19 Different Types of Jobs for Accounting Majors and Accountants

Top view of accounting files, laptop, phone, eyeglasses, and a cup of coffee.

It is natural to feel excited about the next step after the effort and hard work you put in to obtain your Accounting qualification. There are so many different jobs that you can go into as an Accounting major and an Accountant.

However, to make a well-informed decision, you need to know all about the various kinds of jobs awaiting you regardless of your level of experience.

The types of jobs for Accounting Majors and Accountants are Financial Analysts, Bookkeeper, Budget Analyst, Personal Financial Advisor, Assistant Controller, Insurance Claims Adjusters, Accounts Payable Specialist, Financial Auditor, Investment Banking Analyst, and FBI Forensics Accountant.

It may be nerve-wracking trying to decide which job will best suit you when you only know the job titles and not what the job entails, or even worse, you are not aware of the types of jobs you can choose from. There are two primary industries, public accounting, and private accounting.

After reading this article, you will clearly understand what kinds of jobs you can expect.

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The Types of Jobs for Accounting Majors and Accountants

Ever wondered what kinds of jobs are available to you as an Accounting major and Accountant? There are tons of jobs available, and some only require a Bachelor’s degree, while others require further education qualifications.

Below you will find what each of the jobs entails so that you are well-informed and know precisely what job opportunities are available to you.

Financial Analyst

Man hands with phone and ballpen pointing on laptop that displays chart.

Financial Analysts work for insurance companies, consulting firms, and other corporate entities. When you work in this area, you are responsible for consolidating and analyzing budgets and income statement projections.

You will be preparing reports on your findings, conducting business studies, and developing forecast models. As a Financial Analyst, you will need to keep an eye on economic conditions, all industry trends, and the fundamentals of the company you work for.

Because of the in-depth knowledge you will have of the economy and based on your reports and findings, you will often recommend a course of action for investments, how the company can reduce costs, and how the company’s financial performance can be improved overall.

Having IT skills is a must, along with your Accounting degree for this job. There is plenty of room for new Financial Analysts as there is an estimate of 487 800 Financial Analyst jobs in the American Economy with a projected 5% growth rate by 2029.

As of the beginning of this year, 2021, the most recent figures show that Financial Analysts earned an immediate salary of $81,590 in 2019.

Bookkeepers

Bookkeeping files topped with a calculator and a pen.

As a bookkeeper, you will track and record purchases, sales, and other financial transactions for individual clients or an organization. It is fairly easy to prepare for the duties you will be undertaking with course work, QuickBooks, Microsoft excel, and other latest software.

Your duties may include handling payments for utilities, company credit cards, phone bills, and other organizational expenses. However, the core responsibilities will be to manage financial transactions using software programs, generate financial reports, and advise the organizational leaders on financial decisions that could benefit the organization.

Budget Analyst

Man hand on an expense sheet holding a calculator.

Budget Analysts often help public and private institutions organize their finances. In this job, you will be preparing budget reports and monitoring the institution’s spending habits. Budget Analysts also develop cost estimates for potential future projects or expansions that the institution may want to undertake in the future.

You will work closely with the managers and make any necessary recommendations. Based on the analysis of past underspent budget items, you will identify areas where the budget should be reduced.

There is an estimate of 58,400 Budget Analyst jobs in America, with a predicted increase of about 7% by 2026, which is close to the average for all occupations. If you are great at managing your finances and sticking to your budget, this job could be for you.

Personal Financial Advisor

Woman hands with pen pointing at the chart on a tablet.

A Personal Financial Advisor works with individual people rather than a company to establish a financial plan. This may include creating a budget for that individual, determining the best way to manage savings, and advising on any investments that may benefit the individual.

Personal Financial Advisors usually have clients who are wealthy individuals with considerable assets or an estate that needs to be managed. However, as an advisor, you may choose to specialize in a different type of clientele.

Your other responsibilities will be to monitor the state of your client’s investments and finances. Your role will require you to provide advice on assurance, college savings, mortgages, taxes, estate planning, and retirement. What makes this job appealing is that the majority of Financial Advisors work for themselves.

This means that you get to control your workload and hours. However, some Financial Advisors work as members of a firm where your work will consist of work meetings, spending time in the office researching and creating financial reports, as well as managing the investments that clients have.

This can be considered as a Jack Of All Trades job, which may be an exciting opportunity for the right candidates. Most Personal Financial Advisors have a Bachelor’s degree or higher qualification in Accounting and similar fields. Entry-level pay starts at $44,500 and can double with time and experience in the field.

Assistant Controller

Assistant controller holding a file and a pen while facing the large screen showing graph.

Assistant Controllers oversee the organization’s accounting activities, including internal audits. An Assistant Controller will be required to check company account data for errors and keep an eye out for any discrepancies. You will also be overseeing the allocation of resources, as well as handling budgeting.

These roles aren’t required in a career college background in Accounting. The core responsibilities will be to verify accounts and company data to ensure that the organization complies with financial regulations. Apart from that, you will also need to write budget reports, meet with Chief Financial Officers and other company executives.

