How Much Do Accountants Make an Hour: Understanding the Factors and Average Wages

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Are you considering a career in accounting? One of the essential questions you may have is, “How much do accountants make an hour?” Understanding the average hourly wages for accountants is crucial for making informed career decisions. In this article, we will delve into the factors that influence accountants’ hourly wages and provide an overview of the average earnings in the field.

Understanding the Factors Affecting Accountants’ Hourly Wages

To comprehend how much accountants earn per hour, it’s important to consider several key factors that impact their wages. These factors include:

Education and Certification Requirements

Accountants usually require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Additionally, certifications such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation can significantly impact an accountant’s earning potential.

Years of Experience

Experience plays a significant role in determining an accountant’s hourly wage. As accountants gain more experience and expertise in their field, they become more valuable to employers, leading to higher wages.


Accountants can specialize in various areas, such as tax accounting, forensic accounting, or management accounting. Specialization can lead to higher hourly wages as accountants with in-demand expertise are often highly sought after.


The geographical location of an accountant’s workplace can affect their hourly wages. For instance, accountants working in metropolitan areas or cities with a high cost of living tend to earn more than those in rural or less populated areas.

Average Hourly Wage of Accountants

Now that we have a better understanding of the factors influencing accountants’ hourly wages, let’s explore the average earnings in the field. According to recent statistics, the national average hourly wage for accountants is $36.58. However, it’s important to note that this figure can vary significantly based on various factors, including the accountant’s experience, specialization, and location.

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Regional variations also play a significant role in determining accountants’ hourly wages. For example, accountants working in states like New York, California, and Massachusetts tend to earn higher hourly wages due to the higher cost of living in these areas.

Factors Influencing Hourly Wages at Different Career Levels

The hourly wages of accountants can differ depending on their career level. Let’s take a closer look at how experience impacts the earnings at different stages:

Entry-level Accountants

Entry-level accountants typically earn a lower hourly wage compared to their more experienced counterparts. However, as they gain experience and expertise, their wages tend to increase steadily.

Mid-level Accountants

Mid-level accountants who have gained a few years of experience often see a significant bump in their hourly wages. They have proven their competence and can handle more complex tasks, leading to higher earning potential.

Senior-level Accountants

Senior-level accountants, with a wealth of experience and expertise, enjoy the highest hourly wages in the field. They often take on leadership roles and handle critical financial responsibilities, justifying their higher compensation.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Accountants’ Hourly Wages

What is the average hourly wage for entry-level accountants?

On average, entry-level accountants can expect to earn around $20 to $25 per hour. However, this figure may vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

How does specialization affect the hourly wage?

Accountants with specialized skills and knowledge in high-demand areas such as tax accounting or forensic accounting can command higher hourly wages due to their expertise.

Are there any additional benefits apart from the hourly wage for accountants?

Yes, accountants often receive additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and bonuses, which can contribute to their overall compensation package.

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How much do accountants make per hour in different states?

Hourly wages for accountants can vary significantly between states. For example, accountants in states like New York and California tend to earn higher wages compared to those in states with a lower cost of living.

What factors can contribute to an increase in hourly wages for accountants?

Factors such as obtaining advanced certifications like the CPA designation, gaining specialized skills, and consistently performing well can contribute to an increase in hourly wages for accountants.

What is the difference in hourly wages between accountants in public and private sectors?

Accountants working in the public sector, such as government agencies, may have different wage scales compared to those working in the private sector. The wages can vary depending on the specific organization, location, and level of experience.


In conclusion, the hourly wages of accountants vary based on several factors, including education, experience, specialization, and location. While the national average hourly wage for accountants is $36.58, it’s essential to consider regional variations and career levels when estimating earnings. By understanding these factors, aspiring accountants can make informed decisions about their career paths and potential earning potential. So, if you’re considering a career in accounting, take into account the various factors discussed in this article and pave your way to a rewarding and financially fulfilling profession.

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