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Accounting Careers in Maine

Written by AnonymousJune 4, 2011

Examining Accounting Careers in Maine

Maine accountants have a lot to be happy about. Job growth is steady and over the years, the average salary has increased at a rapid pace. The accounting population may not be the largest in the country, but accountants here don’t have to worry about declining job growth and shrinking paychecks.

While the average salary for accountants here is around $58,000, accountants with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license (and living in one of the state’s main cities), can earn even more. In addition to higher salary offers, a CPA license offers more job and advancement opportunities.

To become an accountant in Maine, most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business with a focus in accounting, plus experience. To sit for the CPA licensing exam, a degree in accounting or business with an accounting focus is mandatory. You must also have two years public accounting work experience with at least 400 hours of work experience in audit, review, and compilation. You’ll also need 200 hours of work experience in advisory services

Salary Trends for Accountants in Maine

Accountants across the U.S. averaged $67,430 in 2009. Maine accountants averaged $58,240, up from $47,510 in 2006. That’s an increase of $10,730 over three years!

Accountants living in the state’s metropolitan areas earn anywhere from an average of $56,100-$68,000. They are:

  • Bangor: $68,000
  • Portsmouth, NH-ME: $64,640
  • Rochester-Dover: $61,240
  • Portland-South Portland-Biddeford: $58,040
  • Lewiston-Auburn: $56,100

The areas listed are home to more than 75 percent of the state’s accountants. CPAs will find the best opportunities in these cities, so consider taking the Maine CPA licensing exam as soon as you meet the state’s requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

Employment Trends for Accountants in Maine

There are 3,360 accountants living in Maine, up from 2,930 in 2006. Many live in the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford area (1,490), Portsmouth, NH-ME (360), Bangor (320), and Lewistown-Auburn (280). These figures are expected to increase between now and 2018 based on local growth over the last several years and growth in the industry overall, which is expected to average 22 percent. This will add 279,400 new accounting jobs to a pool of nearly 1.3 million across the U.S.

Career Outlook

The demand for accountants is expected to remain strong as public and private scrutiny of companies’ financial activities increases. Another driving force behind the demand is white-collar crime at the hands of companies, crime syndicates, and individuals. Accountants with expertise in all areas will have opportunities, but forensic accountants will be in high demand because they have a background in accounting and law.

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

For more information about becoming a credentialed accountant in Maine, visit the Maine Office of Licensing & Registration.

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