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Here Is a Massive List of Accounting Salaries Broken Down By City

a woman in a business suit with $100 bills in her hand

Came across this list from Smartest Dollar of “the best-paying American cities for accountants in 2022” on the Googs and thought it worth sharing because getting paid is the only reason many of you do this job. Before the salary data appears at that link there are several paragraphs about the Inflation Reduction Act that somehow relate to accountant salaries because Smartest Dollar, like everyone else on the planet, seems to believe accountant = tax, we’ll go ahead and skip right past that and get to the salaries.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parities datasets. To determine the best-paying locations for accountants, researchers at Smartest Dollar calculated the median annual wage for accountants, adjusted for cost of living. In the event of a tie, the location with the greater actual median annual wage for accountants was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residents were included. Additionally, metros were grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000–349,999), midsize (350,000–999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

The BLS industry profile describes “accounting” thusly:

43-3031 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers. Excludes “Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks” (43-3051).

Jumping into the data, below you will find the best-paying small and midsize metros for accountants and the full table of crunched data at the bottom.

Best-Paying Small Metros For Accountants
City Salary
Jefferson City, MO $89,910
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI $83,351
California-Lexington Park, MD $82,986
Bay City, MI $82,410
Burlington, NC $82,381
Janesville-Beloit, WI $82,251
Appleton, WI $82,032
Billings, MT $82,006
Dalton, GA $81,957
Goldsboro, NC $81,953
Wausau-Weston, WI $81,947
Racine, WI $81,638
Utica-Rome, NY $81,522
Warner Robins, GA $81,522
Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ $81,390

Let’s say a town of 25,000 people with a crime rate consistently higher than the national average and not much to do (looking at you, Bridgeton) isn’t your style. Have some midsize cities:

Best-Paying Midsize Metros For Accountants
City Salary
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $84,328
Greensboro-High Point, NC $84,137
Trenton-Princeton, NJ $83,671
Winston-Salem, NC $82,337
Fayetteville, NC $81,904
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $80,459
Syracuse, NY $79,969
Akron, OH $79,667
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX $78,257
Springfield, MA $77,947
Worcester, MA-CT $77,525
Colorado Springs, CO $77,273
Ann Arbor, MI $77,222
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $77,093
Portland-South Portland, ME $77,019

The Smartest Dollar list also includes a breakdown on the 15 best-paying large metros for accountants, with the San Jose, CA metro taking the number one spot:

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

  • Median annual wage for accountants (adjusted): $89,563
  • Median annual wage for accountants (actual): $100,400
  • Median annual wage for all business and finance jobs (actual): $100,940
  • Concentration of accountants (compared to average): +38%

And last but not least, here is the full list for your scrolling pleasure. Feel free to call the data total bullshit in the comments.