What Education Do I Need for a Government Accounting Job?

The government employs accounting graduates in a variety of areas. Almost all of the positions necessitate a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and they often require several years of experience as well. Below, you will find some common government accounting positions along with their degree requirements. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Government Accounting Positions

Educational requirements for government accounting positions are variable. Each job and its pay grade may have specific degree requirements. Accounting positions start with the GS-5 pay grade, which requires a bachelor's degree, according to the official U.S. government job website. While the Internal Revenue Service and the Government Accountability Office employ many accounting program graduates, other government agencies also hire educated accountants and accounting professionals to manage their budgets and finances.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Accountants and AuditorsFinancial ManagerInternal Revenue Agent/IRS Tax Compliance Officer
Median Salary (2014) $65,940 $115,320 $51,120 (for all tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents)
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 13% 9% -4% (for all tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents)
Key SkillsAnalytical, organizational and math skillsDetail-oriented, communication and math skillsComputer, interpersonal and analytical skills
Work Environment Offices, mostly in the accounting and tax preparation industry Offices in industries like finance and insurance and company managementFederal, state and local government, whether in an office or in the field

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Accountants and Auditors

In every government agency, accountants and auditors keep track of incoming monies and various expenses. They complete regular reports which detail the financial operations of organizations. Government-employed accountants and auditors should ideally have bachelor's degrees in accounting, finance, business administration, or public administration, with at least 24 semester credits of accounting classes.

Financial Manager

The government utilizes financial managers whose jobs entail overseeing the budgetary, general accounting, accounts payable, general ledger, and accounts receivable functions of various agencies. Financial managers must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in accounting or business.

Internal Revenue Agent

IRS agents provide educational services and outreach activities and they ensure compliance with Internal Revenue Code requirements. This position requires an accounting bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They should have completed at least 30 semester hours in accounting.

IRS Tax Compliance Officer

Tax compliance officers conduct investigations of individual and business taxpayers for the Internal Revenue Service in order to ensure that all taxes are paid properly. This entry-level government accounting job also provides customer service and advice to taxpayers. Applicants must be able to pass an accounting proficiency test and have at least six semester hours of accounting classes at the college level, usually within a business major.

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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