What Are the Pros and Cons of Being an Accountant?

Pay for accountants is above average at $63,550 per year as of 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, accountants often work more than 40 hours per week and face significant pressure for precise and timely work performance.

Pay for accountants varies somewhat by sector. In the finance and insurance sector, the median income for accountants was $66,530 as of 2012. Manufacturing accountants earned a median income of $65,300. Government accountants earned $61,490 per year. Job security is another advantage, as accountant jobs were projected to grow by 13 percent from 2012 to 2022. Challenging work, prestige, involvement with people and diverse career options are other strengths of an accounting career.

The BLS reports that about one-fifth of accountants worked over 40 hours per week as of 2012. Overtime is especially common during pre-tax season at the start of the year. Accountants must be precise in their record-keeping and financial reporting to meet company standards and to ensure that accurate information is presented to the public when applicable. In large organizations, work is fast-paced and demanding because of the high number of financial transactions that must be recorded, reviewed and included in reports. Significant time spent alone doing accounting tasks is also a drawback for some.