I saw a friend of mine over the weekend who's been copyediting a new edition of a math textbook for elementary students. In the middle of a conversation debating the merits of movie remakes, she interrupted to ask if I knew how much the average accountant makes.

After some hemming and hawing -- the CPA credential comes with a salary hike, an auditor will probably be making double a first-year associate's salary, partners are making six figures easy -- I said that a fair estimate for an accountant a few years into their career is around $65,000. The figure checks out on Salary.com and CareerBank.com.

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