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Home » CPA Salary in USA: A Deep Dive Analysis From Entry-Level to Expert

CPA Salary in USA: A Deep Dive Analysis From Entry-Level to Expert

Certified public accountant Salary in US

Are you considering a career in accounting and finance? But from US? And how about pursuing Certified public accountant (CPA)? But wondering how lucrative a CPA salary can be in the United States? Or What’s CPA Salary in the US? Well, you’ve come to the right place! CPAs, play a vital role in the financial landscape of the United States. They are the financial experts who ensure that businesses and individuals adhere to tax laws, maintain financial records accurately, and make sound financial decisions. As a result, CPAs are in high demand, but what about the rewards that come with this prestigious designation? Okay, one fact…

Do you know?

Based on the AICPA’s research, newly certified CPAs in the United States typically earn an annual salary of $66,000. On average, CPAs in the US earn around $119,000, and with two decades of experience, they have the potential to earn over $160,000 annually.

Intrigued? You should be! But we’ll not only reveal the average CPA (Certified public accountant) salary but also unveil more important insights about CPA in the US. Whether you’re a budding accountant planning your career path or someone looking to switch into the field, understanding the earning potential of a CPA is crucial. After all, financial stability is a significant factor when choosing a profession.

So, if you’re ready to uncover the financial secrets of the CPA profession, let’s dive into the fascinating world of CPA salary in the US! Come along…

Steps to become a CPA in USA

If you aspire to study in USA (CPA course), the following steps can guide you on your path to success:

CPA in USA Eligibility Criteria

  • Check your eligibility, which varies by state.
  • Most states require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.
  • Accumulate at least 120 credit hours (including a bachelor’s degree) to sit for the exam and 150 credit hours to obtain the CPA license.
  • Indian candidates may need an MBA, Master of Commerce, or be a member of Indian accounting associations.

Gain Work Experience For CPA

Acquire a minimum of 2,000 hours (2 years) of professional experience in relevant fields, supervised by a licensed CPA or equivalent.


  • Send your academic transcripts to the state board for evaluation.
  • Transcripts will be assessed and converted to meet U.S. standards.

Registration for US CPA

  • Submit education and professional details to the state board.
  • Upon approval, receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) from the state board.
  • Pay the CPA exam section fee through your NASBA account.
  • After 3-4 weeks, receive the Notice to Schedule (NTS), allowing you to schedule the CPA exam.

Schedule Your US CPA Exam

  • Use the NTS to schedule your exam at a Prometric testing center.
  • Testing centers in India include Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Trivandrum.

Pass the CPA Exam

  • On exam day, bring two valid forms of ID and your NTS.
  • Prepare thoroughly for the exam to ensure success.

Obtain the CPA License in the US

After passing the exam, apply for the CPA license through your state board, a member of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

By following these clear steps, you can navigate the path of pursuing a CPA course in the USA. But even after following these steps, you might see a variation in CPA salary in the US. And that’s because of certain factors. What factors? Okay, so factors that affect the CPA salary in the USA could be:

  • Location: Salaries vary by state and city due to cost of living differences.
  • Experience: More years in the field often result in higher earnings.
  • Education: Having a master’s or additional certifications can boost income.
  • Industry: CPAs in finance or consulting typically earn more than those in government or non-profit sectors.
  • Company Size: Larger firms tend to offer higher salaries.
  • Specialization: Expertise in a specific area like taxation or forensic accounting can command higher pay.
  • Certifications: Holding additional certifications, like CFA or CMA, can increase earning potential.
  • Market Demand: Regions with strong demand for CPAs often pay higher salaries.

Also, read: CPA Course in Canada

Average Salary of CPA in the USA

The demand for skilled professionals, particularly US Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), is surging in the finance & accounting industry. The 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide sheds light on the lucrative compensation landscape in this field. According to the report, the CPA salary in the US could be:

In public accounting, Senior Managers/Directors specializing in audit/assurance services command a median annual salary of $134,000, while those in tax services earn $136,750.

For US CPAs, salaries vary with experience:

  • Entry-Level (Less than 1 Year): Fresh US CPAs can expect an average total compensation of AU$58,244.
  • Early Career (1-4 Years): Those with 1-4 years of experience earn an average total compensation of AU$61,607.
  • Mid-Career (5-9 Years): Mid-career CPAs, boasting 5-9 years of expertise, secure an average total compensation of AU$71,954.
  • Experienced (10-19 Years): Seasoned CPAs with 10-19 years of experience enjoy an average total compensation of AU$90,945.
  • Late Career (20+ Years): Veterans in the field, with over two decades of experience, attain an average total compensation of AU$101,500.

