What is a Bookkeeper

As keeper of the books, er sorry, we mean bookkeeper, you're in charge of all things financial records. From creating the records in the first place to checking them for accuracy, you've got a lot of math on your hands.

Speaking of math, you'll probably need some postsecondary education to become a bookkeeper. Math will be a good starting point, but you'll also want to be familiar with certain bookkeeping software and other computer skills. While it's great to have some experience and knowledge before you secure the job, you will learn a lot through on-the-job training.

The majority of your work will be in the office. But depending on where you're employed as a bookkeeper, you may have to travel to clients' sites as well. The majority of your work can be completed in solitude so no group projects here. Isn't it time they ban those types of projects anyway?

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Bookkeeper. For example, did you know that they make an average of $19.31 an hour? That's $40,168 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -4% and produce -65,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Bookkeeper Do

There are certain skills that many Bookkeepers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Computer skills, Integrity and Detail oriented.

Learn more about what a Bookkeeper does

How To Become a Bookkeeper

If you're interested in becoming a Bookkeeper, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 46.1% of Bookkeepers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.7% of Bookkeepers have master's degrees. Even though most Bookkeepers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Bookkeeper. When we researched the most common majors for a Bookkeeper, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Bookkeeper resumes include High School Diploma degrees or Master's Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Bookkeeper. In fact, many Bookkeeper jobs require experience in a role such as Office Manager. Meanwhile, many Bookkeepers also have previous career experience in roles such as Administrative Assistant or Cashier.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. H-E-B Jobs (178)
  2. Albertsons Jobs (96)
  3. Robert Half Jobs (1,234)
  4. H&R Block Jobs (135)
  5. Kelly Services Jobs (90)
Average Salary
$40,168
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
38,740
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers in America make an average salary of $40,168 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $51,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$40,168
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12 Bookkeeper Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Bookkeeper Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Bookkeeper resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Bookkeeper Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. H-E-B Jobs (178)
  2. Albertsons Jobs (96)
  3. Robert Half Jobs (1,234)
  4. H&R Block Jobs (135)
  5. Kelly Services Jobs (90)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Bookkeeper Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Bookkeeper templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Bookkeeper resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume
Bookkeeper Resume

Bookkeeper Demographics

Bookkeeper Gender Statistics

female

84.6 %

male

15.4 %

Bookkeeper Ethnicity Statistics

White

71.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.8 %

Black or African American

7.0 %

Bookkeeper Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

54.3 %

French

7.2 %

Chinese

6.4 %
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Bookkeeper Education

Bookkeeper Majors

28.1 %
3.7 %

Bookkeeper Degrees

Bachelors

46.1 %

Associate

29.5 %

High School Diploma

12.5 %

Top Colleges for Bookkeepers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

9. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

10. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407
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Online Courses For Bookkeeper That You May Like

Financial Accounting Subsidiary Ledgers & Special Journals
udemy
4.8
(283)

Subsidiary ledgers for accounts receivable & accounts payable. Special Journals - Sales journal, purchases journal...

Financial Accounting-Adjusting Entries & Financial Statement
udemy
4.4
(368)

Adjusting entry creation, posting adjusting entries to a worksheet, creating financial statements from the trial balance...

Financial Accounting Payroll
udemy
4.4
(889)

Payroll calculations - federal income tax, social security, Medicare - Payroll journal entries posted to ledger accounts...

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Top Skills For a Bookkeeper

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.4% of Bookkeepers listed Payroll on their resume, but soft skills such as Computer skills and Integrity are important as well.

  • Payroll, 13.4%
  • General Ledger Accounts, 11.0%
  • Customer Service, 10.1%
  • Data Entry, 6.8%
  • Journal Entries, 4.9%
  • Other Skills, 53.8%

Best States For a Bookkeeper

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Bookkeeper. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, New York, Washington, and Massachusetts. Bookkeepers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $49,772. Whereas in New York and Washington, they would average $49,361 and $49,136, respectively. While Bookkeepers would only make an average of $48,715 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Bookkeeper Jobs:
302
Highest 10% Earn:
$61,000
Location Quotient:
1.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Alaska

Total Bookkeeper Jobs:
53
Highest 10% Earn:
$56,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New York

Total Bookkeeper Jobs:
807
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Bookkeepers

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Top Bookkeeper Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Bookkeepers and discovered their number of Bookkeeper opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Robert Half International was the best, especially with an average salary of $40,069. The Home Depot follows up with an average salary of $30,390, and then comes BI-LO with an average of $43,185. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Bookkeeper. The employers include Kforce, Robert Half International, and Work at Home Vintage Employees

Most Common Employers For Bookkeeper

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Bookkeeper SalaryAverage Salary
1$43,185
2$42,863
3$42,850
4$42,707
5$41,626
6$40,069

Becoming a Bookkeeper FAQs

How long does it take to become a Bookkeeper?

It takes 5 years of professional experience to become a bookkeeper. That is the time it takes to learn specific bookkeeper skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 8 to 10 years years to become a bookkeeper.

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Are bookkeepers in demand?

