Sunday, September 24

A quick and informative guide to becoming a CPA

The US economy can be pretty strong, but if you want to ensure financial well-being is just as strong, you need to choose a career that will always be in demand. Following the traditional route of becoming a doctor or lawyer is good, but what about becoming a CPA? Certified public accountant jobs are plentiful and come with a healthy salary, too.

A quick and informative guide to becoming a CPA

However, what does it take to become a CPA? What kind of education do you need and how long will it take you to get your career off the ground? Read on for the answers to these questions and more!

Why bother with CPA certification?

You know that CPAs are accountants who have taken extra steps to receive that certification. But is it really necessary to spend time getting certified if you can only get an accounting degree and get started?

The answer to this question depends on your career goals, but if you want to ensure that you have the most room to grow in your career, becoming a CPA is the way to go. CPAs are qualified for leadership roles in many types of organizations and corporations. In exchange for the extra work you put in, you’ll have more job security and greater earning potential.

Start with your bachelor’s degree

The first step you need to take to become a CPA is to go to college to earn your bachelor’s degree in a subject like accounting. How do you get started on this if you’ve been out of school for a while? The easiest thing to do is head to a local community college and complete your first two years of general education.

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From there, do a little research on colleges in your area and their accounting programs. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even try going to a highly rated school like UCLA or even an Ivy. The more you work at school, the better the reward will be in the end.

Increase your credentials with a master’s degree

There are minimum requirements for CPA education. Although it is not necessary for you to complete a master’s degree, you must complete 30 credit hours beyond the 120 credit hours you need to receive a bachelor’s degree (complete a dual major, perhaps). You can choose to delay your bachelor’s graduation for a year, or you can take the time to receive a master’s degree.

Two of the best options for master’s degrees include earning a Master’s degree in Accounting or an MBA with a minor in accounting. This may take a little longer and is a bigger investment, but if you do it right, it will look great on your resume!

Internships and work experience are key

When you think of going to college, you probably think of summers that you spend partying or traveling the world. If you want to accelerate your journey to becoming a CPA, then it is important to get as much work experience as possible while you are still in school. One of the best ways to do this is through internships at accounting agencies.

In short, work experience will help you walk through the door once you earn your certification.

Take the CPA exam

You have all the qualifications! You are now ready to take the CPA exam.

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The CPA exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Get started by navigating to their website and seeing how to register and where and when the exam will be administered. From there, you will start studying for the exam itself.

Expect the exam to contain four sections that take approximately four hours each to complete. You do not need to take all sections of the exam at once, but you must complete them within 18 months of each other and you must receive a minimum grade of 75 in each section.

Look for the license

Many states require an extra step before licensing someone, even if they have passed the CPA exam. Depending on where you live, you may need to work for at least two years as a certified public accountant before you are licensed by your state. If you live in one of those states, that could affect the way you conduct your job search.

It is also important to note that some states require CPAs to take an ethics course or ethics exam before they are licensed. Once you have met all of your requirements, you will officially be a CPA!

Once you are licensed, you can work as a CPA for a wide variety of different organizations, and you can even become a freelance CPA. Learn more about freelance jobs at

How many years does it take to become a CPA?

Becoming a lawyer requires seven years of full-time education. Becoming a doctor requires even more than that. Do all high-paying career fields also require you to spend nearly a decade in higher education?

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Fortunately, for those who aspire to become CPAs, the answer to that question is “no.” In fact, you only need a little more than a bachelor’s degree to get started. From there, it takes an additional 30 credit hours of CPA education to qualify for the CPA exam.

It is important that you check your state’s requirements for CPA certification. Limiting what you need to do based on your status will set you up for success years before you take the exam.

Becoming a CPA Leads to a Rewarding Career!

When it comes to career goals, becoming a CPA is easily one of the best you can have. Not only can it save you tons of time and money (and student loan debt), but it also allows you to earn a healthy salary. If you haven’t started thinking about taking the next steps on your CPA journey yet, now is definitely the time to do it!

Do you want to know more ways to boost your career at full speed? You have come to the right place. Check out the rest of our blog for tons of great pro advice.

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