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Accounting Careers in Louisiana

Written by AnonymousMay 3, 2011

Examining Accounting Careers in Louisiana

Louisiana is a great place to live, but is it a great place for accountants? Maybe. Louisiana accountants have enjoyed steady salary growth since 2006. Salaries are on the low side compared to the national average, but are still respectable. The state has seen a decline in accountant jobs over the years. It lost around 380 jobs between 2006 and 2009, but some job loss may be attributed to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

Still, Louisiana has a sizable pool of accounting talent and firms are still hiring. CPAs can expect to have the most opportunities. They work in all fields from management and government accounting to internal auditing.

In order to become a CPA in Louisiana, you’ll have to obtain a license. You’ll need 150 hours of college education with a concentration in accounting. You must also have a number of business courses under your belt, along with at least one year of experience (or 2,000 hours) working under the supervision of a CPA. The experience may be from public practice, private industry, non-profit, or government.

Obtaining a CPA license in Louisiana is a great way to increase your marketability, but many top Louisiana accounting firms want more. Consider earning a master of accountancy (MAcc) or an MBA with an accounting focus to increase your chances of obtaining a management position or other higher paying position.

Salary Trends for Accountants in Louisiana

Accountants across the U.S. averaged $67,430 in 2009. Louisiana accountants averaged $54,540. Although the salary is much lower than the national average, salaries have come a long way. In 2006 the average salary for Louisiana accountants was $50,240.

If you want to earn more, choose a larger metropolitan area such as:

  • Baton Rouge: $56,790
  • Lafayette: $56,070
  • New Orleans: $56,000
  • Shreveport: $53,520

The areas listed are home to the majority of Louisiana’s accountants, particularly CPAs. CPAs will find the best opportunities in these cities, so consider taking the Louisiana CPA licensing exam as soon as you meet the state’s education and experience requirements.

Employment Trends for Accountants in Louisiana

There are 11,290 accountants living in Louisiana, down from 11,670 in 2006. Many live in New Orleans (3,370), Baton-Rouge (2,580), Lafayette (940), and Shreveport (940). 

The accounting 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. It is unknown whether Louisiana’s talent pool will increase or decrease in the coming years. 

Career Outlook

Public and private scrutiny of companies’ financial activities and unlawful financial pursuits by companies, crime syndicates, and individuals have increased over the years thanks to America’s economic crisis. This has created a strong demand for accountants in all specialty areas, particularly forensic accountants.

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

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

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