Accounting Schools in Washington

Washington Accounting Schools
Licensing Board

The state of Washington boasts an array of colleges and universities that offer accounting degree programs. The programs equip students with a keen business sense and ability to accept the challenges of today’s constantly changing workplace.

Undergraduate programs in accounting provide individuals with a strong understanding of both business and accounting theories and applications. Graduate degree accounting programs focus on more advanced aspects of the field and research. Examples of the required accounting courses may include:

  • financial accounting
  • managerial accounting
  • taxation
  • cost accounting
  • intermediate accounting
  • international taxation

Some programs require special topics in accounting, as well as seminars in specific areas. Many accounting programs in Washington offer internship opportunities to accounting students to enable them to obtain professional experience and learn actual career abilities that will help make graduates valuable to future employers. The internship experiences can also help students gain a better understanding of the type of accounting specialty they want to pursue. Many accounting programs in Washington state prepare individuals for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination, which is administered the by the Washington State Board of Accountancy. The education requirements include a minimum of 150 semester credits of college education, including at least a bachelor’s degree, 24 semester credits in accounting courses with a minimum of 15 upper-level or graduate credits, and 24 semester credits in business administration classes. In addition to the education requirements, candidates for the CPA exam must have at least one year experience in the field, or a total of 2,000 hours.

Employment Outlook: 

Nationwide, the job outlook for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 16 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the BLS. This rate of increase is deemed as fast as the mean for all other occupations. The passing of stricter laws and incorporation of new financial standards will be the driving force behind the demand for more accounting professionals. Also, harsher lending standards will increase the necessity of audits, creating a more need for auditors. Accounting professionals with a professional certification, like a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant are expected to have the most favorable job options. In the year 2012, nearly 23,000 accountants and auditors worked in the state of Washington, which is about 8.205 for every 1,000 jobs. The average annual salary for these professionals was around $69,000, or $33.16 by the hour. The exact pay for accountants varies significantly on education, employer, position, and exact location. For example, staff accountants with a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting earn between $34,000 and $56,000 per year, while senior accountants with a master’s degree in accounting make between $44,000 and $73,000. Graduates of accounting programs are prepared to work in private, non-profit, and governmental accounting fields. In addition to working as an accountant or auditor, graduates often purse positions as actuaries, bank examiners, commodities traders, commercial bankers, loan officers, and payroll managers.

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