October 30, 2020

Compensation Watch ’19: Highest-Paying Cities Don’t Give Accountants the Most Bang for Their Buck

Last week, we perused a report from AdvisorSmith on the 50 best U.S. cities in which accountants can pursue their careers and gave you the top 25. Two of the variables used by AdvisorSmith for its ranking were average annual accounting salaries per city and cost of living, so let’s focus on those today.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places cost of living index, AdvisorSmith reviewed the average annual salaries, total number of accounting jobs, number of accounting jobs per capita, and the cost of living for 399 cities and whittled its list down to the top 50.

Based on its analysis, AdvisorSmith said the average salary for accountants was about $77,920. Of the 50 cities in its ranking, 18 topped that amount. However, only five of those 18 cities have a cost of living below the average U.S. city.

Here are those 18 cities, with their average annual accounting salary and their cost of living index in parenthesis:

  1. New York City: $101,520 (46% above COL national average)
  2. Washington, DC: $93,900 (35% above COL national average)
  3. Bridgeport, CT: $89,640 (50% above COL national average)
  4. Houston: $89,270 (7% below COL national average)
  5. Trenton, NJ: $84,860 (13% above COL national average)
  6. Boulder, CO: $83,800 (47% above COL national average)
  7. Midland, TX: $83,600 (3% below COL national average)
  8. Dallas: $83,080 (1% above COL national average)
  9. Chicago: $82,660 (9% above COL national average)
  10. Detroit: $82,430 (11% below COL national average)
  11. Philadelphia: $82,370 (%11 above COL national average)
  12. Denver: $81,650 (26% above COL national average)
  13. Wilmington, DE: $81,430 (4% above COL national average)
  14. Springfield, IL: $80,110 (13% below COL national average)
  15. Burlington, VT: $79,600 (20% above COL national average)
  16. Charlotte, NC: $79,590 (4% below COL national average)
  17. Baltimore: $79,100 (12% above COL national average)
  18. Richmond, VA: $78,910 (4% above COL national average)

Related article:

Best Cities to Find a Job and Raise Your Little Accountants

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