Vermont’s Department of Labor estimated there to be 3,300 accountants working in the state as of their last report in 2012. By 2022, the department predicts the state will employ 3,610 accountants, representing a yearly job growth of .9% percent. This means approximately 130 accounting jobs will be created each year during the current ten-year period ending 2022.
In July of 2014, the Vermont Board of Public Accountancy came into full alignment with the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) and now maintains CPA licensing requirements similar to those found in most other US jurisdictions. All CPA candidates in Vermont are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree at minimum and complete a total of 150 semester hours of college credit before going on to pass the Uniform CPA Exam and gain one full year of professional accounting experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA. Because a bachelor’s degree consists of just 120 semester hours of college credit, a master’s in accounting serves as the most common way to earn the 30 additional credit hours required for a CPA license in Vermont.
The US Department of Labor reports that the largest portion (23%) of Vermont’s accountants work in professional, scientific and technical services industries. Some of these companies include instrumentation and software company BioTek Instruments, with headquarters in Winooski, and light spectrum filter manufacturer Chroma Technology Corporation, with headquarters in Rockingham. The second-largest group of accountants in the state (18%) is actually self-employed, followed by state government, which employs 10% of Vermont’s accountants.
Accountants who have achieved licensure through the Vermont Board of Public Accountancy often go on to work for “Big Four” international CPA firms, two of which have a strong presence in the state. CPAs at the Montpelier offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers or the Colchester office of KPMG provide auditing and attestation services, as well as management consultation and tax services to the state’s biggest corporate employers.
Vermont’s best recognized companies like Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Williston and NRG Systems, headquartered in Hinesburg, are also the state’s biggest employers of managerial accountants, internal auditors, financial controllers, capital and cost accountants. Other leading employers of corporate accountants in Vermont include outdoor outfitters, The Orvis Company in Manchester, and the largest privately held brokerage firm in the United States, A.N. Deringer, which is headquartered in Albans.
Government accountants work at all levels of government in the state, from state offices like the Vermont Office of the State Treasurer in Montpelier to federal offices like the Army National Guard located in Burlington.
The field of accounting is growing so rapidly in Vermont that it made two of the Vermont State Department of Labor’s lists of career fields slated for strong growth in the coming years:
Job prospects are even strong in the nonmetropolitan area of Northern Vermont. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this area had the fourth highest concentration of jobs for accountants of any rural area in the country in 2014.
The Vermont Department of Labor (DOL) expects the number of accountants in the state to increase by 9% between 2012 and 2022. This should generate an average of 134 new accounting jobs a year in the state during this period.
Accountants in Vermont earning in the top 10% of this occupational category typically hold CPA licenses and made an average of $102,760 in 2014, according to the DOL. The median salary for accountants in the state was $63,660 that year.
Salaries for Accountants and Auditors in Burlington and Rural Parts of Vermont
The average salary for general accountants and auditors in the Burlington area was higher than that found in Vermont’s nonmetropolitan areas 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.
Salaries for Tax Preparers in Burlington and the Nonmetropolitan Area of Southern Vermont
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for tax preparers in the Burlington area was the highest of those shown for 2014:
Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) was in the news recently for passionately bringing attention to the top 10 corporate tax avoiders. On the Senate floor he spoke of the corporations that continue to yield the biggest profits, yet pay little to no taxes each year.
In other tax related news in Vermont, house republicans were able to help the state evade a proposed 55 cent tax on residents’ monthly electric bills intended to help pay towards building renewable energy projects.
Vermont’s CPAs who would like to work with other accountants in the state to influence tax law and advocate for their profession, might consider joining the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants. This organization provides networking opportunities for Vermont CPAs working in any capacity, and also offers continuing education classes and seminars to help CPAs maintain their licenses.