Great Entry-Level Jobs in Accounting

The six most rewarding ways to enter the profession.

Finance and accounting staffing firm Accounting Principals has developed a list of the entry-level finance and accounting positions that are most in demand, whether as an essential function for all corporations, or as a growth area due to regulatory reform.

1. Financial Analyst 1. Financial Analyst Median annual salary: $49,700-$51,000 (with MBA: $55,000)

What and why: Basically, understanding financial data and helping translate it into decisions. Jobs for financial analysts will continue to grow as individual and business investment continuously expand, particularly internationally.

Should have: Must have a Bachelor's in Finance.

2. Accountant 2. Accountant Median annual salary: $45,000-$55,000

What and why: Keeping the books, preparing balance sheets, P&Ls and other financial report, etc., etc. -- we don't need to tell you what you do everyday, whether it's in industry or at a public accounting firm. Ever-more complex regulations is creating high demand in industry, sucking CPAs away from public firms and starving them of talent.

Should have: Must have a Bachelor's in Accounting; CPA license leads to more pay.

3. Accounts Payable/Receivable Clerk 3. Accounts Payable/Receivable Clerk

Median annual salary: $34,600-$35,200

What and why: Making sure the money comes in. Who doesn't need the money to come in?

Should have: High school diploma.

4. Auditor 4. Auditor

Median annual salary: $50,000-$55,000

What and why: Vetting the accuracy of financial reports and records. Huge regulatory requirements old and new -- from SOX to Dodd-Franks -- are frequently labeled "No Auditor Left Behind" laws, since they create demand for these experts.

Should have: Bachelor's in Accounting or Finance. Certified Internal Auditor or CPA credential will boost pay.

5. Credit Analyst 5. Credit Analyst

Median annual salary: $44,700-$46,000

What and why: Evaluates the likelihood that borrowers can repay loans. Economic uncertainty is causing companies to continue to be wary of lending, so they need this kind of expertise before they're willing to commit.

Should have: Bachelor's in Finance.

6. Mortgage Underwriter 6. Mortgage Underwriter

Median annual salary: $50,000- $53,000

What and why: Determines how risky a mortgage applicant is. It's in demand because of ... well, everything that's happened in this country for the past 10 years, including recent regulations like the SAFE Act.

Should have: Bachelor's in Finance.

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