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Salary of CPA in USA

Average Annual Income of a CPA

National Salary

According to May 2011 information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all accountants and auditors earned a national average salary of $70,130. The middle 50 percent of this group earned between $48,920 and $83,210, and the median salary was $62,850. The top-paying industry for accountants and auditors was dry cleaning and laundry services, where they earned an average salary of $91,260 per year. Other top-paying industries included the federal government, where they earned nearly $90,000 per year on average, and working for independent artists and performers, where they earned $88,290 annually.

Salary by State

Based on statistics from the BLS, accountants and auditors earned the most money in the District of Columbia, where the average salary was $86,030 per year. Next was New York, where the salary was $85,070; New Jersey, where earnings were $81,250; Massachusetts, with an average income of $76,450 per year; and Maryland, where average wages were $75,630 per year.

Salaries in Large Firms

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or AICPA, provides 2009 statistics regarding the salaries of accountants working for companies of varying sizes. Public accountants without a CPA license who worked at large firms made between $49,000 and $69,250 in their first three years of work. At the senior level, public accountants earned between $66,250 and $85,500, and those classified as partners, with 12 or more years of work experience, earned $500,000 per year. According to the survey, accountants who held CPA certification could expect to make 10 percent to 15 percent more than these numbers.

Salaries in Small Firms

According to the AICPA, public accountants at small firms made less than those at large firms, earning between $41,000 and $56,000 in their first three years of work, and between $53,750 and $69,750 per year at the senior level. Partners in small firms earned between $100,000 and $150,000 per year.