Accountants and Auditors

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Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and Auditors - At a Glance

Accountants and auditors assemble, analyze, and check the accuracy of financial information.

Quick Facts:  Accountants and Auditors
WagesEarn $77,305 per year
EmploymentVery large occupation
10 Year GrowthAverage growth
Annual OpeningsVery High



The Preparation section describes the education, training, and experience you need to prepare for work in an occupation. This section covers the types of formal and informal training programs you should take. In addition, this topic covers the amount of experience you need to enter an occupation.

For more information see the Preparation topic.

An accountant or auditor typically needs to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • have a bachelor's degree in accounting

A certified public accountant (CPA) typically needs to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • complete a five-year, 150-credit hour accounting program (awards a bachelor's or master's degree)
  • have public accounting experience
  • pass the Uniform CPA Examination

Working Conditions 

Working Conditions

The Working Conditions section describes an occupation's characteristics. This section covers the conditions and settings that workers in an occupation are exposed to. This list also shows characteristics that a worker needs to do well in the occupation.

For more information see the Working Conditions topic.

In a typical work setting, accountants and auditors:

  • Have a medium level of social contact. They work with customers, other accountants and auditors, and office staff. In general, auditors have more contact with customers than accountants do.
  • Often work indoors.
  • Must be exact in their work and be sure all details are done. Errors could cause clients to lose money.
  • May work long hours from January to April, if specializing in tax preparation.



The Wage section tells you how much money most workers in an occupation earn at the state level. Annual wage data appear for most occupations. The annual wage is based on working full time, 12 months of the year.

The wage graph provides two types of information about wages - the median wage and the wage range.

The median wage is represented by the vertical line inside the shaded bar. Half of all workers in the occupation earn an amount below the median wage and half of workers earn an amount above the median wage. Move your cursor over the bar to see the median wage value.

The wage range is represented by the shaded bar, a range that half of all workers in the occupation earn. 25% earn less than the low amount and 25% earn more than the high amount. Move your cursor over the bar to see the wage range values.

If the graph does not display a median wage it is because it is representing several occupations. In this case, the median wage range displays in the wage statement.

For more information see the Wages topic.

In Illinois, accountants and auditors earn a median wage of $77,305 per year.

$0 $50 $100 $150 $200

$ amounts are in thousands of dollars.

Employment and Outlook 

Employment and Outlook

The Employment and Outlook section gives you information about the size of an occupation, whether it is growing or declining in size, and how many job openings there may be each year.

There are five size categories for occupations in CIS: very small, small, medium, large, and very large. Similarly, five categories are used for the number of job openings: very few, few, moderate, high, and very high.

Five categories are also used for growth: declining, more slowly than average, average, faster than average, and much faster than average. The growth rate tells you how rapidly an occupation is expected to grow in comparison to all other occupations. This information is an estimate. No one can predict exactly how many jobs will be available. The rate of growth of an occupation is determined by several factors. A few major factors are the state of the economy, competition, technological advances, and environmental rules.

For more information see the Employment and Outlook topic.

In Illinois, 53,402 accountants and auditors work in this very large occupation.

LocationEmployment10 Year GrowthAnnual Openings
Very large
Very High
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.