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How Much Does Accounting School Cost?

Accountant School Prices

Accounting is a line of work for individuals who can keep the economic business world on track with the bottom line. The technical description of Accounting, given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), states it is "the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions and events which are, in part at least, of financial character, and interpreting the results thereof." In the business world, money talks and accounting is the language.

Job opportunities in Accounting

With a business degree in accounting under your belt you can direct your career towards four basic types of professional accounting:

  • Management Accountants - Otherwise referred to as private or cost accountants, they communicate important and, sometimes, specialized financial information to their employer (specializations include cost accounting, financial analysis, or planning and budgeting)
  • Public Accountants - These accountants may work for non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, governments, or individuals. Public accountants typically perform accounting, auditing, and tax work. However, they may also provide advice, consulting, or auditing services to their clients.
  • Government Accountants - Government accountants can work for federal, state, or local governments. In addition to jobs in areas of financial management, administration, and budget analysis, they often maintain revenue and expenditure records.
  • Internal Auditors - These specialized accountants examine records for the firms they work for to ferret out waste or fraud. They also review operations for efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness.

Accounting Degree Costs

Associates Degree - On average, this takes approximately two years to complete, either through a an online program, public technical/trade school, community college, junior college, and even a traditional four year college.

Costs, range from $3000-$10000 per year, not including room, board, or books (perhaps up to an additional $15,000).

Bachelor Degree - On average, a Bachelor degree takes approximately four years to complete. Individuals who complete a Bachelor degree are more eligible for further advanced, and/or higher paying entry level jobs. The cost will vary significantly, depending on what type of four year University you attend.

In state tuition typically costs between $7,000-$15,000 per year vs. out-of state tuition with an average cost of $15,000-$25,000 per year. These numbers do not address additional costs of living such as room and board, books, gas money, etc.

Private colleges come with an even higher price tag of an average cost ranging from $20,000-$45,000 per year.

Master's Degree - Can be earned in two years or less after completing a bachelor's program. This advanced degree qualifies you to find job opportunities as an accounting supervisor, manager, controller, chief financial officers, or partner. With this level of education and experience, one can opt to start and run their own successful accounting firm.

Graduate School - Average cost of a public graduate school varies from approximately $7,000 to $30,000 per year, whereas at a private grad school on average you can expect to pay between $20,000 and $42,000 per year.

Distance/Online Learning and Free Trial Classes:

There are a variety of online universities that offer Associates, Bachelor's, and/or Master's degree programs in Accounting. Currently, several eLearning colleges offer accounting certificates that cost as little as $5,000.

On average the cost of an undergraduate degree, through an accredited online college will vary on the specific school and program, but you can expect to pay $300 to $600, per credit hour. Typically, it costs another $100 per credit hour more for online graduate programs.

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