The top 10 cities for accountants

With firms scrambling for talent, accountants can find work just about anywhere they go — which makes AdvisorSmith’s recent study of the top cities for accountants a valuable tool for professionals who are looking to make the most of the intense demand.

The business insurance advisor analyzed 399 small, midsized and large cities across the country based on accounting salary and job availability statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and on the local cost of living from Sperling’s BestPlaces.

Below are the 10 best cities in which to be an accountant; to see the full report, including a ranking of the Top 50 and Top 10 lists broken down by city size, visit AdvisorSmith.

Jefferson City, Missouri skyline
Cityscape of the Jefferson City skyline with the Missouri State Capitol reflecting in the river at twilight.
10. Jefferson City, Missouri
This midsized city, the first of three state capitals in the Top 10, has the lowest average accountant’s salary of $55,780, but a relatively low cost of living, and lots of job opportunities.
The New Jersey State House in Trenton.
9. Trenton, New Jersey
Though it has the highest cost of living of any city in the top 10, this state capital also has the second-highest average salary, at $84,860, and plenty of jobs in the profession.
Skyline of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
8. Birmingham, Alabama
This big city has lots of jobs for accountants and a very low cost of living — but also the second-lowest average accountant’s salary, at $73,070.
Denver skyline
7. Denver
The cost of living in the Mile-High City is the highest in the top 10, but there are plenty of jobs available for accountants at a very decent average salary of $81,650.
6. Dallas
The first of three Texas cities in the Top 10, Dallas offers an above-average average salary of $83,080 with a reasonable cost of living for a large city — and tons of accounting jobs.
5. Midland, Texas
The midsized city beats Dallas on average accountant’s salary, at $83,600, and on cost of living. Industry experience in oil and gas will be a plus here, given its proximity to the West Texas oil fields.
Wilmington, Delaware downtown - Rodney Square
Buildings at Rodney Square at night, in Wilmington, Delaware.
4. Wilmington, Delaware
As the biggest city in a state known as the place large companies love to be incorporated in, Wilmington offers lots of jobs and a strong average accountant’s salary of $81,430.
3. Houston
The third Texas city to crack the top 10, Houston has the highest average accountant’s salary, at $89,270, lots of job openings, and a surprisingly reasonable cost of living.
Parkersburg, West Virginia
2. Parkersburg, West Virginia
The only small city in the Top 10, Parkersburg has the lowest cost of living in the ranking, which helps make up for having the second-lowest average salary of $76,920.
1. Springfield, Illinois
This state capital takes the top spot, scoring well across the board, with a relatively low cost of living, an average accountant’s salary of $80,110, and 89 percent more accounting jobs per capita than the average American city.