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Accounting Careers in Alabama

Written by AnonymousMay 3, 2011

Examining Accounting Careers in Alabama

Alabama might not have as many accountants as nearby Georgia and Florida, but the pool seems to be expanding little by little every year. Between 2006 and 2009, the number of accountants increased by nearly 500. Not only this, but salaries have actually grown too. Alabama accountants earn over $5,000 more than they did in 2006!

Alabama accountants work in all fields and many are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). In addition to public accounting, Alabama accountants work in management accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing.

To become a CPA in Alabama, the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy requires a total of 150 semester hours or 225 quarter hours of postsecondary education, including a bachelor’s degree at a college or university accredited by a regional accreditation board, with a concentration in accounting. If your concentration isn’t accounting, your application will be reviewed by the board to determine if you have completed enough accounting and business courses to sit for the exam. 

Salary Trends for Accountants in Alabama

Accountants across the U.S. averaged $67,430 in 2009. Alabama accountants averaged $58,870. Although Alabama salaries are lower than the national average, Alabama accountants have come a long way when it comes to salaries. In 2006, the average salary for accountants was $53,200. Depending on the city, Alabama accountants may make up to $66,290 a year. The cities with the highest salaries are:

  • Huntsville: $66,290
  • Birmingham-Hoover: $60,940
  • Montgomery: $59,720

The areas listed are home to more than 50 percent of the state’s accountants. CPAs will find the best opportunities in these cities, so consider taking the Alabama CPA licensing exam as soon as you meet the state’s education requirements.

Employment Trends for Accountants in Alabama

There are 13,260 accountants living in Alabama. Many live in the Birmingham-Hoover area (4,550), Montgomery (2,080), Huntsville (1,790), and Mobile (1,110). Based on the increase in accountants between 2006 and 2009, and the expected growth in the industry overall, these figures are expected to increase between now and 2018. The industry overall is expected to grow by 22 percent. This will add 279,400 new jobs to a pool of nearly 1.3 million across the U.S.

Career Outlook

Over the past several years, public and private scrutiny of companies’ financial activities has increased as well as unlawful financial pursuits by companies, crime syndicates, and individuals. This has created a strong demand for accountants in all specialty areas, especially forensic accountants.

Forensic accountants investigate white-collar crimes such as bankruptcy fraud, money laundering, securities fraud, and embezzlement. They help settle contract disputes and they appear as expert witnesses during trials.

For more information about what it takes to become an accountant in Alabama, visit the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy.

Note: The statistics in this article are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).