how to start a career in accounting

how to start a career in accounting

Launching a Career in Accounting

Exploring the various career options in accounting can be a daunting yet thrilling prospect. Becoming an accountant offers the opportunity to join a lucrative and steadily-growing field. Whether you’re just starting out or transitioning to the field, here is how to begin a career in accounting:

1. Explore the Different Career Types

Accounting is a diverse field, with many different positions available. Common types of accounting jobs include:

  • Public Accountant: Prepares taxes and provides financial advice to individuals and businesses
  • Cost Accountant: Analyzes manufacturing costs and monitors the profitability of new and existing products
  • Auditor: Verifies and investigates financial operations to ensure the accuracy of records
  • Government Accountant: Focuses on the financial operations of local, state or federal governments

Evaluate the knowledge and skills needed to pursue each profession. Then research positions with educational and career paths that match your interests and aptitude.

2. Invest in Education and Training

Extensive education is paramount to becoming an accountant. Most professional accounting jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in the field. Consider advancement options such as obtaining a master’s in accounting. Often, employers look more favorably upon prospective candidates with additional credentials.

You may also want to pursue other certifications like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. A CPA is a certification that proves an individual has met the requirements set out by the respective state board of accountancy.

3. Gain Experience Through Internships

Look for internship and mentorship opportunities within a trusted accounting firm or business. Internships are a great way to test the waters, experiment with different positions, and gain valuable experience. Even if a position isn’t offered, you can offer some of your services free of charge to a current professional and gain hands-on knowledge.

4. Develop a Job Search Strategy

Start crafting the perfect resumé and cover letter – and make sure it is tailored to the job you are applying for. Consider joining professional associations or networking with fellow professionals to gain insider knowledge of existing job postings.

The possibilities in the accounting field are expansive and lucrative, so have confidence in your ambition and take the plunge. Invest in yourself and equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and training, and you’ll be ready for a successful career as an accountant.

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