Auditor: Job Duties, Employment Outlook, and Educational Requirements

Research what it takes to become an auditor. Learn about degree requirements, job duties, salary and employment outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Auditing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an Auditor?

An auditor monitors accounting records for individuals and companies and looks for fraudulent financial activity. As an auditor, your duties may include analyzing and inspecting records and auditing programs and businesses. You'll prepare reports based on your findings, and may be responsible for finding ways to stop waste and fraudulence.

The table below profiles job growth projections and average salaries for this occupation, as well as information on the education required for this career.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Accounting
Key Skills Organization, analytical, math, communication
Certification Certification as a public accountant is required if submitting financial reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission; optional professional auditor certifications are available
Job Growth (2014-2024)11% (for all accountants and auditors)*
Average Salary (2015) $75,280 (for all accountants and auditors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would My Responsibilities be as an Auditor?

Auditors work in the private and public sectors, managing and reviewing accounts for noncompliance. As an auditor, you may analyze government records, or look into businesses and individuals who are believed to have broken rules and regulations. You'll also look for fraudulent activity with individuals and companies.

Internal auditors ensure a company is not being mismanaged. In such a position, you might evaluate a business's operations to confirm it is running efficiently and within all corporate and government regulations. You'll also audit programs to be sure they are having the desired outcome. You may assist management with data analysis to ensure the effectiveness of the business's controls. Other tasks may include looking over accounts, interviewing employees, studying laws and writing reports of your findings.

What Is the Career Outlook for this Career?

The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that the employment of accountants and auditors was expected to grow by 11% over the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). Businesses increases and the subsequent need for more management advice will account for this growth.

In the United States, the average annual earnings for auditors and accountants were $75,280 in 2015. Most auditing and accounting positions held in that year were involved in bookkeeping, management of companies, and local government and state government. The five top-paying states for this field were New York, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Alaska and Massachusetts.

What Credentials Will I Need?

Many job opportunities for auditors require a 4-year degree, such as a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting or Business. However, many employers look for additional education, such as a Master of Business Administration in Accounting. The trend for some colleges is to focus programs on a specific area, such as internal auditing.

The Institute of Internal Auditors offers exams leading to the credentials of Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certification in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) and Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) (www.theiia.org). You can also earn the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) credential from the ISACA (www.isaca.org).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals interested in careers related to finance may consider becoming financial managers or analysts. Both of these careers require a bachelor's degree. Financial analysts help clients make decisions about investment opportunities. Financial managers direct companies in making good investment and financial choices, and are in charge of making financial reports.

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:

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