Candidates seeking entry-level accounting positions may have several questions about what to expect when starting in the field, including what their expected salary will be.
Before entering the hiring process, job applicants should conduct salary research for their desired entry-level accounting positions to determine what the salary ranges tend to be in their preferred location or city. That insight can better inform candidates and give them an edge when it comes to salary negotiation.
In order to conduct salary research for entry accounting jobs you should:
- Identify your desired position
- Conduct company and sector research
- Consider working with hiring agencies
1. Identify Desired Positions
Examples of popular entry-level positions can include bookkeeper, staff accountant, accounts payable specialist, and accounting assistant. While each position has its own advantages, not every job will be the right fit for you. Read job descriptions and conduct company research to identify which stand out to you as viable options.
Assess Your Expertise
Once you’ve identified desired positions, spend some time self-evaluating your Accounting skills and experience to accurately calculate a reasonable salary. Consider factors such as whether you have started or completed an accounting internship, relevant topic matter covered in your classes, certifications earned, or your hard and soft skill capabilities.
Generally, entry-level accounting applicants are expected to have a basic grasp of fundamentals and skills including1:
Attention To Detail
Be Aware of Sector Variations
For example, the midpoint starting salary for a 2019 tax accountant with less than one year’s experience earned $54,250 in the private sector, $48,750 in the public sector, and $70,000 in the financial services sector2.
2. Conduct Company Research
When scouring websites, make note of whether they are seeking multiple candidates for the desired position as this is usually an indication that their budget will split the salary between the two new employees, which will likely be less than when offered to one candidate.
Another route you can take is to reach out to old colleagues, classmates, family members, and friends to see if anyone you know can offer insight into the salaries they received or heard of at an entry accounting position. If any contacts are on hiring teams or take part in the hiring process from a management perspective, they may be able to offer insight into how much their business budgeted for hiring entry-level applicants.
4. Recruiting Agencies
Having a conversation with a headhunter can also help prepare you for how to approach asking for a higher salary than what’s initially offered, and what skills or experiences to pull out to make that argument. Keep in mind that those who negotiate salary reportedly earn higher salaries than those who accept the initial salary offer at face value.
Sparks Group Can Help You Interview/ Salary Research
Visit our job board or contact Sparks Group today to get a start on finding and landing your ideal accounting job.