How soon before you earn six figures in accounting?

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Pay for accountants

How soon before accountants are in the money?

Is six figure pay the measure of a nice remunerative job? If you're inclined to think it is, you may be interested in a career in accounting.

It's the season for accounting salary and bonus surveys. As we reported earlier, a salary survey from recruiter Marks Satin suggested that the average accountant in the UK earns a salary of £86k and a bonus of £12.7k.

This has now been trumped by a whole new survey from the ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and recruitment firm Stott and May. Their survey suggests the average accountant is actually on a salary of £90.8k and a bonus of £20.5k. That's the average across all industries - as the chart below shows, accountants working in 'banking and capital markets' earn by far the most.

Accounting salaries and bonuses


How long before you earn £100k working in accounting? The ICAEW provides the following helpful chart detailing this information too. If you're an average man in accounting, you'll have to wait until your 30s. If you're an average woman, your pay will never hit six figures no matter how long you work.

Average salary by age and gender

In this sense, accounting is different to banking. Firstly, female bankers have been shown to earn more than male bankers in their 20s. Secondly, average pay for 30 year old bankers is £196k, with compensation increasing exponentially after that.

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