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 2012. (Compare this to the standard accountant salary and CPA salary.) Except in securities and commodities, accountants earn more than the average for the industry.
- Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage. This industry buys and sells stocks, stock options, bonds or commodities either physically or electronically.
Mean pay for this industry is $98,670 per year, or $47.44 per hour, for 7,020 workers.
The 70 accountants here average $96,260 yearly, or $46.28 hourly.
- 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 $76,470 per year, or $36.76 per hour.
The mean accountant salary is $90,560 yearly, or $43.54 hourly for 23,650 professionals.
- Other Financial Investment Activities. This industry covers investment professions not included in investment bankers, securities dealers and commodity contracts dealers. Some examples are portfolio managers and investment advisors.
The 356,040 working in this area average $95,190 per year, or $45.77 per hour.
Averages for the 19,360 accountants here run $87,680 per year, or $42.15 per hour.
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 $46,190 yearly, or $22.21 hourly, for 13,410 workers.
The 100 accountants here make a mean $47,080 per year, or $22.63 per hour.
- 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 265,040 employees here make mean wages of $$31,450 per year, or $15.12.
Casino hotels offer the lowest mean accountant salary of $47,370 per year, or $22.77 per hour, for 980 professionals.
- Other Automotive Repair. This industry covers automotive services that do not include mechanical and electrical repair; transmission repair; and body, paint, interior and glass repair. Examples include air-conditioning repair shops, tire repair, car washes and oil-change facilities.
Over 213,480 workers average a yearly wage of $24,340, or an hourly wage of $11.70.
Mean wages run $50,020 per year, or $24.05 per hour, for 120 accountants.