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From Entry-Level to Senior: A Comprehensive Guide to Accounting Associate Salary Ranges

Do you want to work your way up the accounting career ladder and help businesses to succeed? A career in accounting will give you job security sooner or later. And you’ll deal with tangible products or services.

Maybe you are a fresh college graduate. You probably have no idea what you will earn as an accounting associate.

This guide will help you find the answers to some important questions. Read on to explore accounting associate salary ranges.

Accounting Salaries

When it comes to accounting salaries, various factors can impact your potential earnings. These include your level of experience, location, industry, and the size of the organization you work for. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for accounting associates in May 2020 was $42,410 per year or $20.38 per hour.

Associate Salary Benchmarks

While the average salary for an accounting associate is a good indicator, it’s important to note that this figure can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned above. To get a better understanding of salary ranges for accounting associates, let’s take a look at some benchmarks based on experience and location.

Junior Accounting Positions

For those just starting their career in accounting, you can expect to earn an entry-level salary as an;

  • Accounting Clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounts payable/receivable clerk

According to PayScale, the average salary for these positions is around $40,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on your location and level of experience.

Senior Accounting Positions

With more years of experience in the field, you can work your way up to a senior accounting position, such as senior accountant and financial analyst.

These roles require more advanced skills and responsibilities. This results in higher salaries. According to PayScale, the average salary for a senior accountant is $67,000 per year. This is while financial analysts earn an average of $62,000 per year.


Location can also play a significant role in determining your accounting associate’s salary range. In general, larger cities and metropolitan areas tend to offer higher salaries due to the cost of living. For example, according to Glassdoor, accounting associates in New York City have an average salary range of $44,295 – $59,725 per year.

This is while those in smaller cities like Omaha, Nebraska, have a range of $42,000 – $48,000 per year. It’s important to research the cost of living in your desired location and consider this when negotiating your salary.

Salary Differentials

Another factor that can affect your accounting associate salary range is industry. Different industries may offer higher or lower salaries based on their financial needs and budgets. For example, according to PayScale, accounting associates working in the finance and insurance industry have an average salary of $47,830 per year, while those in healthcare earn an average of $41,000 per year.

Additionally, obtaining certifications or advanced degrees can also result in higher salaries. For example, becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can lead to increased earning potential and career advancement opportunities. Check out CPA Winnipeg to know more about accounting positions.

Factors Affecting Salary Range

Several factors can influence the salary range of an accounting associate. This makes it crucial to consider these aspects when mapping out your career path. Here are some of those factors.


In the accounting field, your educational qualifications can significantly impact your earning potential. Those with advanced degrees may command higher salaries. These are such as;

  • Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master’s in Accounting


Experience is another major factor affecting salary ranges in accounting. As you accumulate more years in the field, you can expect your salary to correspondingly increase.

This progression is due to the development of a;

  • Deeper understanding of the industry
  • Enhanced technical skills
  • Proven track record of reliability and accomplishment


The specific skills you bring to the table can also affect your salary. For example, expertise in financial analysis, auditing, or proficiency in accounting software can make you more attractive to employers.

This can potentially lead to higher wages. These are such as QuickBooks or Microsoft Excel.

Company Size

The size of the company you work for can also influence your salary. Larger corporations often have bigger budgets and can afford to pay higher salaries. However, smaller companies may offer other benefits, such as greater flexibility or opportunities for advancement.


Finally, your ability to negotiate can play a critical role in determining your salary. Understanding your worth and being able to effectively communicate it to potential employers can help you secure a higher salary.

It’s important, therefore, to research average salaries for your position and location. This is to ensure you’re being adequately compensated for your work.


The industry in which you work can greatly influence your salary as an accounting associate. Industries with a high demand for accounting services generally offer higher salaries. These are such as finance and insurance.

On the other hand, public sector jobs or roles in non-profit organizations while offering more stability. This might provide lower salaries due to budget constraints.

Geographic Location

As discussed earlier, the cost of living and demand for accounting services in a particular location can affect salary ranges. Metropolitan areas with a high cost of living often pay more to compensate for the higher living expenses. However, keep in mind that competition for jobs may also be higher in these areas.

Rural areas or smaller cities might offer lower salaries. However, the reduced competition and cost of living could potentially balance out the earnings difference.

Additional Certifications

Possessing additional certifications can significantly influence your salary as an accounting associate. Certifications like;

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)

This demonstrates a higher level of expertise in the field. These qualifications can increase your attractiveness to potential employers. It can also give you an edge when negotiating a higher salary.

Knowing What Accounting Associate Salary is

In conclusion, a thorough understanding of the various factors that influence accounting associate salary ranges is crucial for anyone pursuing a career in this field. You can confidently negotiate for a fair and competitive salary in your accounting job.

This is by utilizing this comprehensive guide. Take charge of your career and reach your full earning potential today!

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Usama BIN Safdar

Meet Usama Bin Safdar, a wordsmith hailing from Faisalabad, Pakistan. With over 5 years of experience under his belt, he's a master at weaving words to create content that's not only informative but also engaging. He's a deep-diver when it comes to SEO, and as the Founder of SoftwareBench, he helps businesses and individuals navigate the digital landscape with ease. Follow Usama for a journey into the world of SEO and digital marketing, where every word is crafted with precision and passion.