Salary Structure

CPA Salary Structure In The US

Are you considering a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States? One of the key factors that may influence your decision is the potential income you could earn in this profession. Let’s delve into the estimated salary ranges for CPAs, breaking down the base pay, additional pay, and the most likely range.

Breaking Down the Numbers for CPA Salary Earners in the US

Base Pay: $90K – $157K/yr

The foundation of a CPA’s income lies in their base pay, which ranges from $90,000 to $157,000 per year. This figure represents the core salary before factoring in any additional earnings. It serves as a benchmark for the potential financial stability and rewards that come with pursuing a career in accounting.

Additional Pay: $8K – $15K/yr

On top of the base pay, CPAs have the opportunity to earn additional income ranging from $8,000 to $15,000 per year. This supplementary pay may include cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profit-sharing. It adds an extra layer of financial incentive, recognizing and rewarding exceptional performance and contributions.

Total Estimated Pay: $118,433/yr

When combining the base pay and additional pay, the estimated total pay for a CPA is an impressive $118,433 per year. This figure reflects the median of the salary ranges derived from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model. It is important to note that this estimation is based on real salaries collected from individuals in the field, providing a realistic portrayal of the earning potential for CPAs.

Average Salary: $107,882/yr

For a more focused perspective, the average salary for CPAs is $107,882 per year. This figure provides a snapshot of the typical income level within the profession, helping aspiring accountants gauge what they might expect as they progress in their careers.

The “Most Likely Range” narrows down the salary estimate, representing values within the 25th and 75th percentiles of all pay data available for this role. This refined range offers a clearer picture of the income distribution among CPAs, helping individuals set realistic expectations as they embark on their career journeys.


What factors influence CPA salary structure in the US?

Several factors impact CPA salaries, including location, level of experience, industry, employer size, and additional certifications or qualifications.

How does location affect CPA salaries in the US?

CPA salaries vary significantly by location due to differences in cost of living and demand for accounting professionals. Metropolitan areas and regions with a high concentration of financial institutions tend to offer higher salaries compared to rural areas.

What role does experience play in determining CPA salaries?

Experience is a significant determinant of CPA salaries. Entry-level CPAs typically earn less than those with several years of experience. As CPAs gain experience and expertise, they become eligible for higher-paying positions and leadership roles within their organizations.

How does the industry affect CPA salary structures?

Industries such as finance, consulting, and technology often offer higher salaries for CPAs compared to sectors like government or non-profit organizations. Additionally, specialized industries may require additional skills or knowledge, leading to higher compensation for CPAs with expertise in those areas.

Are there additional qualifications that impact CPA salary structures?

Yes, obtaining additional certifications such as Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) can significantly impact CPA salary structures. These certifications demonstrate specialized skills and knowledge, making CPAs more valuable to employers and potentially leading to higher salaries.


the financial landscape for CPAs in the United States is robust, with a potential total pay of $118,433 per year. As you consider entering the world of accounting, these salary insights can serve as valuable benchmarks for understanding the compensation structure and financial rewards associated with the CPA profession.

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