If you’re on the path to becoming an accountant, I have some good news. You can expect to receive a very healthy pay packet throughout your career. In fact, once you qualify your salary will be on a par with your peers in banking and law.
Across all sectors, demand for qualified accountants is greater than ever. Not only are businesses investing more heavily in permanent recruitment and the professional development of their employees, but with a drop in people achieving qualified status during the recession, demand is now greater than supply.
Just ask those a few years ahead of you in their career – it’s common to receive multiple job offers and if you’re looking to move on from a role, your current employer will often put forward a counter offer.
Show me the money
Even as a trainee accountant, you’ll enjoy a competitive salary as well as early responsibility and excellent career progression. According to recent High Fliers Research, the median starting salary for graduates in the accountancy sector is £30,000. You could even see this double in the three or so years it takes to complete your qualification.
Naturally your starting salary will depend on the size and type of organisation you choose to work for, as well as the sector you work in and the location of your office.
A leap ahead
There’s a definite incentive to complete your qualification - according to a recent survey by Stott and May, the average salary for newly qualified accountants is £48,100. And you can expect to see this shoot up as you gain more experience. The average global salary of ICAEW Chartered Accountants is £111,300 (£90,800 + £20,600 bonus).
If a big salary and a bonus are important attributes when considering your career, accountancy is a sector worth thinking about.
The gender pay gap
As with many of the professions, there is still a marked pay gap between the genders. Male chartered accountants in business earn an average salary of £100,900 compared to females who earn an average of £63,900 - a gap which has increased by 5.4% since 2014. The pay gap is narrowest among chartered accountants under 30.
Research has revealed men are more likely to work in senior roles, the private sector and in regions where salaries are typically higher. The gender pay gap remains partly due to demographics and working situations of men and women. Women are more likely to work part-time and in public or not-for-profit organisations where salaries are typically lower.
However the general outlook for finance professionals in the UK is strong and you can be sure that wherever you build your career, you'll be handsomely remunerated.