CPA (Certified Public Accountant) Salary

Certified Public Accountant

Quick Look: CPA at a Glimpse

  • A professional, who is specialized in auditing, preparation of tax returns and financial consulting.
  • Yearly Salary: Between $39,870 to $51,674
  • Type of Service: Professional
  • Tasks: Auditing financial books, preparing tax returns, book-keeping and financial reporting.

Certified Public Accountant: An Introduction

Certified public accountant is the title for qualified accountants in the United States, who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Exam, and possess the additional experience and fulfills state education requirements to be certified as a CPA. It’s mandatory for the CPAs to adhere to the rules of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

In most of the states of USA, except Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina, and Michigan, only those accountants can audit the financial statements, who possess an authorized licence. There are various services that a CPA can provide:

  • Financial audit
  • Attestation of disclosures and documents
  •  Business consultation
  • Income tax planning
  • Corporate governance
  • Investigating and detecting financial frauds
  • Venture capital
  • Issuing of shares and debentures, IPO, and merger and acquisitions
  • Regulatory reporting

How Much Does a Certified Public Accountant Make?

As per the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the payment for auditors and accountants ranges between $40,581 and $101,385 yearly. The median salary, earned by the accountants, is $62,850 per annum.

What is the Yearly Salary of a CPA Tax Accountant?

CPA tax accountants file income tax returns for investors, tax authorities, and managers, which help them in making decisions about allocation of financial resources. As of July 2013, the average yearly salary of a tax accountant was $66,000, according to As per the analysis of, the salary of a CPA also depends on the experience and level of position, they hold in the industry.

As Per the Industry

According to, the industry-wise average annual salaries of these professionals are as follows:

  • Banking: $39,116 – $81,329
  • Financial Services: $39,898 – $84,025
  • Software Development: $40,189 – $92,87
  • Auditing and Business Advisory Services: $39,369 – $84,853
  • Accounting, Auditing and Tax Services: $40,116 – $82,905

As Per the Academic Qualification

The salary of certified public accountants is also affected by the level of education and degree, earned by them.

  • Bachelor’s Degree:  $41,126 – $96,864
  • Bachelor of Science (BS / BSc), Accounting: $43,408 – $100,941
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Accounting: $42,454 – $94,302
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): $41,143 – $98,311
  • Bachelor of Accountancy: $41,228 – $97,368

CPA Hourly Wages

The hourly wages of a certified public accountant depend on the years of experience. As of July 2013, the hourly salary of CPAs, as per, is given below:

  • Less than 1 year         $10.14 – $49.32
  • 1-4 years                     $12.91 – $26.88
  • 5-9 years                     $17.04 – $39.53
  • 10-19 years                 $17.09 – $50.84
  • 20 years or more       $25.06 – $100.03

CPA Salary in San Diego

According to, as of July 2013, the average yearly salary for a certified public accountant in San Diego, California was $65,000. The salary also depends on the location, industry, company and experience.

How Much a Private Certified Accountant Makes?

Private certified accountants are those, who render their services in private industries. Their yearly income ranges from $38,750 to $64,500. The salaries of the private accountants depend on the size of the firm; the bigger the organization, the higher will be the range of salary ($45,750 to $64,500). The smaller the organization, the lower will be the salary range ($38,750 to $50,500).

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