No, bookkeepers are not in demand. The demand for bookkeepers is expected to decrease by 4% over the next decade.

The bookkeeping industry, like the fields of switchboard operation, word processing, and others, faces the challenge of software programs that can perform jobs previously carried out by humans.

As a result, the same amount of bookkeeping work can be done with fewer employees, which typically leads to less demand within the job market. However, as more of their routine tasks become automated, bookkeepers may be expected to take on more analytical and advisory roles.

There will likely be an increasing demand for skilled workers able to understand new technologies and operate new systems. In order to ensure competitiveness in this new bookkeeper job market, a person should specialize in a particular industry, such as scientific services, technical services, and construction.

It is also useful to keep abreast of changing laws as demand may grow for bookkeepers who are skilled at navigating accounting regulation laws which is important in an economy where financial crises cause investors to pay greater attention to corporate bookkeeping and transparency.

Finally, experienced and accomplished bookkeepers may find that their skills are transferable to positions such as financial supervisor, financial analyst, and financial manager. Overall, it is still possible to make a vibrant career in bookkeeping.

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Can I teach myself bookkeeping?

Yes, you can teach yourself bookkeeping. There are many quality resources online that a person can use to learn all the necessary skills and knowledge to become a bookkeeper.

It is important to take courses that teach both basic bookkeeping and higher-level accounting. Classes a person should focus on should be topics like:

  • Payroll Basics

  • Management Accounts

  • Excel Basics

  • Bank Reconciliations

  • Credit Control

  • Profitability and Business Planning

  • Double Entry Bookkeeping

  • Software courses in Sage Accounts, Xero, KashFlow, QuickBooks, and Excel

Additionally, it is useful for self-taught bookkeepers to gain various professional certifications that will help provide backup that proves a person's ability within bookkeeping.

A person can either choose to pursue a certificate at an accredited college or university or through a professional association like the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB).

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How do I get started in bookkeeping?

You can get started in bookkeeping by completing an associate's degree at an accredited college or university. It is also possible to self-learn bookkeeping before gaining a certification or license in the field, but the simplest and quickest way is generally through a two-year accounting program.

In order to get started in bookkeeping, a person should first learn a few basic bookkeeping concepts. The first concept is to know how to complete your records. Typically, there are three popular options: spreadsheets, accounting books, or bookkeeping software.

In addition to understanding how records are being kept, a person should ensure they understand the basic types of records that they may be performing. These include:

  • Cash: The account where all business transactions pass.

  • Accounts Receivable: This account tracks the money due from customers.

  • Inventory: This account records all of the products in stock.

  • Accounts Payable: This account gives a clear view of everything that needs to be paid.

  • Loans Payable: The account which tracks and breaks down everything that is still owed and when payments are due for borrowed money.

  • Payroll Expenses: This account tracks salaries and wages paid to employees.

  • Retained Earnings: This account tracks any company profits that are reinvested in the business and are not paid out to the owners.

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How hard is it to become a bookkeeper?

It is not hard to become a bookkeeper. The job mainly involves categorizing spending and earnings properly and entering financial information into accounting systems. No formal education is required to be a bookkeeper, and only basic math skills are needed.

A person can get started in bookkeeping by completing an associate's degree at an accredited college or university. It is also possible to self-learn bookkeeping before gaining a certification or license in the field, but the simplest and quickest way is generally through a two-year accounting program.

In order to get started in bookkeeping, a person should first learn a few basic bookkeeping concepts. The first concept is to know how to complete your records. Typically, there are three popular options: spreadsheets, accounting books, or bookkeeping software.

In addition to understanding how records are being kept, a person should ensure they understand the basic types of records that they may be performing. These include:

  • Cash: The account where all business transactions pass.

  • Accounts Receivable: This account tracks the money due from customers.

  • Inventory: This account records all of the products in stock.

  • Accounts Payable: This account gives a clear view of everything that needs to be paid.

  • Loans Payable: The account which tracks and breaks down everything that is still owed and when payments are due for borrowed money.

  • Payroll Expenses: This account tracks salaries and wages paid to employees.

  • Retained Earnings: This account tracks any company profits that are reinvested in the business and are not paid out to the owners.

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What is a bookkeeper vs. an accountant?

A bookkeeper is generally the person who compiles financial records, while the accountant typically interprets this financial information to help with taxes, loan applications, or long-term financial decisions.

The terms "bookkeeper" and "accountant" are often used interchangeably, and both types of professionals share the same long-term goal: helping your business financially thrive.

But bookkeepers focus more on daily responsibilities, like recording transactions, while accountants provide overarching financial advice and tax guidance. Bookkeepers are entrenched in daily business operations, uniquely positioning them to troubleshoot financial issues and predict challenges before they arise.

They can likely also provide useful insights on a number of topics, like modifying your business's budget and making your accounting protocols more efficient.

Accountants typically take a higher-level view of financial operations, especially in tax season, which can be a good source of advice when faced with important financial decisions. Many small-business owners turn to their accountants for long-term advice, big and small.

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