How long does it take to become an accountant?
Becoming an accountant is perhaps one of the most lucrative jobs out there at the moment, if you can secure a number of top clients then you will certainly be ‘rolling’ in the money. Providing you have the aptitude for it at least. Of course, like any top job out there, this position isn’t one that you are going to be able to obtain easily, or even quickly. In this post we are going to take a look at exactly how long it does it take to become an accountant.
Of course, like most jobs out there, becoming an accountant starts off with your high school education. Since everybody needs to go there, I will discount from the final total of how long does it take to become an accountant. However, in order to speed up the time that it takes, it may be worth speaking to your guidance counselor at school. They will be able to tell you which classes to take in order to assist you with your education.
The next step is heading to college, so track down a college or university. You can do this whilst still at school. In order to take the Certified Public Accountant Exam, otherwise known as the CPA you will need to take a bachelor’s degree in accounting, although some states do allow you to take it in a similar business field, as long as accounting is included in the course. Expect college to take around 3 to 4 years depending on which modules you take. Make sure that your college actually conforms to the state’s accounting requirements, as not all courses do at the moment, particularly the less ‘in depth’ ones, and as a result this could add many years onto your path to becoming an accountant.
The next step is to start learning different accounting software packages. There are a few main types out there. Expect to take around a year for this, there are plenty of training courses that can provide you with assistance, both online and off.
During college and a bit after you will want to start taking part-time jobs and other work in accounting firms. This is important if you are looking to complete the Certified Public Accountant exam, something which you need to do in order to actually be able to practice as an account. You should be able to combine this with the previous two sections, and thus it won’t take any additional amount of time.
Finally you will need to complete your Certified Public Accountancy Examination. You will need to apply to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in order to find out more information on how you can apply. There is a lot on this exam and it has been suggested that you take a couple of months to study, although you should have time as the exam isn’t held that often. The exam will take you two days.
So how long does it take to become an accountant? Well, you are looking at a time of around 3 years if you carry out work experience whilst at college, but the norm seems to be around 4-5 years. Remember, you will also need to factor in additional time for when you apply for a job, which in this economy could sometimes be very long.