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Career and Education Opportunities for Bookkeepers in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for bookkeepers. Currently, 86,550 people work as bookkeepers in Illinois. This is expected to grow 13% to 98,060 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for bookkeepers are expected to grow by about 10.3%. In general, bookkeepers compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete.

The income of a bookkeeper is about $16 hourly or $33,820 yearly on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,510 yearly on average. Earnings for bookkeepers are better than earnings in the general category of Billing and Bookkeeping in Illinois and better than general Billing and Bookkeeping category earnings nationally.

There are twenty-five schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a bookkeeper, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Bookkeepers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a bookkeeper if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, bookkeepers compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. They also perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records.

Bookkeepers operate 10-key calculators and copy machines to perform calculations and produce documents. They also perform general office duties such as filing and handling routine correspondence. Equally important, bookkeepers have to check figures and documents for correct entry and proper codes. They are often called upon to operate computers programmed with accounting software to record and analyze data. Finally, bookkeepers comply with federal and company policies, procedures, and regulations.

Every day, bookkeepers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for bookkeepers to classify and summarize numerical and financial data to compile and keep financial archives, using journals and ledgers or computers. They are often called upon to access computerized financial data to respond to general questions as well as those pertaining to specific accounts. They also debit and total accounts on computer spreadsheets and databases, using specialized accounting software. They are sometimes expected to reconcile or note and report discrepancies found in archives. Somewhat less frequently, bookkeepers are also expected to reconcile archives of bank transactions.

Bookkeepers sometimes are asked to compile budget data and documents, on the basis of estimated revenues and expenses and previous budgets. and receive and bank cash, checks, and vouchers. And finally, they sometimes have to calculate and ready checks for utilities and other payments.

Like many other jobs, bookkeepers must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist. Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.
  • Bank Teller. Receive and pay out money. Keep records of money and negotiable instruments involved in a financial institution's various transactions.
  • Broker Assistant. Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
  • Clerk. Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
  • Gaming Cashier. Conduct financial transactions for patrons in gaming establishments. May reconcile daily summaries of transactions to balance books. Accept patron's credit application and verify credit references to provide check-cashing authorization or to establish house credit accounts. May sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons, or to other workers for resale to patrons. May convert gaming chips, tokens, or tickets to currency upon patron's request. May use a cash register or computer to record transaction.
  • Loan Inspector. Interview loan applicants to elicit information; investigate applicants' backgrounds and verify references; prepare loan request papers; and forward findings, reports, and documents to appraisal department. Review loan papers to ensure completeness, and complete transactions between loan establishment, borrowers, and sellers upon approval of loan.
  • Office Clerk. Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.
  • Payroll Machine Operator. Operate machines that automatically perform mathematical processes, such as addition, subtraction, and division, to calculate and record billing, accounting, and other numerical data. Duties include operating special billing machines to prepare statements, bills, and invoices, and operating bookkeeping machines to copy and post data, make computations, and compile records of transactions.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Bookkeeper Training

Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus - Bridgeview, IL

Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus, 7725 South Harlem Avenue, Bridgeview, IL 60455. Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus is a small college located in Bridgeview, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 995 students and an admission rate of 90%. Northwestern College-Southwestern Campus has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.

MacCormac College - Chicago, IL

MacCormac College, 29 E. Madison, Chicago, IL 60602-4405. MacCormac College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 163 students. MacCormac College has an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a less than one year program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.

Saint Augustine College - Chicago, IL

Saint Augustine College, 1333-45 W Argyle, Chicago, IL 60640-3593. Saint Augustine College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,275 students. Saint Augustine College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has a less than one year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated ten students in 2008.

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport - Chicago, IL

Westwood College-O'Hare Airport, 8501 W. Higgins Road Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60634. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 676 students and an admission rate of 48%. Westwood College-O'Hare Airport has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties.

Nothwestern College - Chicago, IL

Nothwestern College, 4829 North Lipps Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630. Nothwestern College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 847 students and an admission rate of 83%. Nothwestern College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated zero and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Chicago Loop - Chicago, IL

Westwood College-Chicago Loop, 17 N State St-Ste 300, Chicago, IL 60602. Westwood College-Chicago Loop is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 685 students and an admission rate of 62%. Westwood College-Chicago Loop has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a less than one year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated two students in 2008.

Westwood College-Dupage - Woodridge, IL

Westwood College-Dupage, 7155 Janes Avenue, Woodridge, IL 60517. Westwood College-Dupage is a small college located in Woodridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 659 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Dupage has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties.

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest - Gary, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest, 1440 E 35th Ave, Gary, IN 46409-1499. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest is a medium sized college located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,701 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated seven and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has a one to two year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated nine students in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has 2 areas of study related to Bookkeeper. They are:

  • Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping, one to two year.
  • Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties, master's degree and doctor's degree.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated one student in 2008.

Brown Mackie College-Merrillville - Merrillville, IN

Brown Mackie College-Merrillville, 1000 E 80th Place, Suite 101N, Merrillville, IN 46410. Brown Mackie College-Merrillville is a small college located in Merrillville, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 780 students. Brown Mackie College-Merrillville has an associate's degree program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated sixty-eight and twenty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-River Oaks - Calumet City, IL

Westwood College-River Oaks, 80 River Oaks Ctr-Ste 111, Calumet City, IL 60409. Westwood College-River Oaks is a small college located in Calumet City, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 629 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-River Oaks has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties.

Fox College Inc - Oak Lawn, IL

Fox College Inc, 4201 W 93rd St, Oak Lawn, IL 60453. Fox College Inc is a small college located in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 344 students and an admission rate of 69%. Fox College Inc has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated zero and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated twenty-one, two, and six students respectively in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated fourteen, seventeen, and six students respectively in 2008.

Prairie State College - Chicago Heights, IL

Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, IL 60411-8226. Prairie State College is a medium sized college located in Chicago Heights, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,368 students. Prairie State College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated three and two students respectively in 2008.

Robert Morris College - Chicago, IL

Robert Morris College, 401 S State Street, Chicago, IL 60605. Robert Morris College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,555 students and an admission rate of 79%. Robert Morris College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated forty-three and forty-six students respectively in 2008.

South Suburban College - South Holland, IL

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200. South Suburban College is a medium sized college located in South Holland, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,105 students. South Suburban College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated two, one, and one students respectively in 2008.

DeVry University-Illinois - Chicago, IL

DeVry University-Illinois, 3300 N Campbell Ave, Chicago, IL 60618. DeVry University-Illinois is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 19,417 students and an admission rate of 92%. DeVry University-Illinois has an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated six students in 2008.

BIR Training Center - Chicago, IL

BIR Training Center, 3601 W Devon Ste 210, Chicago, IL 60659. BIR Training Center is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,240 students. BIR Training Center has a less than one year program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Patient Account Technician: The Certified Patient Account Manager exam is every bit as challenging for patient account managers as the CPA and Bar exams are for their respective fields.

For more information, see the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website.

Certified Clinic Account Technician: AAHAM developed the Certified Clinic Account Technician (CCAT) examination to test the proficiency of individuals involved in the collection of patient accounts and to prepare them for the many changes to come.

For more information, see the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.