Based on revenue generation, the U.S. accounting industry is one of the world’s largest. For example, it generated over $144 billion in 2022, with further increases projected for 2023—an expected number with over 660,000 licensed CPAs within the country.
But how many accountants are there in the U.S. exactly? Are men the dominating gender? What is the average CPA salary? We answer all these questions below!
Let’s get to it!
Half of all accountants working in the U.S. are certified public accountants (CPAs).
(National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) (CPA Credits)
The latest NASBA numbers released in late 2022 reveal that over 665,600 CPAs are actively working in the U.S. However, almost 1.4 million accountants operate in the U.S., meaning the remainder are regular accountants without specialized CPA training.
The latest IBISWorld report shows that over 88,652 accounting businesses offer their services to U.S. customers, which is a minor decline of 0.1% from 2022.
As of right now, California houses the majority of them with 13,029 businesses. Florida and Texas are right behind, with 8,918 and 7,464 companies, respectively.
Accounting is expected to grow 6% until 2031 and become an in-demand position in the U.S.
Per the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the accounting profession will have to fill out over 130,000 positions every year until 2031. The increased demand is due to many accountants switching careers or retiring.
As the largest state by population, California employs the most accountants in the U.S. (close to 145,00). Texas, with 116,000, and New York, with over 108,000, take the second and third places, coinciding with the number of residents they have.
Now, let’s dig deeper into the demographics of the accounting profession to understand the job’s appeal among different genders, races, and ages.
According to Zippia’s latest demographical and statistical data on U.S. accountants, women were in charge of the field, with a majority of 57%.
However, despite their expertise, they earned $70,645 on average, amounting to around $6,000 less than their male counterparts—92 cents for every $1 earned by men.
The same research also revealed the preference of both genders to specialize in different accounting positions: while women preferred working as credit assistants, customs verifiers, and credit assistants, men chose to be head analysts (86%), chartered finance analysts (90%), and renewable energy system finance specialists (92%).
When it comes to ethnicity, the vast majority of U.S. accountants are white.
Despite being the second and third most represented race, Asian (12.4%) and Hispanic (10.8%) accountants are far less prevalent. Finally, African Americans constitute 8.5% of all accountants, whereas the remainder are of an unknown ethnicity or American Indians.
The second biggest earners are white accountants, with an average salary of $77,280, while Black and Hispanic accountants follow behind with $72,270 and $74,666, respectively.
In addition, female accountants are older on average across all represented ethnicities, with female white and African Americans working later in their lives (47 years on average).
The average accounting salaries in the U.S. differ by state and are influenced by a multitude of factors, such as job availability and the standard of living.
With an average salary of almost $125,000 in 2021, the District of Columbia is the top destination for CPAs looking for a high income! After all, it houses the country’s capital, where quality CPAs are in very high demand and regard!
New Jersey followed suit, with an average salary of $105,526, while Delaware trailed behind with an average annual salary of $97,851.
The same research also shows that Wyoming is not the go-to destination if you are an accountant since the average salary there amounted to $50,931 in 2021.
That said, Nebraska, with $51,787, North Dakota, with $53,128, and Idaho, with $53,767, are also not desirable states for accountants.
Employing over 1.3 million employees, Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG are the Big Four accounting firms in the U.S. and the world.
Deloitte’s latest facts and figures revealed the scope of the company’s potential—135,118 professionals, along with 21,279 administrative workers, were employed in its U.S. subsidiaries. Moreover, they recorded almost $28 billion in revenues in FY 2022.
Right behind Deloitte was PwC, which had the second-biggest revenue numbers with $20.73 billion in 2022. Ernst & Young followed it closely with $19.11 billion.
As you can see, the accounting industry continues to be a vital part of the U.S. economy, providing key services to individuals and businesses everywhere. After all, without them, no company would experience or know how to record sustained growth. So whether you were thinking of becoming an accountant yourself or were just curious about the people behind the spreadsheets of U.S. companies, we hope we answered all your questions.
Danica’s greatest passion is writing. From small businesses, tech, and digital marketing, to academic folklore analysis, movie reviews, and anthropology — she’s done it all. A literature major with a passion for business, software, and fun new gadgets, she has turned her writing craft into a profitable blogging business. When she’s not writing for SmallBizGenius, Danica enjoys hiking, trying to perfect her burger-making skills, and dreaming about vacations in Greece.
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