Controller

Controller monitoring company's financial assets on dual monitor.

This job is similar to that of an Assistant Controller, but in this case, as the name suggests, the Controller is in control. As a Controller, you will have many roles; one of them is ensuring that the company has proper internal controls in place.

You will do this by developing and updating accounting procedures that will ensure things like separation of duties to discourage any fraud in the company. You’ll also be required to lead the accounting team, training and developing the staff, including the Assistant Controller.

Along with leading, you will be responsible for all accounting functions, like ensuring that customers are being billed. You will need to oversee the financial statements closing process in conjunction with the monthly financial statements that you assemble.

In addition to the above, you will be doing a fair amount of financial analysis, like preparing monthly sales and gross profit analysis. You may also be required to recommend metrics to measure the company’s performance based on the financial results.

In the absence of a Treasurer, you will be required to handle cash management, and this may include monitoring cash flow. You will also work very closely with outside Accountants, serving as their main contact point during the audit.

Insurance Claims Adjusters

Insurance claims adjuster interviewing clients.

As an Insurance Claims Adjuster, you will be gathering information about the circumstances surrounding insurance claims. Your role will be to conduct interviews with people involved in accidents, get photographs, and physically inspect damages.

The job has its worth in the finance sector as you will be reviewing policies to determine the level of coverage and estimate repairs, as well as issue determinations concerning payments to customers. As an Insurance Claims Adjuster, you will also negotiate payments to clients, attorneys, and other insurers.

According to recent estimates, there are 328,700 available. Given the low visibility of this option with prospective graduates, competition for vacant positions is relatively low. This means that your chances of getting this job are substantially higher than other Accounting jobs. The average salary was estimated at $65,900 in 2018.

Accounts Payable Specialist

Accounts payable specialist checking company's invoices.

Accounts Payable Specialist validates and processes invoices for the organization that they are working for. They also need to keep updated files on accounts payable invoices and associate tax documentation.

The core responsibilities are to check invoices for errors and any inaccuracies. They also need to obtain tax documentation for the IRS, use Microsoft excel and other software programs to track and record payments.

Financial Auditor

Company's invoices and tax returns topped with calculator, pen, and stapler.

A Financial Auditor shares many similarities with an Accountant, but there are quite a few differences between what is required and the expertise needed. A Financial Auditor’s primary concern is to ensure that a company’s financial statements are compliant with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

As such, the focus of the Financial Auditor will be on identifying fraud or errors in a company’s financial documents. In this role as an Auditor, you may examine a company’s financial statements, tax returns, accounting entries, cash flow statements, and any other financial documents to ensure that the company complies with GAAP.

The Financial Auditor can either be employed by the company itself to oversee its finances or brought in as an outside consultant. Being brought in as an outside consultant is usually in cases where fraud or errors are suspected instead of a routine check.

If you are attentive and have a keen eye for detail, this job will be perfect for you. You can expect to earn between $52,000 to $66,000, depending on your qualifications and practical experience background.

Accountant

Accountant generating income reports.

Many finance jobs build on Accounting skills and knowledge, but that does not mean there is no need for general Accountants. Accountants can find work in Accounting firms, other companies, or as independent contractors, working with businesses and individuals alike.

Accountants maintain financial records and generate reports recording income, profits, expenses, losses, and tax liabilities. Accountants also advise managers about the financial implications that the business could face depending on their decisions. 

Some Accountants work for Public Accounting firms contracted by corporations for things like tax, auditing, and consulting work. Other Accountants work directly for corporate as well as governmental entities. There are an estimated 1,397,700 Accountant jobs in the United States economy, with a projected growth of 10% by 2026. Much faster than the national average.

Investment Banking Analyst

Hand holding a phone against a laptop that displays financial charts.

Investment banking is considered one of the most prestigious areas of the financial sector. Investment Banking professionals assist individuals, venture capital firms, corporations, and in some cases, governments.

Investment banks mainly underwrite new debt and equities for all types of corporations, aid in selling securities, facilitate mergers and acquisitions, take companies public, and broker trades for institutions and private investors alike.

An Analyst will usually fill an entry-level role at a hedge fund, investment bank, or venture capital firm. The most common duties as an Investment Banking Analyst include performing industry research, producing deal-related materials, financial analysis on corporate formats, etc.

Recommendations based on the interpretation of financial data play an important role in determining whether certain deals and activities are feasible. The average starting salary was $67,817 in 2020.

FBI Forensics Accountant

A caution yellow tape against a truck.

This is probably one of the most interesting areas of Accountancy. As an FBI Forensics Accountant, you will be involved with crime investigation and litigation, specifically surrounding finances.

Most of the time, crimes are centered around money, so you will be responsible for researching, studying, and tracking money movements, such as where the money came from, where it was going, and why it was going there. Often you will be using money trails to figure out fraud and bribery.

This job involves a lot of confidentiality and secrecy. The job itself involves many aspects like investigation work, expert witness work, and compliance work to ensure that a company is working within the law. This is a teamwork job as a lot of brainstorming is needed. You will be making over $77,000 in this position.

