How To Conduct Salary Research For Entry-Level Accounting Positions

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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:

  1. Identify your desired position
  2. Conduct company and sector research
  3. Networking
  4. Consider working with hiring agencies

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1. Identify Desired Positions

Entry-level accounting jobs can cover a large range of industries and duties. Before you begin conducting salary research and start applying for jobs, you should have a good idea of what types of jobs you would be willing to work and likely succeed at.

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:

Math Skills

Computer Skills

Attention To Detail

Previous real-world experience is usually not required for an entry-level position; however, it will likely help your chances of getting hired and earning more than the standard entry level salary.
Start thinking of how to demonstrate mastery or comfort with any of these skills, ideally with examples of when you’ve applied them in your work. Keep in mind that you won’t always have all the skills required for an open position, but you should demonstrate you are coachable and can quickly learn. All of these factors will play a role in determining the salary you deserve.
Be Aware of Sector Variations
Knowing the job titles and your experience are a good place to start when conducting salary research for accounting jobs, however, keep in mind that sector focus will also play a large role in potential earnings.

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

Reviewing desired company job listings and websites are another valuable source of salary information. Research the size and value of companies you would like to work at. Keep in mind that larger businesses tend to have larger budgets for salaries, so they will often offer higher wages.

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.

3. Networking

Another avenue to gauge how much you can expect to earn for an entry-level position is to participate in accounting networking events or meet-ups. This will be a great way to meet people in the industry and learn from their experiences at entry-level and what to expect when starting when it comes to pay, day-to-day tasks, and useful skills. It may even increase your chances of getting hired if you meet someone looking to fill a position at their company.

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

Recruiting agencies frequently place candidates in entry-level positions and will have an idea of what salary ranges employers are offering. By having a conversation with a recruiter, you can gain the inside scoop on what companies are looking for in entry-level workers and how much they might be offering.

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

Looking for a job? Sparks Group is a national staffing and recruiting firm that helps place job seekers at lucrative companies, setting them up for future career success. Our recruiters work closely with candidates to prepare them in their efforts to find a job by providing guidance throughout the job search process from landing an interview to helping negotiate salary.

Visit our job board or contact Sparks Group today to get a start on finding and landing your ideal accounting job. New call-to-action

Written by Sparks Group

Sparks Group

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