Steps to Becoming an Accountant in Wyoming
The Wyoming Board of Certified Public Accountants is charged with licensing CPAs in the state and regulating the practice. Aspiring CPAs in the state must complete at least 150 semester hours of college credit within a bachelor’s degree program or higher; they must pass the Uniform CPA Exam and the AICPA Professional Ethics Exam; and they must complete one year of experience in public accounting prior to licensure. While satisfying the experience requirement, many would-be CPAs in Wyoming also begin working to earn a master’s degree in accounting to earn the full 150 semester hours required for a CPA license, as bachelor’s programs typically consist of just 120 semester hours.
Although none of the “Big Four” CPA firms have offices in Wyoming, the nationally recognized McGee, Hearne & Paiz, LLP has an office in Cheyenne where CPAs provide contracted professional services that include everything from external auditing and attestation to management consultation.
Find out more about CPA requirements in our step-by-step guide on how to become a CPA in Wyoming.
Wyoming Accountants: Salary and Job Trends
Wyoming is on track to match the strong overall growth rate being seen in the accounting field throughout the United States. According to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, accounting jobs in the state will increase by about 10.1% between 2018 and 2028. Through a combination of new job growth, natural job turnover, and retirements, the state will see about 220 annual openings for accountants during this ten-year period leading to 2028.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services found that a few industry sectors known to be significant employers in the state were also responsible for supporting high-paying jobs in accounting. Among these were the professional, scientific, and technical services industry, public administration, and the mining industry.
Of course, accountants are vital to all of these industries from an operational perspective, but it is interesting to note that professional and business services, which is inclusive of CPAs and other accounting professionals, was counted among the top industries. Some of the biggest employers of accountants within this industry include financial giant Edward Jones and CUSO Financial Services, both with locations in Cheyenne.
For every state and federal government agency that relies on tax dollars, there are specialized government accountants at work to manage allocated funds for payroll and operating costs. They are employed within the Secretary of State’s office, the State Auditor’s office, the State Treasury, and even the Federal Government’s Department of the Interior National Park Service for Yellowstone National Park.
Leisure and hospitality is big business in Wyoming. Managerial accountants are employed in the offices of hotel and resort companies like Snake River Lodge & Spa and Hilton Worldwide in Jackson and the world-renowned Vail Resorts, Inc. in Jackson Hole.
The corporate office of fast-food giant McDonald’s is located in Rock Springs and is recognized as one of the largest single employers of private management accountants in Wyoming. King Enterprises in Casper is a major player in the area’s construction industry and is also a significant employer of accountants.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants in Wyoming earned a median salary of $62,580 as of May 2020.
It’s one thing to throw around statewide averages and quite another to pinpoint exactly what numbers to expect for a specific job in a specific location. Even in Wyoming, a state where roughly half the positions are spread uniformly through the rural regions, the actual salary numbers can vary widely by location, specialization, and experience level.
Salaries for Accountants in Different Specialized Roles
Fortunately, the BLS also highlights what accountants in the state are earning based on a variety of factors, such as experience, industry, and role.
Note that the following BLS numbers from May 2020 feature only base salaries and not salary incentives like stock options and bonuses, both of which can significantly increase the earning power of Wyoming’s accountants.
Corporate Staff Accountants, Bookkeepers, and Accounting Clerks
Financial services can offer good money to general staff accountants, even at relatively low levels of experience. With just a year or two of experience, corporate accountants earn about $30,310 in Wyoming, which represents the 25th percentile. Established accountants with a handful of years of experience earn about $38,080, which represents the median level. The highest earners among corporate accountants (75th – 90th percentile) take home salaries of about $47,620 – $58,310.
Forensic accountants can make good money in nearly any part of the country; a highly specialized skillset and high-stakes outcomes make the salaries they earn well worth the money they bring in. In Wyoming, forensic accountants earn about $79,830, which reflects the 75th percentile among all accountants and auditors in the state.
Controllers and Other Financial Managers
A corporate controller is a vital part of any company’s accounting team, coming to the job with the right level of experience and expertise to keep the numbers on track. In Wyoming, they earn a median salary of $103,000. Those at the 75th percentile earn about $137,120, while those in the 90th percentile earn salaries that exceed $208,000.
CPAs and Auditors
Public accounting forms a huge part of the accounting employment scene in any state, largely because it’s a service that so many companies and individuals need. From tax services to auditing, there’s always demand for public accountants.
Wyoming’s CPAs earn about $101,900, which represents the top 10% of all accountants and auditors in the state.
Accountants in Executive Roles
CFOs are some of the most experienced and qualified accounting professionals in the workforce. With years under their belt in the industry they serve in, and holding specialized qualifications like a CPA license, they earn every penny of their six-figure salaries.
Even before bonuses and stock options, accounting executives in Wyoming earn about $123,790 at the median level. Those in the 75th percentile earn about $165,040, while the state’s highest earners (90th percentile) earn more than $208,000.
Salaries for Accountants and Auditors in Wyoming’s Cities and Rural Areas
Even in Wyoming’s non-metro areas, salaries for accountants are strong, reaching the mid-$60,000s at the median level.
(This is a broad classification that includes accounting professionals in different areas of specialty, with different credentials, and with varying levels of experience.)
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 Wyoming Department of Workforce Services and reported in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.