Accounting Technician: Certification and Career Facts

Accounting clerks and bookkeepers work with the day-to-day records of an organization. In addition to a college education, job applicants in the accounting field can obtain proof of their abilities from a number of professional accounting organizations. One such credential is the Certified Accounting Technician certification. Keep reading to learn how to earn it. Schools offering Accounting Information Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A wide range of professional accounting organizations offer specialized accounting certifications. To earn certification, you must meet several qualifications. Accountants and accounting technicians can work in management, governmental, internal and auditing positions, and can offer their services to the general public.

Certification Requirements Professional experience, prerequisite courses in accounting
Career Outlook Expected to increase 11% between 2012 - 2022
Salary (2014) $36,430 per year (Annual median salary for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014)

What is a Certified Accounting Technician?

You can earn the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), an international accounting organization. Obtaining the CAT certification can help qualify you to take the examinations for additional professional certifications from the ACCA.

How Can I Become Qualified for Certification?

Certification includes either passing a series of prerequisite courses or completing one year of supervised experience as an accountant in order to prove your skill in the managerial and technical aspects of accounting. As an accountant or bookkeeper, you will need to be detail-oriented, possess communication skills and have an understanding of accounting software. To become an accountant, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree in accounting, though associate degree programs are also available. You may consider obtaining a Master of Accountancy or related degree to qualify to become a Certified Public Accountant.

How Can Getting an Accounting Technician Certification Help Me?

After you graduate from an accounting program, obtaining professional accounting certifications can be of great help if you wish to stand out to potential employers. Certification proves a certain level of competency in the field and can lend additional credentials to your education.

What Can I Expect from a Career in this Field?

As a clerk in the accounting business, the pool of jobs which you will be able to apply for is enormous. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that about 1,799,800 bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks were employed in 2012, and that number is expected to grow by 11 percent by 2012 ( In 2014, clerks working in these areas earned a median annual wage of $36,430.

From 2012-2022, job growth for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 13%, according to the BLS. In 2014, professionals in this field earned a median annual salary of $65,940.

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