Whether you are just starting your accounting career or are in a more advanced stage, you can find the best city for accountants at your particular career level. Some of the best cities for accountants are better for people who are at the entry level of their careers while others are the best cities for accountants who are searching for senior-level positions.
To help you with your search, we have compiled a listing of the top ten best cities for accountants. We have provided a description of each city, the industries that look for accountants in each one, and the accounting salaries in each location.
1. Boston, Massachusetts
The biggest and one of the oldest cities in New England, Boston is renowned for its reputation as an intellectual and medical center. The city has a large cultural and economic impact on the region. There are more than 100 universities and colleges in the Boston metropolitan area that lend to its reputation with their research.
Boston’s major industries that search for accountants include the financial services, biotechnology, tourism, and education sectors. Because of the broad variety of industries, it is the best city for accountants who are just starting out with their careers as well as for those who are searching for senior-level or lead accountant roles.
Glassdoor reports that the average of accounting salaries in the Boston area is $64,400 per year. The range of accounting salaries that were reported to Glassdoor is $45,000 for entry-level positions to $84,000 for seasoned accounting professionals.
2. Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City is the largest city in the Midwest, and Chicago’s metropolitan area is the third largest in the U.S. behind only Los Angeles and New York. Chicago has a long and storied history dating back to its founding in 1837, and it is a thriving cultural and economic center.
Accountants in Chicago can find jobs in a variety of different industries. Chicago is recognized for its financial services, publishing, engineering, and food processing sectors. The city boasts a cost of living that is 1 percent less than the national average, making the city both affordable and attractive.
Because of its size and the countless opportunities that can be found in Chicago, it is one of the best cities for accountants regardless of the stages of their careers. Chicago also offers innumerable recreational activities that can appeal to nearly anyone.
Glassdoor reports that the average of the accounting salaries in Chicago that were reported to it is $62,943 per year. The range of salaries for accountants who are working in the Chicago metropolitan area is $44,000 for entry-level jobs up to $82,000 for senior or lead positions.
3. Denver, Colorado
Nestled along the Rocky Mountains, Denver, Colorado boasts a wealth of cultural and recreational opportunities. People who live in Denver can head up into the mountains to hike, ski, or camp while enjoying the wealth of art galleries, performing arts centers, museums, restaurants, and bars in the city.
Denver’s technology industry has recently been booming as companies have started relocating to Denver from the West Coast. The city has a thriving technology industry in its own right. Other major industries in Denver include the telecommunications and aerospace industries.
Denver is the best city for accountants at both ends of their careers and is one of the best paying cities for accountants in USA. The city offers a great quality of life so that you can enjoy your non-working hours as much as you enjoy your job.
As an accountant in Denver, you can expect to receive an accounting salary ranging from $43,000 per year for entry-level jobs to $80,000 per year for senior accountant positions. Glassdoor reports that the average accounting salary in Denver is $61,394.
4. Houston, Texas
Like everything else in Texas, everything in Houston is huge. The city is known for its big oil, big aerospace, big transportation, and big manufacturing industries. As the fourth most populated city in the nation, Houston has the second-most assortment of large companies behind New York.
Living in Houston allows you to enjoy nearby Galveston Bay as well as the city’s many museums and exhibits. It is home to several accounting associations, including the 66-year-old Petroleum Accountants Society of Houston if you choose to work in the energy industry.
Houston is one of the best paying cities for accountants. The average reported accounting salary in Houston is $62,503, and the reported range of accounting salaries is $44,000 to $82,000. Because of the sheer number of companies and industries, Houston has opportunities for accountants from entry-level to senior-level positions.
5. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the U.S. behind New York and is home to multiple major industries, including the entertainment, technology, tourism, and aerospace sectors. The City of Angels is the best paying city for accountants in the western half of the U.S. and is second only to New York.
Living in Los Angeles allows you plenty of opportunity for professional advancement as well as the warmth of the California sun. You can enjoy great access to the many nearby beaches.
You can expect to receive an accounting salary ranging from an entry-level salary of $44,000 to $83,000 for a senior-level position. The broad variety of companies and positions that are available make Los Angeles the best paying city for accountants in USA on the West Coast. The average reported accounting salary in Los Angeles is $64,007.
