Top Reasons to Become a CPA (High salary is just the start)

The CPA Exam is hard, expensive, and takes over your life for months. And it was totally worth it!

Becoming a CPA is the most reliable way to reach your accounting career goals. Still on the fence? Here’s some of the top benefits of becoming a CPA.

Salary and Job Opportunities

Earn up to 10-15% higher salary than your non-CPA colleagues. Higher starting salaries are just the beginning. Lifetime earnings for CPAs grow faster as you continue to land promotions and get the best job opportunities.

Or as one Reddit user put it, “I’m an accounting and finance headhunter… In general, I see the CPA being a straight 10-20% base salary bump over a candidate without being considered for the same role.”

Unique Mix of Freedom and Stability

I love a good risk/benefit analysis? But it’s easy to get hung up on the benefits because they’re exciting and unique. But basic math says lowering your risks should have the same impact on your decision making.

Becoming a CPA with relevant work experience is the single greatest career risk reducer I’ve seen. Everyone else in the world has to choose between freedom and job stability. CPAs get to have both.

Get your CPA and 3-5 years work experience and you have the freedom to try anything you want. Plus the career security of knowing that you’ll always be able to find a job if things don’t work out. Don’t underestimate the real value of limited downside and having a safety net. It’s something most professionals can only dream of, and you never know when it will come in handy.

So move across the country for a new job. Try a different industry. Or take a year off to work on an alpaca farm. And worst-case, come back to the job market in high demand.

Badge of Honor, Stamp of Approval

The CPA Exam is hard. And that’s a good thing. That means becoming a CPA takes time, dedication, and grit. Not everyone can do it.

To this day passing the CPA exam is still one of my proudest accomplishments. I worked hard to reach my goal, and that feels great. It also signals to hiring managers that I’m the kind of person who gets stuff done. That’s hard to find, highly valued, and can’t be taught.

The whole purpose of CPA certification is to show the world that you have the basic skills professional accountants need in today’s business world. Employers, coworkers, and friends who need tax advice all recognize this stamp of approval.

Get the Interview, Get the Job

The dirty little secret of the corporate world – Hiring is hard, and managers are busy. Every time you apply for a job, they’re looking for reasons to say no. There’s only so much time to interview candidates, so they use rules of thumb (like “are they a CPA?”) to narrow the list of hundreds to a more manageable 5-10 candidates.

Being a CPA with a solid resume gets you on that short list. You’re never guaranteed the job. But becoming a CPA opens doors and gets you the interview more often. Job search is a numbers game. A CPA license stacks the deck in your favor.

CPA Only Careers

There’s a big world of great jobs outside of industry for CPAs. Want to stay in public accounting? You’ll need a CPA to make Manager at most firms. Dreaming of stopping money laundering bad guys? Use your CPA to become an IRS Agent. Love helping people plan for retirement? Become a financial advisor and automatically have more authority than your non-CPA competition.

The sky’s the limit. There’s no better time to get started than right now. Good luck!