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Accounting Careers in North Dakota

Written by AnonymousJune 9, 2011
North Dakota

Examining Accounting Careers in North Dakota

The North Dakota accounting industry has been hit hard by the recession. In just three short years, the number of accountants decreased from fewer than 3,000 to less than 2,500. The good news is that the average salary has increased, and not just by a few dollars. In 2006, the average salary for accountants was a little over $43,000. In 2009, it was over $50,000.

North Dakota accountants work in auditing, bookkeeping, tax preparation, management, and more. Regardless of the area, many North Dakota accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). CPAs have more experience and they typically have more education. Becoming a CPA will increase your earning power and make it easier for you to land a lucrative position with a major firm. A master of accountancy (MAcc) or an MBA with an accounting focus will increase your chances even more. 

To become a North Dakota CPA, you have to sit for the CPA licensing exam. To sit for the exam you need a bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting or with a focus in accounting from an accredited college of university. Your degree must include 24 credit hours of accounting and 24 credit hours of business courses. You must also pass the American Institute of CPAs (AICPAs) Comprehensive Professional Ethics Course.

Salary Trends for Accountants in North Dakota

Accountants across the U.S. averaged $67,430 in 2009. North Dakota accountants averaged $50,550, up from $43,120 in 2006. That’s a difference of $7,430 over three short years. While the average salary is $50,550, you can earn more or less depending on where you live. Average salaries by area are:

  • Bismarck: $52,870
  • Fargo: $52,030
  • Grand Forks: $51,030
  • West Central, ND: $48,420
  • East Central, ND: $46,350

Employment Trends for Accountants in North Dakota

There are 2,460 accountants in North Dakota, down from 2,980 in 2006. It is unknown whether the industry will bounce back here, but the nation overall shows promise. Overall job growth in the industry is expected to average 22 percent over the next seven years.

Career Outlook

Accounting careers are not at the top of the list in North Dakota, but companies and individuals still need their services. Accountants are needed to prepare taxes, perform bookkeeping duties, manage payroll, perform audits, and manage finances.

For more information about what it takes to become a credentialed accountant in North Dakota, visit the North Dakota State Board of Accountancy at

Note: The statistics in this article are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (