These Are The 10 Highest Accountant Salaries By State

We used the most recent data to determine the states that pay accountants the best.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarBest States For Professions, Rankings - 1 year ago




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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do accountants get paid where I live?

And while there are many things that go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for accountants by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how accountant salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for accountants by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for accountants after this adjustment? That would be Texas. Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for accountant salaries:

  1. Texas
  2. Georgia
  3. Michigan
  4. Virginia
  5. Missouri
  6. North Carolina
  7. Delaware
  8. Idaho
  9. Illinois
  10. Utah

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

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How we determined accountant pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for accountants from the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their “Occupational Employment Statistics”.

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $80,860, so our index value would be:

$80,860 * (100 / 135.9) = $59,499

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for accountants.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

Detailed List Of Accountant Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Texas $86,538 $78,490 90.7
2 Georgia $84,080 $76,850 91.4
3 Michigan $80,247 $71,420 89.0
4 Virginia $79,940 $80,580 100.8
5 Missouri $79,070 $71,480 90.4
6 North Carolina $77,806 $73,060 93.9
7 Delaware $77,475 $78,560 101.4
8 Idaho $77,415 $71,300 92.1
9 Illinois $76,691 $72,550 94.6
10 Utah $75,419 $70,140 93.0
11 Ohio $74,371 $69,760 93.8
12 Tennessee $74,127 $66,270 89.4
13 Alabama $73,508 $67,040 91.2
14 Indiana $72,860 $65,210 89.5
15 Nebraska $72,740 $66,630 91.6
16 Wyoming $72,603 $66,650 91.8
17 Oklahoma $72,040 $64,260 89.2
18 Colorado $71,965 $74,700 103.8
19 Arkansas $71,676 $62,430 87.1
20 New Jersey $71,181 $86,770 121.9
21 Pennsylvania $71,005 $72,000 101.4
22 Kansas $70,344 $63,240 89.9
23 Washington $70,237 $73,890 105.2
24 New York $69,946 $91,630 131.0
25 Florida $69,938 $68,750 98.3
26 Kentucky $69,834 $63,200 90.5
27 Wisconsin $69,648 $67,420 96.8
28 Minnesota $69,285 $69,840 100.8
29 Iowa $69,131 $62,910 91.0
30 Arizona $67,897 $66,540 98.0
31 West Virginia $67,023 $62,600 93.4
32 New Mexico $66,673 $64,340 96.5
33 Louisiana $66,561 $63,100 94.8
34 Rhode Island $65,542 $79,110 120.7
35 Mississippi $64,738 $55,610 85.9
36 Maryland $64,207 $80,580 125.5
37 Montana $62,321 $62,820 100.8
38 Nevada $61,965 $64,010 103.3
39 Massachusetts $61,874 $82,540 133.4
40 Alaska $61,769 $80,980 131.1
41 Connecticut $61,433 $78,450 127.7
42 South Carolina $61,391 $60,900 99.2
43 New Hampshire $60,102 $70,320 117.0
44 South Dakota $59,778 $61,990 103.7
45 California $59,499 $80,860 135.9
46 Vermont $59,281 $71,790 121.1
47 North Dakota $56,338 $56,000 99.4
48 Oregon $56,323 $65,110 115.6
49 Maine $54,332 $60,200 110.8
50 Hawaii $35,515 $59,630 167.9

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