An Accounting Manager

Accounting manager guiding his staff.

As an Accounting Manager, you will need to understand financial accounting in-depth and all the rules involved. You will be managing the staff that will be doing the data entry.

As an Accounting Manager, you will be in charge of coming up with all the systems of Accounting as well as monitoring the data captured to ensure that all the information is accurate. With an average base salary of about $75.427, this is an excellent job for those that enjoy working with accounting systems.

Anti-Money Laundering Officer

Often this person is referred to as a Compliance Officer. A Compliance Officer makes sure that regulations in banks and specific businesses are in effect to ensure that these companies are not exposed to their reputations being damaged.

Your role will be to monitor accounts to ensure that there aren’t any unusual activities and that each account fits the correct profile. You will also be responsible for reporting any suspicious activity to the regulator so that any red flags are tracked and stopped.

Because every client and case is different, you need to be prepared to work in a dynamic environment. Attention to detail and critical thinking skills are important, as well as having in-depth knowledge of Microsoft excel. If you like to research, investigate, and analyze, this job is a perfect match.

Finance Manager

Finance manager signing a receipt.

As a Finance Manager, you will be responsible for managing the money. You will be the middle man between the business and the financial markets. Your role would be to raise capital, whether it is through debt or equity.

That money will then usually be invested in profitable opportunities that you have researched and identified. You will have to make certain decisions, like how much of the profits to retain in the business and invest in the operations and how much should be paid out to investors. Your main goal as a Financial Manager will be to maximize the wealth of the business’s shareholders.

Finance Director

Finance director sitting on his chair while explaining business plan.

As the Finance Director, the training and specialist skills you have will help you provide guidance and insight to the Managing Director. Your main role will be to work with the Managing Director to develop a business plan and a strategy that is fully financed so that the business plan can be successfully executed.

You will work alongside other team members to ensure that plans are put in place for the objectives to be met. You will also need to understand the key drivers of the business you work for, interpret any financial information from the finance team, and challenge views to develop plans and objects.

The main focus will be the future of the business and how it will generate cash. Your main objective will be to ensure that finances run smoothly to remain competitive in the business’s market.

As a Finance Director, your expected salary is around $116,000. This position is not available right away to Accounting majors. You will have to work your way to the position, but if you have a passion for finance, it may be a job you would like to get into.

Assistant Accounting Professor

Assistant accounting professor teaching marketing plan and strategy.

An Assistant Accounting Professor can expect to be a part of the faculty. You will be required to create course content, teach the various courses, and do a little bit of research. Often, accounting professors also do other work on the side, like working as independent Accountants, but some become full-time faculty members.

This job is in very high demand, and the chances of getting it are higher. If you are into academia and want to study further, then this job is something that you may want to look into. The average salary to expect as an Assistant Accounting Professor is roughly $132,000, making it one of the highest paying accounting jobs.

International Tax Manager

You will be in charge of all things international tax-related. You will be working with an international company that deals with different tax regulations from different countries. This is a really interesting field because you will be interacting with a broad range of clients.

As an International Tax Manager, you will have to keep up to date with the different tax rules and regulations. Your role will be to help your clients interpret the international tax and trade laws, not only in the United States but also globally in all countries where they conduct their business.

Your responsibilities will be to provide advice on how to structure global operations and transactions in a tax-efficient manner so that business objectives and initiatives are met. This job is challenging and will expose you to many industries ranging from startups to well-established businesses.

There is a great demand and an even bigger opportunity to grow. You can look forward to a whopping salary of over $133,000 as an International Tax Manager.

Accounting Assistant

Accounting assistant interacting with customers through mail.

As an Accounting Assistant, you will be interacting with many customers either by phone, email, or in person. You will also be required to upload and scan documents for entry into the company’s document tracking software. Your main role will be to process company receipts, sales invoices, and any payments from the company’s suppliers and customers.

Other job duties will be to reconcile bank statements, monitor and follow up on any outstanding accounts, file and sort documents and any correspondences, review required documents to ensure they are complete and accurate, and track inventory.

You will report directly to the Senior Accountant or the Controller. Knowledge of office computer programs will increase your chances of getting hired as this is usually an entry-level position that only requires an Accounting degree.

Conclusion

Exploring your options will help you to secure a job that truly fits your skills and expectations so that you can be happy in your career. There are many opportunities for career growth. Accounting is a degree where you can get a lot of different jobs. It is fascinating to see where you can go with this major.

It can lead to a lot of different opportunities because everyone needs Accounting or an Accountant to run the accounting process and make sure that everything is recorded properly. Your options range from the medical field to the entertainment and sports field. There aren’t that many majors out there that have this wide range of job opportunities available.

References:

Southern New Hampshire University: What Can I Do with an Accounting Degree Besides Accounting?

AccountingEdu.org: Careers in Accounting

Accounting.com: Accountant Careers

Accounting.com: Top Paying Jobs You Can Get With a Master’s Degree in Accounting

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