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Career and Education Opportunities for Bookkeepers in Elgin, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for bookkeepers in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 86,550 jobs for bookkeepers in Illinois and this is projected to grow 13% to 98,060 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for bookkeepers, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.3% over the next eight years. Bookkeepers generally compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete.

Bookkeepers earn about $16 per hour or $33,820 annually on average in Illinois and about $15 per hour or $32,510 annually on average nationally. 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.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a bookkeeper. Given that the most common education level for bookkeepers is a high school diploma or GED, 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 Elgin 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

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.

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.

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.

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-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.

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.

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.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has a less than one year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated four 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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.