Online Associate Degree in Accounting

While becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) entails earning at least a bachelor's degree and passing a certification examination, you can start on that career path by earning an associate's degree in accounting. Read on to learn some specifics about program content and the employment outlook for accounting-related careers. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Locate an Online Associate's Degree Program in Accounting?

There are at least two sources you can use to find a school that offers an appropriate degree program. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has an online directory of schools that offer accredited programs in accounting ( The directory contains undergraduate and graduate programs.

As an alternative, the National Center for Education Statistics maintains an online, searchable database ( A search yields over 500 schools nationwide that offer programs leading to an associate's degree in accounting. By contacting an individual school or accessing its website, you can discover if the program you seek is offered online.

Degree Level Associate's degree
Common Courses Computer applications, cost accounting, spreadsheets, principles of accounting, auditing
Possible Careers Billing and posting clerk, bookkeeper, payroll clerk, junior accountant
Potential Average Salary (2014) $33,560 - $73,670 per year

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Program Details?

The course content in an online associate degree program in accounting is similar to that of an on campus program. You will use a virtual classroom to access course content and communicate with professors. Programs will also require you to have a computer with an updated operating system and Internet access.

Typical courses you might encounter include principles of accounting, financial accounting, spreadsheets, managerial accounting, cost accounting, computer applications, auditing and income tax accounting. In general, an Associate of Applied Science is geared toward preparing you to enter the workforce upon graduation, while an Associate of Science can more readily transfer toward a 4-year degree.

What Are Some Career Possibilities?

An associate's degree in accounting can prepare you for various entry-level positions in the accounting or record-keeping division of an organization. Included among these are junior or assistant accountant, payroll and timekeeping clerk, billing and posting clerk, or bookkeeper.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it can be to your advantage to become certified ( With two years of experience, you may be eligible to sit for an examination administered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, which can lead to you earning the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation. Becoming a CB could enhance your job mobility and advancement opportunities.

What Is the Occupational Outlook?

In 2014, the BLS projected that employment opportunities for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks would increase ten percent from 2014-2024. In contrast, opportunities for certified accountants and auditors were projected to increase 11% over the same time period.

The latest salary statistics are also from 2014. At that time, the BLS determined the mean annual wage for billing and posting clerks to be $35,560, payroll and timekeeping clerks to be $40,910 and bookkeepers to be $38,070. You can compare those figures with that of certified accountants and auditors, whose mean annual wage was determined to be $73,670.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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