Career & salary outlook

Studies in accounting and/or finance may lead to opportunities in an endless array of industries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and for-profit small businesses or large corporations.

While there is overlap in the career options of either degree, the AS degree in accounting provides students with basic skills to compete for entry-level accounting positions in private industry, state and local government, and public accounting firms, whereas the AS degree in finance prepares students for careers in finance and the financial services industry, such as banking or investments.

Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks may start at $12.65 to $14.95 per hour, whereas financial services sales agents may start at $13.85 to $15.94 per hour; the respective average hourly wages in Whatcom county are $20.46 and $18.91. A first-line manager or supervisor may start at $15.98 to $19.63 per hour; the average wage is $25.36 per hour.

Sources: CareerOneStop 2015; WA State Employment Security Department, July 2016

Local employers of recent program graduates include:

  • A&E Electric
  • Andrews Tax Accounting
  • Meridian School District
  • Moss Adams LLP
  • SOS Office Solutions