In the Middle East, an entry-level CPA with less than a year of experience commands an average annual salary of AED 85,000, inclusive of perks and benefits.

Regardless of the business size or industry, CPAs are indispensable. The US CPA credential signifies not only high ethical standards but also quantifiable expertise, education, and skills, making it highly regarded in the corporate world. From startups to government agencies, businesses across the spectrum rely on the proficiency of CPAs to navigate the complex financial landscape.

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CPA jobs in the USA

The journey to becoming a CPA in the USA is not just a job; it’s a pathway to a dynamic and rewarding career. Obtaining a US CPA license opens doors to a multitude of job prospects and career advancements. Dive in to know everything…

Diverse Career Paths

Here are some of the CPA jobs in the USA:

  • Public Accounting: Working for accounting firms, offering services like auditing, tax preparation, and consulting.
  • Enterprise and Corporate Accounting: Managing financial operations within corporations.
  • Government: Serving in financial roles within government agencies.
  • Not-for-Profit: Contributing financial expertise to non-profit organizations.
  • Education: Educating the next generation of accountants.

Top Companies Hiring CPAs in the USA

Some of the Top Companies for CPA (Certified public accountant) in the USA include:

  1. Accenture
  2. Amazon
  3. Genpact
  4. Johnson & Johnson
  5. JP Morgan
  6. Wipro
  7. Cognizant
  8. Goldman Sachs
  9. Capgemini
  10. World Bank Group
  11. WNS Global Services
  12. EY
  13. Deloitte
  14. PWC
  15. KPMG

Benefits of Being a CPA

While the journey to becoming a CPA may require time and investment, the rewards are substantial. CPA professionals enjoy:

  • Increased Salary: CPAs typically earn higher salaries compared to non-certified counterparts.
  • Diverse Job Opportunities: A CPA license opens doors to various roles, from financial analysis to auditing.
  • Job Security: In-demand skills and expertise ensure job stability.
  • Travel Opportunities: Some positions offer the chance to work internationally.

Thus, pursuing a US CPA license can lead to a fulfilling career with a lucrative CPA salary in the US. 


Earning a CPA license in the United States is a challenging yet rewarding journey that demands dedication and hard work. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a trusted source for professional insights, forecasts a promising future for aspiring CPAs along with a good CPA salary in the US.

Over the next decade, this field is expected to see the creation of up to 190,000 new job opportunities, with an estimated annual growth rate of 16%. Achieving CPA status not only garners respect but also opens doors for career advancement and job satisfaction, thanks to its substantial earning potential. Prepare for a fulfilling career as a CPA and secure your financial future.

Exploring a career in CPA salary in the US can be highly rewarding, but it’s important to navigate the complex application process and challenges. To increase your chances, consider consulting with iDreamCareer’s expert career counselors specializing in study abroad counselling.

Ananya Malhotra, hailing from Delhi’s Mother’s International School, achieved her dream of pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy at the esteemed American University for Fall 2023. Her dedication led her to secure a $14,500 scholarship from AU and a 25% scholarship from CMU. Guided by iDreamCareer’s expertise, Ananya’s unwavering spirit paved her path to academic excellence. This transformative journey showcases the fusion of dreams and hard work, inspiring us all. 

Also Read:

CPA Salary in USA: FAQs

What is the average CPA salary in the US?

The average CPA salary in the US varies depending on factors such as location, experience, and specialization. On average, CPAs in the US earn around $119,000, and with two decades of experience, they have the potential to earn over $160,000 annually.

Which states offer the highest CPA salaries in the US?

States like California, New York, and Texas tend to offer higher CPA salaries due to the cost of living and demand for financial professionals.

Are CPAs in high demand in the US job market?

Yes, CPAs are in demand across various industries. They play a crucial role in financial management, auditing, and tax planning, making them valuable assets for businesses.

Can CPAs negotiate their salaries in the US?

Yes, CPAs can negotiate their salaries. It’s important to research industry standards and be prepared to discuss your qualifications and contributions to the organization.

What is the CPA salary in the US with an MBA?

CPAs who pursue advanced degrees like MBAs often have enhanced earning potential, particularly when combined with CPA certification.

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