Federal projections call for solid job growth for auditors through 2024, with a brighter outlook for those with advanced educational qualifications and/or professional certification.
Auditors are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of a company or organization’s financial operations, including its tax obligations. They also provide recommendations on cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures.
Auditors should be detail-oriented and have solid organizational, analytical and math skills.
Job Outlook and Salary Potential for Auditors
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of auditors will increase 11% through 2024, slightly above the pace for overall national job growth. As the economy picks up, so will the need for auditors. An increase in international trade should provide additional job growth.
Also, more strict lending standards will make audits more important, the BLS said.
The median salary for auditors in May 2016 was $68,150 with pay for those in the top 10% of the salary range making nearly $120,910, the BLS said.
An applicant’s educational level and experience, along with local market factors, will influence salary potential and job opportunities.
Education and Training for Auditors
A bachelor’s degree is typically a minimum requirement for a job as an auditor, the BLS reports. Some colleges offer programs in auditing; a degree in accounting or in business administration with a specialization in accounting also are options.
A master’s degree may be a requirement for employment at larger or more prestigious firms, and some employers also may seek candidates who have completed internships or have other work experience.
After graduation, the first step on a career path may be employment as a junior internal auditor.
Auditors can earn professional certification from industry organizations such as ISACA, formerly known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). The certifications cover disciplines such as government auditing, information systems and financial services.
In some instances, internal auditors can move into the related field of management accounting, the BLS notes.
After gaining experience and earning professional certification, auditors can move up a company’s ranks to positions such as treasurer, chief financial officer or comptroller.
Military Occupational Specializations
Servicemembers returning to the civilian workforce may find that numerous military occupational specializations equate to the duties and responsibilities of an auditor.
For example, financial management comptrollers in the Air Force handle tasks relating to accounting and procurement. In the Army, financial management technicians are responsible for budgeting, accounting and disbursement.
Navy personnel assigned to finance and accounting or business management roles could have the training and skills to position them for an auditing career.