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Top U.S. Cities For Accountants: Salt Lake City, Miami, Tucson, Little Rock, Tulsa

Accountants in these metro areas enjoy steady demand, high job growth, and attractive salaries

With work available in every geographic region and economic sector, accountants across the U.S. enjoy steady demand and a strong job outlook. However, certain metro areas stand out as some of the best destinations for accountants.

Whether you’re pursuing an online accounting degree or you’ve already graduated, you may be wondering which cities offer the best prospects for your accounting career. You could also be pondering this question if you’re an established accounting professional planning a big move—or if you’re just curious how your hometown ranks among the country’s top metropolitan areas for accountants.

With work available in every geographic region and economic sector, accountants across the U.S. enjoy steady demand and a strong job outlook. However, certain metro areas stand out as some of the best destinations for accountants. PHOTO BY KUNCHEEK/PEXELS 

In this article, you can explore the 99 best places in the U.S. for accountants to develop their careers. Keep reading to learn about the state of the accounting profession in the U.S. and discover detailed information about the top five metro areas for this versatile occupation.

What Is an Accountant?

Accountancy is a varied profession with many specializations. Broadly speaking, accountants help organizations and individuals keep accurate financial records, file their taxes, and evaluate financial risk and opportunity.

Accounting firms, government agencies, nonprofits and businesses across all industries hire accountants. Many individuals and families also rely on professionals like certified public accountants (CPAs), bookkeepers, tax preparers and tax advisors to help them prepare tax returns, manage finances and develop sound tax strategies.

Accountant Salary and Career Outlook

Accountants live and work in every U.S. city. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. is home to more than 1.4 million accountants and auditors, making this field the country’s 18th most popular profession. That’s not even counting other allied professions—for example, accounting, auditing and bookkeeping clerks come in at number 14 with more than 1.5 million workers.

The accountant job outlook appears bright, with these professionals typically enjoying above-average salaries and steady career prospects. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $78,000 for accountants and auditors as of 2022.

Nationally, the BLS projects employment for accountants and auditors to grow by 4%—about average—between 2022 and 2032. However, jobs for accountants are growing much more quickly in many of the cities identified on this page. Among the states where our top 10 metro areas are located, projected growth rates range from 10% to 33%.

Education for Accountants

To become an accountant, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. CPAs typically need a master’s in accounting.

You do not need to earn your accounting degree in the same state where you intend to practice. However, if you plan to become a CPA, ensure your chosen program meets the licensing criteria where you want to work since educational requirements for licensure vary by state.

Relocating as an Accountant

If you’re a CPA, state mobility regulations usually allow temporary practice outside of your home state without going through relicensing. If you plan to settle permanently in a new state, you can apply for CPA license reciprocity. Among U.S. states and territories, 52 have CPA mobility laws, and 55 recognize reciprocity.

Other common accounting and finance credentials, such as the Certified Management Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Internal Auditor credentials, are location-independent.

The Top Cities For Accountants

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida
  3. Tucson, Arizona
  4. Little Rock, Arkansas
  5. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Salt Lake City, Utah

Projected Job Growth for Accountants (Statewide, 2020-2030): 33%
Median Income: $82,506
State Accounting Licenses Available: Certified Public Accountant

Accountancy jobs are growing particularly fast in Salt Lake City. Known as the Crossroads of the West, this metro area boasts prime winter sports destinations, a burgeoning tech industry and the nation’s largest number of industrial banks. As Utah’s capital city, Salt Lake leads the state’s strong economic growth, with a gross domestic product increase of nearly 300% from 2001 to 2021.

With work available in every geographic region and economic sector, accountants across the U.S. enjoy steady demand and a strong job outlook. However, certain metro areas stand out as some of the best destinations for accountants. PHOTO BY KUNCHEEK/PEXELS 

Accountants here can access professional development resources and networking opportunities through the Utah Association of CPAs. The city is home to branches of all the Big Four accounting firms.

Miami, Florida

Projected Job Growth for Accountants (Statewide, 2020-2030): 23%
Median Income: $62,870
State Accounting Licenses Available: Certified Public Accountant

This cosmopolitan metropolis hosts more than 1,100 multinational corporations, making Miami an especially attractive destination for those interested in international business. Major local industries employing accountants include tourism, financial services and trade.

Miami accountants can make professional connections through the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Organizations like the Association of Latino Professionals for America, the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), the Institute of Management Accountants and the Institute of Internal Auditors also maintain Miami-area chapters.

Tucson, Arizona

Projected Job Growth for Accountants (Statewide, 2020-2030): 22%
Median Income: $59,215
State Accounting Licenses Available: Certified Public Accountant

Known for its sunny climate, rich cultural history and culinary distinction, Tucson boasts strong projected growth for accounting jobs. The city’s economy excels in the science and engineering spaces, with top industries including aerospace and defense, renewable energy, and optics and photonics.

Tucson’s largest private employer, Raytheon Missiles and Defense, hires accounting professionals at all levels. The city’s professional organizations for accountants include the Arizona Society of CPAs and the Arizona Association of Accounting and Tax Professionals.

Little Rock, Arkansas

Projected Job Growth for Accountants (Statewide, 2020-2030): 12%
Median Income: $58,441
State Accounting Licenses Available: Certified Public Accountant

Little Rock’s median home price—among the least expensive on our list—and low overall cost of living indicates that the city’s accountants may see their salaries stretch further than they would in many other cities.

Little Rock’s diverse economy offers opportunities for accountants in sectors like banking and finance, healthcare, agriculture and government. Accounting professionals in Little Rock can pursue networking opportunities and career support through the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the local chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Projected Job Growth for Accountants (Statewide, 2020-2030): 12%
Median Income: $60,866
State Accounting Licenses Available: Certified Public Accountant, Public Accountant

This midsize city offers below-average housing prices and has enacted several economic development programs in recent years to spur growth. Such programs include Tulsa Remote—designed to attract remote workers—and Vision Tulsa, which allocates over $510 million to local infrastructure and public safety spending.

Tulsa’s investments point to a growing economy with opportunities for accountants both within and beyond traditional major industries such as energy, aerospace, manufacturing and transportation. The city hosts branches of all Big Four firms, along with local chapters of AFWA and the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

(Additional reporting provided by Talker News)

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