Masters in Accounting Salary and Career Outlook

When thinking about earning an advanced degree, it’s natural to wonder how the diploma will pay off long-term. A Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree can unlock new job opportunities and significant pay, but it is most prominently viewed as a way to move up within the industry rather than one capable of opening up jobs entirely unavailable to those without an advanced degree.

For example, consider the Certified Public Accountant recognition. It is a major step in an accounting career and can lead to considerable salary increases. While a MAcc degree is not explicitly required to obtain the certification, a MAcc program can be incredibly valuable in obtaining certification as a CPA – most MAcc curriculums focus on highly technical, practical elements of accounting work, making them perfect for those seeking a CPA. Actual licensure requirements vary from state to state, with most focusing exam prerequisites on completing a certain number of hours of continued education. (This Way to CPA, 2019)

Accountants who demonstrate the proper skill set in their work can find success, and earning a MAcc degree may be a stepping stone on the path to more advanced roles. It helps you develop your skills and expertise while building your resume. This lays the potential groundwork for promotions and higher salaries, even if it isn’t necessarily required for a job. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what to expect from a masters in accounting salary.

What to expect from MAcc salaries

General accountant and auditor salaries are a natural starting point when considering a MAcc degree. Median annual salaries for accountants and auditors came to $70,500 in 2018, and job growth will occur at an average rate (6%) from 2018 to 2028. Budget analysts, a potential specialization for accountants with business skills, received a median annual salary of more than $76,000 in 2018. Individuals in another specialized role – financial analysts – experienced median annual salaries of nearly $86,000 in 2018. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019)

These figures point to the high-earning potential, but also high-variability in the accounting sector. As general information about accountant and auditor positions can pertain to everyone from new accountants with a bachelor’s degree to experienced professionals in the late stages of their career, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what to expect.

The average annual salary for an accountant with a master’s-level degree comes to $67,000. That figure jumps by nearly $6,000 for those who have obtained their CPA licensure. For accounting managers, annual salaries average approximately $76,500. These salary figures rise even higher, exceeding $82,000 and $98,000 respectively for those who are financial or corporate controllers. (Career Trend, 2018)

All of this adds up to indicate that individuals with a MAcc degree can expect their salary to increase significantly – often well beyond the annual median wage for accountants and auditors. Those who move into management or specialized roles will likely experience the greatest boost.

Job options for those with a MAcc degree

Salary improvements are to be expected when obtaining an advanced degree in accounting. To a great extent, a degree can make it easier to gain recognition for expertise and move into a more specialized field within the industry. For example, a few common roles for accountants who have obtained a master’s degree include forensic accounting, public accounting, working in auditing and compliance, supporting government operations through accounting and handling tax and payroll issues. (, 2019)

Each of these accounting roles requires specialized knowledge that can be obtained through a blend of work experience and continued education. A MAcc program, such as the online MAcc at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), can cover key areas of emphasis to help prepare students for these types of roles. For example, the MAcc curriculum includes coursework on ethics, government and not-for-profit accounting, business analysis and tax issues, all of which can be applicable for advanced roles in the industry.

The online MACC program from UNR is specifically designed to help students prepare for their CPA exams while offering convenient, accessible learning opportunities. Find out more about our program and how you can get started advancing your career through a master’s degree by contacting us today.


Suggested Readings

Potential Forensic Accounting Jobs for MAcc Graduates

Top Skills You Need to Become a Salesforce Business Analyst

University of Nevada, Reno Online Master of Accountancy



This Way to CPA, Beyond the bachelor’s degree: MAcc vs. MBA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accountants and Auditors

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Budget Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Financial Analysts

Career Trend, The Average Salary of an Accountant With a Masters Degree, What Is a Master’s in Accounting?