All industries need accountants to manage financial information according to business and government standards. These professionals ensure that their clients follow applicable rules and regulations, pay obligations on time, and avoid any transaction irregularities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the following industries as having the highest average accountant salary as of 2011. (Compare this to the standard accountant salary and CPA salary.) Except in securities and commodities, accountants earn more than the average for the industry.
- Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services. Average wages for over 300,000 workers in this industry run $12.54 per hour or $26,090 per year.
The average accountant salary is $43.88 hourly or $91,260 yearly.
- Federal Government. This industry includes all branches and departments of the U.S. government such as the Treasury Department, Congress and the U.S. Postal Service.
Over two million federal workers make a mean $36.29 per hour or $75,480 per year.
The mean accountant salary is $43.24 per hour or $89,930 per year for 23,700 professionals.
- Independent Artists, Writers and Performers. This industry includes authors, actors and singers who work for themselves.
The 47,760 working in this area average #29.63 per hour or $61,640 per year.
Averages for the 480 accountants in this area run $42.45 per hour or $88,290 per year.
- Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage. This industry includes stockbrokers and security exchanges.
Mean pay for this industry is $43.67 per hour or $90,830 per year for over 462,720 workers.
The 7,730 accountants average $41.07 hourly or $85,420 annually.
The following industries pay the lowest mean accountant salary. Accountants earn better wages than average except in psychiatric and substance-abuse hospitals owned by state governments.
- Technical and Trade Schools Owned by State Government. This industry includes technical schools run by state governments.
Average salaries run $21.60 hourly or $44,920 yearly for 14,350 workers.
The 110 accountants here make a mean $22.45 per hour or $46,700 per year.
- Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals Owned by State Government. This industry covers state-run hospitals for the treatment of psychiatric or drug-abuse problems.
Over 125,000 workers average an hourly wage of $23.43 and a yearly salary of $48,730.
Mean wages run $22.52 per hour or $46,850 per year for 290 accountants.
- Casino Hotels. This industry covers accommodations that devote a large part of their public spaces to gambling, such as those in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
The 252,000 employees here make mean wages of $14.52 per hour or $30,200 per year.
Casino hotels offer the lowest mean accountant salary of $22.30 per hour or $46,390 per year for 860 professionals.