  • Knowledge of accounts payable principles
  • Experience in account reconciliation

5. Staff accountant

Staff accountants work in accounting firms or for company or nonprofit accounting departments. They handle various duties, like maintaining a general ledger for the organization, preparing financial reports, and helping with budgets and audits.

Median salary: $54,563 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting


  • Great communication skills
  • Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Good problem-solving abilities

6. Accounts receivable clerk

Accounts receivable clerks are the opposite of accounts payable clerks. They oversee incoming money instead of expenses, ensuring an organization’s customers are properly billed and that they pay promptly.

Median salary: $35,360 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or similar


  • Knowledge of bookkeeping software
  • Strong communication skills
  • Attention to detail and accuracy

7. Budget analyst

Budget analysts review organizational budgets and allocate funds, for example, to different departments or projects. They may review funding requests, conduct cost-benefit analyses, and find ways to cut costs.

Median salary: $64,902 per year


  • Bachelor’s in finance, accounting, or similar (master’s preferred)


  • Analytical mindset
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Good written and verbal communication
  • Data analysis and forecasting abilities

8. Payroll administrator

Payroll and timekeeping clerks help manage an organization’s payroll processes. Their tasks include calculating wages, resolving pay issues, and ensuring employees are paid on time.

Median salary: $45,760 per year


  • High school diploma or GED (bachelor’s in business administration, accounting, or finance preferable)


  • Proficiency in payroll software and MS suite
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good time management

9. Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers are the go-to people for almost all an organization’s financial information. They may run payroll, collect outstanding payments, and pay off debts. They may also handle government paperwork, like sales tax payment records.

Median salary: $39,520 per year


  • Associate degree in accounting, finance, business, or similar


  • Knowledge of GAAP
  • Bookkeeping software proficiency
  • Attention to detail

10. Medical coder and biller

Medical coding and billing specialists work for healthcare organizations like hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. They take patient data and translate it into standardized codes used to document insurance claims.

Median salary: $41,600 per year


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Certification from the AAPC


  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Discrete with sensitive information
  • Computer proficiency

Who’s hiring in accounting on Handshake

Earn a career in accounting with help from Handshake

As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of job types in the accounting field. You can work for all kinds of organizations — from insurance companies to government agencies and even sports teams.

Are you ready to kick off your accounting career? Check out the job alerts available on Handshake now. You’ll find full-time and part-time positions, plus internships.

Create a profile, and human resources (HR) pros will reach out if you’re a match for the accounting positions they need to fill.

Find your next accounting job on Handshake.


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