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Career and Education Opportunities for Bookkeepers in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for bookkeepers in the Columbia, Maryland area. Currently, 30,120 people work as bookkeepers in Maryland. This is expected to grow 16% to 34,870 people 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. In general, bookkeepers compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete.

A person working as a bookkeeper can expect to earn about $17 per hour or $37,180 annually on average in Maryland and about $15 per hour or $32,510 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for bookkeepers are better than earnings in the general category of Billing and Bookkeeping in Maryland and better than general Billing and Bookkeeping category earnings nationally.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including ten within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career 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 training to become 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 Columbia 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.
  • 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

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated seventeen and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated twenty-nine and twenty students respectively 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 two to four year, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated zero, two, and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated thirteen and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated twelve and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has 2 areas of study related to Bookkeeper. They are:

  • Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has 2 areas of study related to Bookkeeper. They are:

  • Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping, associate's degree.
  • Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and twenty-three students respectively 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 master's degree program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Carroll Community College - Westminster, MD

Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, MD 21157. Carroll Community College is a small college located in Westminster, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,453 students. Carroll Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated zero and seven students respectively in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated eight and twenty-two students respectively 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: 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.