Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Nevada
The Nevada State Board of Accountancy licenses CPAs in the state, requiring candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college credits within a bachelor’s degree or higher, 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 those 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 tied 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 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.
Find out more about CPA requirements in our step-by-step guide on how to become a CPA in Nevada.
Nevada Accountants: Salary and Employment Facts
Nevada is not a big state, but there is big money floating around here, and it takes a lot of accounting horsepower to keep track of it. The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) expects the number of jobs for accountants to increase by an impressive 17.1% between 2018 and 2028. Combined with natural job turnover and retirements, this equates to about 340 job openings here every year through 2028.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors in Nevada earned a median salary of about $63,970 as of May 2020.
Salaries for Accountants in Nevada Working in Different Specialized Roles
The BLS also dives deeper into salaries for accountants and auditors in Nevada, revealing wages for these professionals according to job title/role, industry, and experience level.
Note that the following BLS numbers from May 2020 feature only base pay for accountants and auditors and do not include salary incentives like bonuses and stock options, both of which can significantly add to their overall salary package.
Corporate Staff Accountants, Bookkeepers, and Accounting Clerks
The corporate world calls for accountants at nearly every level, from entry-level staff accountants to cost accountants. Nevada accountants new to the field often assume positions as corporate staff accountants, who earn about $34,430, which represents the 25th percentile. Those with a handful of years of experience can expect to earn a salary that more closely reflects the median level here, which is $41,010, while those in senior roles and with significant experience often earn salaries that fall within the 75th – 90th percentile, or about $50,230 – $60,290.
Forensic accountants are highly specialized accounting professionals whose expertise lies in locating sources of fraud or malfeasance in financial records. These pros tend to earn salaries that reflect their highly specialized skillset. In Nevada, they earn about $80,650, which reflects the 75th percentile among all accountants and auditors in the state. In the metro area of Las Vegas (which also includes Henderson and Paradise), the average salary for forensic accountants is slightly higher, at $81,910.
Controllers and Other Financial Managers
Controllers lend their expertise in internal controls to the corporations they work for to ensure compliance at every level, and their salaries reflect this. The BLS reports that controllers earn about $103,930 at the median level, while those with significant experience and specialty credentials earn salaries that reflect the profession’s 75thpercentile, or about $142,800. The state’s top 10% of controllers and financial managers earn salaries that exceed $208,000.
CPAs and Auditors
CPAs are the rock starts of public accounting firms and are paid accordingly, particularly at the director level, whether they’re providing audit and assurance or tax services to their clients. In Nevada, they earn a salary of about $100,230, which represents the top earners (90th percentile) among all accountants and auditors in the state. The average salary for these accounting professionals is similar in the Las Vegas metro area, where they earn about $100,860.
Accountants in Executive Roles
CFOs are situated at the top of the professional pyramid, both in terms of rank within the corporate accounting hierarchy and salary. It takes a lot of years to get there if you’re starting out in accountancy, but with enough drive and the right kind of experience and credentials, it is possible to make the climb.
As of May 2020, the BLS reports that accounting executives earned a median salary of $191,430 in Nevada. Those in the 75th percentile and above earned salaries that exceeded $208,000 during this time.
Salaries for Accountants and Auditors in Nevada’s Major Cities and Rural Areas
Salaries in the mid- to upper-$60,000s are commonplace for Nevada accountants at the median salary level, while salaries here often reach the six figures for the state’s highest earners.
(This broad classification includes accounting professionals in different areas of specialty, with different credentials, and with varying levels of experience.)
Tax Preparer Salaries in Nevada
At all levels, tax preparers in the Las Vegas metro area earn salaries that are slightly higher than their colleagues in the other metro area of Reno.
May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job growth data for Accountants and Auditors, Financial Managers, Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, and Chief Executives. Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed April 2021.
Job growth projections sourced from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation and reported in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.