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Career and Education Opportunities for Accountants in Columbia, Maryland

If you want to be an accountant, the Columbia, Maryland area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 24,760 people are currently employed as accountants in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 19% to 29,420 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for accountants, which sees this job pool growing by about 21.6% over the next eight years. In general, accountants analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

Accountants earn about $31 per hour or $65,720 per year on average in Maryland and about $28 per hour or $59,430 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing, people working as accountants in Maryland earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Accounting and Auditing nationally. Accountants work in a variety of jobs, including: general accountant, forensic accountant, and financial adviser.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including twenty-five within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as an accountant. The most common level of education for accountants is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become an accountant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Accountant

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

In general, accountants analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.

Accountants ready or analyze accounting records or other financial reports to gauge accuracy and conformance to reporting and procedural standards. Finally, accountants design and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.

Every day, accountants are expected to be able to deal with basic arithmetic problems. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for accountants to report to management regarding the finances of establishment. They are often called upon to establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts. They also analyze business operations and obligations, to project future revenues and expenses or to furnish advice. They are sometimes expected to survey operations to ascertain accounting needs and to recommend, design, or maintain solutions to business and financial problems. Somewhat less frequently, accountants are also expected to compute taxes owed and ready tax returns, ensuring adherence to payment, reporting or other tax requirements.

Accountants sometimes are asked to advise management about issues such as resource utilization and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts. And finally, they sometimes have to appraise and inventory real property and equipment, recording data such as the description, value and location of property.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Assessor. Appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. May assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Budget Analyst. Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.
  • Cost Analyst. Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Insurance Underwriter. Review individual applications for insurance to evaluate degree of risk involved and determine acceptance of applications.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • Loan Officer. Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments. Includes mortgage loan officers and agents, collection analysts, loan servicing officers, and loan underwriters.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Accountant Training

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a one to two year program in Accounting which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has 2 areas of study related to Accountant. They are:

  • Accounting, two to four year, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated forty-five, one, and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Accounting and Finance, master's degree which graduated 88 students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Accounting which graduated thirty, ninety-four, and one students respectively in 2008.

Potomac College - Washington, DC

Potomac College, 4000 Chesapeake St NW, Washington, DC 20016. Potomac College is a small college located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 374 students. Potomac College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Accounting.

University of Phoenix-Maryland Campus - Columbia, MD

University of Phoenix-Maryland Campus, 8830 Stanford Blvd., Suite 100, Columbia, MD 21045-5424. University of Phoenix-Maryland Campus is a small university located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 694 students. University of Phoenix-Maryland Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated one student in 2008.

Columbia Union College - Takoma Park, MD

Columbia Union College, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Columbia Union College is a small college located in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 974 students. Columbia Union College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated six students in 2008.

DeVry University-Maryland - Bethesda, MD

DeVry University-Maryland, 4550 Montgomery Ave, Suite 100 North, Bethesda, MD 20814-3304. DeVry University-Maryland is a small university located in Bethesda, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 99 students and an admission rate of 92%. DeVry University-Maryland has a master's degree program in Accounting and Finance which graduated three students in 2008.

Trinity Washington University - Washington, DC

Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. Trinity Washington University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,734 students and an admission rate of 74%. Trinity Washington University has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a two to four year program in Accounting which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Southeastern University - Washington, DC

Southeastern University, 501 I St SW, Washington, DC 20024-2788. Southeastern University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 753 students and an admission rate of 67%. Southeastern University has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Accounting which graduated six, nine, and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

Stevenson University - Stevenson, MD

Stevenson University, 1525 Greenspring Valley Rd, Stevenson, MD 21153-0641. Stevenson University is a small university located in Stevenson, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,435 students and an admission rate of 62%. Stevenson University has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

University of Phoenix-Northern Virginia Campus - Reston, VA

University of Phoenix-Northern Virginia Campus, 11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20190-4742. University of Phoenix-Northern Virginia Campus is a small university located in Reston, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 333 students. University of Phoenix-Northern Virginia Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Baltimore, Charles at Mount Royal, Baltimore, MD 21201-208. University of Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,844 students and an admission rate of 50%. University of Baltimore has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Accounting which graduated five and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated five students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a master's degree program in Accounting which graduated nine students in 2008.

DeVry University-Virginia - Arlington, VA

DeVry University-Virginia, 2450 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202-3843. DeVry University-Virginia is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 739 students and an admission rate of 93%. DeVry University-Virginia has a master's degree program in Accounting and Finance which graduated five students in 2008.

