It’s never too late to pursue a career you’re passionate about. People start new careers at every age, even well into their 70s and 80s. If you’re interested, you can start any new career – accounting is no exception.
If you have the educational requirements already, becoming a certified accountant won’t be terribly difficult. You’ll just need to study for the exam and pass.
Certification exams are challenging, especially the CMA exam, but taking a prep course gives you an advantage. While some people try to wing it and fail, taking a prep course will help you thoroughly learn the material and learn the format of the exam.
If you’re passionate about switching to a career in accounting, here are 5 reasons it’s not too late.
1. Accountants will always be in high de. mand
Every business that generates revenue needs an accountant. As long as the economy is functioning and businesses are operating, accounting jobs will be in high demand. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountant job positions are expected to grow by 4% through the end of 2029. That growth is on par with the average for other industries.
The demand for work is a common concern when starting a new career. When you become a licensed accountant, whether you choose to become a CPA or CMA, you’ll always have employment opportunities.
2. You can get a job right after getting certified
Some careers require extensive study and practice before you can really start making money. Accounting careers aren’t like that. You can get a job the moment you get certified.
You’ll probably have to start at the bottom of the pay scale, and of course you’ll need to prove your skills before an employer will consider giving you a raise. However, accounting certifications already require job experience so you won’t be going in completely inexperienced.
If you’re serious about a career in accounting, spending time working your way up to earn higher pay rates won’t be a problem.
3. When you enjoy your work, time is irrelevant
When you enjoy what you do for a living, you won’t care about time. Sure, you’ll want to get certified as quickly as possible, but you also won’t mind spending time learning and mastering your field.
When you love your career, it’s okay if it takes you a couple of years to find the right job and settle into a suitable position. Your career is not a contest like it is for people who choose a career just for the salary.
4. Accounting base salaries are worth the effort
Your initial investment to become an accountant will include plenty of time and a small amount of money. It’s absolutely worth the effort and expense. Base salaries are pretty high, especially for Certified Management Accountants (CMAs).
According to 2019 IMA Salary Survey data, these are the top 6 base salaries by industry, not including bonuses:
- Manufacturing – $100,000
- Educational services – $98,000
- Wholesale and retail trade – $98,000
- Information technology – $96,750
- Medical/Health services – $94,500
- Transportation, communications, and utility services – $94,500
Your investment will be small compared to your potential base salary
The amount of time, money, and energy you invest into getting certified will be small compared to your potential base salary.
If you pursue CMA certification, for example, you can expect to spend around 300 hours studying for the exam and it generally takes 18 months or less to get certified.
You’ll pay around $800-$1,500 for a prep course and about $700 to take the official exam. Yearly IMA membership fees, which are a requirement to maintain CMA certification, cost between $39-$230 depending on your student/professional status.
The potential to earn between $84,000 – $100,000 per year minimum makes your entire investment seem small.
5. CMA certification isn’t your average accounting qualification
If you’re looking for a new career in accounting, there are several reasons to become a certified CMA, regardless of how far along you are in your previous career. While a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) performs general accounting tasks, a CMA is trained to make business decisions. Specifically, a CMA specializes in strategic decision-making and directly advises senior executives. That’s a big responsibility, but also an honor.
Ready to switch careers? Don’t wait – it’s not too late
If you’re passionate about accounting, it’s never too late to switch careers. All you need is dedication, passion, and persistence to make it work.