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul is a great place for accountants who are just starting out and who want to build their careers while raising their families. Minneapolis-St. Paul has more than 20 lakes and wetlands spread throughout the metropolitan area, and it has become a major business hub between Seattle and Chicago.
In this area, you can find several important industries, including technology, retail, biomedical, and financial services. All of these different sectors need accountants to help them to grow their operations and to increase their profits.
The average accounting salary in Minneapolis is $60,196 per year. Accountants can expect accounting salaries to range from $42,000 to $79,000. Building experience as an accountant in this sixth best city for accountants can position you for more senior positions in the major metropolitan areas later in your career.
7. New York, New York
The Big Apple is the best city for accountants in terms of the potential salary for accountants. The average reported salary for accountants in NYC is $67,817 per year. The reported range of accounting salaries in the city is $47,000 to $88,000.
New York is the biggest city in the U.S., and it has almost limitless recreational opportunities for residents to enjoy. The city is the financial services center of the U.S. Other major industries that fuel the city’s economy include the media industry, the communications industry, and the technology industry.
Because New York’s cost of living is 20 percent higher than the national average, the city is probably the best city for accountants who are searching for lead or senior positions. If you are in the beginning phases of your career, you might want to cut your teeth elsewhere before taking on the New York scene.
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the anchor city of a metropolitan area of more than 6 million people, making it the eighth-largest in the U.S. Philadelphia has played an important role in our nation’s history, and it continues to inspire people with its numerous sites of historic importance.
Living and working in the City of Brotherly Love can allow you to earn a good salary while enjoying all of the cultural and commercial features that Philadelphia offers. The city is home to numerous accounting associations, allowing you to attend accounting seminars without having to travel.
The cost of living in Philadelphia is only 4 percent above the national average, making this city livable for people who are at the entry stage of their accounting careers. The average reported accounting salary in Philadelphia is $61,057 per year. The range of reported salaries in the city is $43,000 to $80,000, placing Philadelphia on our list of the best cities for CPAs.
9. Phoenix, Arizona
Coming in at number nine on our list of the best cities for accountants is Phoenix, Arizona. Sunny Phoenix is known for its year-round desert warmth. It is home to the Phoenix Mountains, allowing you to spend your time off from work hiking and exploring the awe-inspiring desert vistas that surround you.
Phoenix is a growing city, and numerous technology and telecommunications companies have recently relocated to it. It is home to Arizona State University and Luke Air Force Base. Phoenix is also home to multiple accounting associations, allowing you to attend continuing education accounting seminars without needing to travel.
A competitive salary for accountants in Phoenix can be expected to fall within a range of $42,000 to $78,000. The average reported accounting salary in Phoenix is $59,482 per year. This city may be a contender for the best city for accountants who are at the start of their careers who want to gain experience before moving to highly competitive areas.
10. Raleigh, North Carolina
Rounding out our list of the best cities for accountants is beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh is the hub of research in North Carolina and is a major center of biotech and high-tech research.
The major industries in Raleigh include health care, technology, and education. The cost of living in the city is 1 percent above the national average, making it one of the more affordable choices on the list of the best cities for CPAs.
Raleigh may be the best city for accountants who want to work for companies that are on the cutting edge of technology and research. You can expect to receive a salary that falls somewhere from $41,000 to $76,000. The average reported accountant’s salary in Raleigh is $57,885 per year.
Demand for accountants and the highest-paying type
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that accountants are in high demand. The job outlook for accountants is expected to grow at a rate of 10 percent per year through 2026, which is significantly higher than the average growth.
The highest-paid types of accountants include the following:
- Forensic accountants
- Managerial accountants
- Budget analysts
- Professors of accounting
- Tax accountants
The best city for accountants may depend on your particular specialty.
Where do accountants work?
Accountants can work at large CPA firms in the best cities for CPAs, at smaller firms, in private industries, and in government agencies. Accountants are employed by many public and private organizations across the U.S.
Some accountants are also able to work from home remotely. These types of positions may be ideal for people who want more freedom as well as for those who are semi-retired.
Average salary for a certified public accountant
The average salary for a certified public accountant varies from state to state. Overall, the national average salary of CPAs is $64,094.
The best city for CPAs will depend on the area in which you specialize. If you have built your experience, the best city for CPAs for you may be one of our country’s largest population centers such as New York.
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