Where Can I Earn an Accounting Certificate Online?

If you're interested in becoming an accountant, several schools offer online accounting certificate programs. Some require that you have a bachelor's degree, but others require no previous college education. Read on to learn more about where you can earn these certificates. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Schools That Offer An Online Accounting Certificate

You can earn a certificate as a follow-up to a bachelor's degree or as a stand-alone certificate of achievement meant to prepare you for entry-level employment opportunities. Post-baccalaureate certificates are more commonly offered. These certificate programs are aimed at accounting professionals in need of certification or continuing education credits. Schools that offer post-baccalaureate online certificates include:

  • UC Berkeley Extension
  • Delaware Valley College
  • Linfield College
  • Southern Oregon University

If you don't have any accounting experience or education, some colleges still offer viable certificate programs that may be right for you. These programs can provide the basic knowledge needed for entry-level positions. They can also act as a springboard into further academic study. If you don't already have a degree, you can pursue an online accounting certificate online through schools that include:

  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Mount Wachusett Community College
  • Bellevue College (paraprofessional accounting program)

Important Facts About Online Accounting Certificates

Online AvailabilityFully
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, Intro to Managerial Accounting, Intro to Financial Accounting, and Macroeconomics
On-the-Job TrainingEntry-level positions in the accounting field usually receive on-the-job training from experienced employees or supervisors, including specialized computer software used for the position
Key SkillsComputer, detail-oriented, integrity, math, organizational, analytical, and communication

Common Coursework

You can earn an online accounting certificate in 1-2 years, with programs requiring total credits that range from 24 hours at UC Berkeley Extension to 31 hours at Bellevue College. These certificate programs provide ample training in accounting, finance, business, marketing and management topics. Some courses you can expect to take include:

  • Financial accounting
  • Managerial accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Business law
  • Federal income taxation
  • Auditing

Entry-Level Career Options

Earning only an accounting certificate allows you to find entry-level work in accounting departments. You can pursue jobs such as:

  • Accounting clerk
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting assistant

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks are expected to decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for these clerks, as of May 2014, was approximately $36,430.

Advanced Career Options

However, earning an accounting certificate after completing a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field prepares you for a whole new category of employment. Earning this type of certification allows you to take the Uniform CPA examination from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This can prepare you for work as a:

  • General accountant
  • Financial reporting accountant
  • Cost accountant
  • Accounting officer
  • Accounting manager

The BLS predicts that positions for accountants and auditors will increase by 11% between 2014 and 2024. Accountants with certification will have an easier time finding a job. As of May 2014, the median annual salary for accountants was about $65,940.

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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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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