Strayer University - Washington, DC

Strayer University, 1133 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005. Strayer University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 41,565 students. Strayer University has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Accounting which graduated six, twelve, one, four, seven, and four students respectively in 2008.

Gallaudet University - Washington, DC

Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated five students in 2008.

Loyola College in Maryland - Baltimore, MD

Loyola College in Maryland, 4501 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210-2699. Loyola College in Maryland is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,080 students and an admission rate of 69%. Loyola College in Maryland has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

Towson University - Towson, MD

Towson University, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252-0001. Towson University is a large university located in Towson, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,111 students and an admission rate of 61%. Towson University has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated seventy-nine students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Accounting which graduated six, seventeen, and three students respectively in 2008.

Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251-0001. Morgan State University is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,554 students and an admission rate of 34%. Morgan State University has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated fifty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Accredited Business Accountant/Accredited Business Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who specialize in the needs of small-to-mid-size businesses and in financial services to individuals and families.

For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.

Accredited Tax Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including ownership of closely held businesses, qualified retirement plans and complex estates.

For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.

Certified Forensic Accountant: Forensic accountants are professionals who use a unique blend of education and experience to apply accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to uncover truth, form legal opinions, and assist in investigations.

For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.

Associate in Risk Management: The Insurance Institute of America's newly revised Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation program will teach your employees the practical, relevant skills they need to help manage risk at all levels of your company.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Associate in Premium Auditing: The Associate in Premium Auditing program provides a sold foundation in essential auditing, accounting, and insurance principles.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities: The Insurance Institute of America's newly revised Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation program will teach your employees the practical, relevant skills they need to help manage risk at all levels of your company.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Personal Financial Specialist: CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning can earn a specialist's designation, the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).

For more information, see the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants website.

Certified Public Accountant: Certified Public Accountant candidates must pass a national exam certifiying that they are eligible to be licensed in the state(s) of their choosing.

For more information, see the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants website.

Biomedical Auditor Certification: The Certified Biomedical Auditor is a professional who understands the principles of standards, regulations, directives and guidance for auditing a biomedical system while using various tools and techniques to examine, question, evaluate and report on that system's adequacy and deficiencies.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Certified Treasury Professional Associate: We recognize the accomplishments of these full-time students who successfully completed the Corporate Treasury Management program at their college/university and passed the CTP exam to earn the Certified Treasury Professional Associate credential.

For more information, see the Association for Financial Professionals website.

Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.

For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.

Certified Energy Auditor: The Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) certification identifies professionals as having the required knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the growing field of energy auditing.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certification in Distressed Business Valuation: The Certification in Distressed Business Valuation (CDBV) is a unique valuation certification program designed to train and accredit professionals who value distressed assets, including distressed and/or bankrupt companies.

For more information, see the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors website.

Certified Bank Auditor: The purpose of BAI Center for Certification - Certified Bank Auditor® (CBA) Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Program is to promote professional development and to provide a means for recognizing CBAs to keep current with industry changes or furthering their own development in banking, technology, auditing, or other disciplines that contribute to a CBA?s growth and development.

For more information, see the BAI Center for Certification website.

International Certificate in Banking Risk and Regulation: The role of risk management is becoming more important as both banks and supervisors around the world increasingly recognize that sound risk management practices are vital, not only for the success of individual banks, but also for the banking system as a whole.

For more information, see the Global Association of Risk Professionals website.

Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Certified Internal Auditor: The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation is the only globally accepted certification for internal auditors and remains the standard by which individuals demonstrate their competency and professionalism in the internal auditing field.

For more information, see the Institute of Internal Auditors website.

Accredited Insurance Examiner: An Accredited Insurance Examiner (AIE) is awarded to insurance regulatory professionals who have been extensively trained in one of two primary fields of insurance regulation, Property and Casualty or Life and Health.

For more information, see the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society website.

Bookkeeper NRB: Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks may apply for our examination with qualified experience or education.

For more information, see the National Center for Competency Testing website.

Certified Valuation Analyst: The primary goal of CVA certification is to provide you with information that will serve as a solid foundation for your professional valuation endeavors, whether or not you plan to pursue a designation.

For more information, see the The National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts website.

LICENSES

CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT

Licensing agency: Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Address: 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: (410) 230-6258
Website: Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.