In 2014, the Nevada Research and Analysis Bureau of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation lists accounting as one of the top 100 occupations in the state based on current growth trends, as well as projections of future growth.
The Nevada State Board of Accountancy licenses CPAs in the state, requiring candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college-level education, obtain a bachelor’s degree at minimum, pass the Uniform CPA Exam, and fulfill two years of public accounting experience.
Because a bachelor’s degree will only result in about 120 semester hours of college credit, aspiring CPAs often enroll in a master’s degree program to earn the additional 30 semester hours at the same time they are gaining the two years of experience necessary for licensure.
Big Four CPA firm Deloitte has an office in Las Vegas, and Ernst & Young has offices in both Las Vegas and Reno. Some of the biggest employers of CPAs and accountants in the state are the companies headquartered here that contribute to Nevada’s major tourism and gaming industry. Among these are gaming industry giants International Game Technology, Bally Technologies, and American Casino & Entertainment Properties, all with headquarters in Las Vegas. CPAs and other accounting professionals working as private industry managerial accountants also work in diverse industries for businesses that range from real estate development company, The Howard Hughes Corporation, to software security company FBM Software, both of which have corporate offices in Las Vegas.
According to the publication, Nevada Workforce Informer, other than gaming and tourism, most accountants in Nevada will be employed in the professional, scientific, & technical services industry, accommodation & food services industry, and in the government between 2012 and 2022.
The professional, scientific, & technical services industry consists of legal services, accounting services, tax preparation and payroll services, architectural related services, advertising services, computer systems design, scientific research services, and more. In Nevada, the Paradise office of financial services company Edward Jones employs managerial accountants and internal auditors in addition to their financial advisors. Others are employed in the Las Vegas branch office of investment company, Merrill Lynch, and with insurance giant, Sun America Financial Group, which has offices in Reno.
Mining companies in Nevada are numerous. They include two major gold mining outfits, Newmont Mining in Eastern Nevada and AngloGold in Elko, as well as construction and mining company Ledcor, with its Civil Mining and Infrastructure division offices in Reno and Henderson.State and federal government are also leading employers of accountants in the state. Government accountants work for state agencies like the Nevada Employee Action and Timekeeping System in Gardnerville, and for federal agencies located in the state like the Nellis Air Force Base, which is located seven miles north of Las Vegas.
The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) expects the number of jobs for accountants to increase by 14.6% in the ten-year period ending in 2022. This level of growth should result in 392 new positions being created for accountants each year during this period. Beyond this, even more jobs will open up as current accountants leave the workforce.
Accountants in Nevada in the top 10% of this occupational category earned an average of $93,954 a year in 2015 according to the DETR. The median salary for accountants in Nevada was $56,742 that year.
Accountants and auditors with more than five years of experience at financial service firms in Las Vegas earned between $66,129 and $83,482 according to the 2015 Robert Half Salary Guide. The salaries of forensic accountants in Reno ranged from $67,925 to $105,925 in 2015.
Controllers at large financial service firms in Las Vegas had salaries ranging from $142,107 to $181,034. Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) earned even higher salaries, partly due to their tendency to have a CPA license. CFOs leading financial service firms in Reno earned between $147,250 and $261,250 according to the 2015 Robert Half Salary Guide.
Salaries for Accountants and Auditors in Nevada’s Major Cities and Rural Areas
Accountants and auditors in the Las Vegas and Reno areas had the highest average salaries in 2014 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The 90th percentile in each area is representative of salaries for experienced accountants with CPA licenses.
Tax Preparer Salaries in Nevada
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, tax preparers in the Reno area had substantially higher salaries than their colleagues in other parts of Nevada in 2014:
The Nevada Legislature recently approved a sweeping $620 million tax bill that included approval of five different major spending bills. Under the newly approved state budget, the average Nevada citizen will pay $44 per year in new taxes, or $3.67 per month per household.
The legislature also voted on a resolution that would remove many of the tax breaks the mining industry has enjoyed over the years. If passed, this resolution would repeal the state’s constitutional provision that currently limits taxes on mining companies to five percent of the net proceeds the mine receives from minerals. It is believed by many state legislators that the expiration of this tax privilege extended to the mining industry is long overdue and will generate some much-needed tax revenue for the state.