Accounting jobs are typically classified as a safe option for those looking to enter an industry that will maintain a steady stream of demand and plenty of opportunities to grow. Right around tax season, everyone is looking for an accountant, and major companies are always looking for someone who can run the numbers and help with budgeting and finance.
Given this information, our team was curious about which area is best to put down roots if you want to pursue Accounting. Using Glassdoor data, we examined trends for hundreds of accounting jobs in the top 50 cities in the United States. Based on our research, these are the best (and worst) cities to be an accountant in America.
If you’re looking strictly for the most opportunities, you can’t beat the Big Apple. According to Glassdoor, New York City has over 4,500 accounting jobs available, a cool 1,000 more than the second-best city for accounting opportunities, Washington D.C. Chicago came in third with just over 3,000 accounting jobs, closely followed by Long Beach and Los Angeles.
On the other end of the spectrum, El Paso has very few accounting jobs available. The opportunities barely broke 100, making it the worst city in America to look for an accounting position. Fresno, Colorado Springs, Wichita, and Tuscon all fell in the bottom five American cities for accountants. None of them had more than 150 opportunities for accountants available anywhere near their city limits.
Of course, one of the main reasons that accounting jobs are so desirable is that they provide a steady paycheck. San Francisco has the highest average annual salary in the US for accounting jobs, followed by San Jose—both of which broke the six-figure mark for average salaries.
New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles all made the top 5 average salaries for accountants, and in every case, your average accounting job pays out in the $80,000 range every year.
For many people, a high salary is an important factor to consider when taking a job, but it’s far from the only point to take into account. Job satisfaction and a good work culture are major points that play into where people decide to work. Accordingly, Glassdoor allows users to rate their workplace based on how pleasant it is to work there.
San Francisco and San Jose are the top 2 cities for the highest company ratings, which might imply correlation to a high salary. However, Seattle beat New York City, which boasted the third-highest annual salary for company ratings.
Minneapolis and Nashville tied New York City, in spite of the fact that their average annual salaries are much lower than New York. It just goes to show that money can’t buy happiness.
Las Vegas has the lowest company ratings overall, followed by Mesa and Virginia Beach, and a three-way tie for third place between Phoenix, Indianapolis, and Memphis.
Glassdoor also offers the option of rating your company by individual categories, including Comp and Benefits, Culture and Company Values, Career Opportunities, Work/Life Balance, and Senior Management. This rating system gives potential employees further information on more specific aspects of the companies they are applying to or researching.
San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle again make the top 3 cities for average category ratings. New York comes in fourth, and there’s a three-way tie for fifth between Minneapolis, Long Beach, and Chicago.
Again, there may be some correlation between the top average salaries and the company ratings, but company values and work/life balance also play a role in how the company scores on these categories.
A well-maintained accounting system is crucial to a successful business, but if your company isn’t in a position to hire new personnel, you still have options.
We’ve created a Guide to Finance Transformation Platforms to help you build a compelling, fact-based business case for implementing the right accounting platform in your organization. Get your copy here.