Tax Preparer Careers

If you are clueless about filing your income tax returns, you need the services of a tax preparer. And let's face it: most of us fall into this category. The U.S. tax code proves to be so confusing that over 80% of taxpayers give up on managing alone, including the head of the IRS.

As a tax preparer, you need to know your way around taxing legislation and regulations because if you do not, it will come back and bite you, you know where, fairly soon. This is not the kind of thing you would want to be bluffing with.

And even if your work is spotless, your client might still forget to sign the documents before submitting them, which is what happens to over a million taxpayers, nationwide, every year. So if you decide to be a tax preparer, rest assured, people who master this profession will never have to look hard for clients.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a tax preparer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $19.28 an hour? That's $40,094 a year!

What Does a Tax Preparer Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a tax preparer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 25.1% of tax preparers included customer service, while 16.4% of resumes included new clients, and 14.3% of resumes included tax returns. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the tax preparer job title. But what industry to start with? Most tax preparers actually find jobs in the professional and finance industries.

How To Become a Tax Preparer

If you're interested in becoming a tax preparer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 46.2% of tax preparers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.4% of tax preparers have master's degrees. Even though most tax preparers 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 tax preparer. When we researched the most common majors for a tax preparer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on tax preparer resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a tax preparer. In fact, many tax preparer jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many tax preparers also have previous career experience in roles such as customer service representative or administrative assistant.

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Average Salary
$40,094
Average Salary
Job Openings
35,665
Job Openings

Tax Preparer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Tax Preparer

Cashier
15.0 %

Top Careers After Tax Preparer

Cashier
11.5 %

Tax Preparer Jobs You Might Like

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

Average Salary for a Tax Preparer

Tax Preparers in America make an average salary of $40,094 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Salary
$40,094
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How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities For Tax Preparers

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range50k - 80k$64k$63,588
Yonkers, NY
Salary Range46k - 80k$61k$61,244
Portland, OR
Salary Range47k - 69k$57k$57,225
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range40k - 64k$51k$51,188
Denver, CO
Salary Range40k - 59k$49k$49,061
Austin, TX
Salary Range35k - 61k$47k$46,740
South Jordan, UT
Salary Range36k - 53k$44k$43,888
Oklahoma City, OK
Salary Range32k - 52k$41k$41,195
Saint Cloud, MN
Salary Range32k - 47k$39k$39,200
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range30k - 50k$39k$38,990
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range30k - 48k$39k$38,597
Reading, PA
Salary Range28k - 48k$37k$37,294
Milwaukee, WI
Salary Range29k - 46k$37k$37,191
Rock Hill, SC
Salary Range27k - 45k$35k$35,421
Troy, MI
Salary Range27k - 45k$35k$35,335
Jackson, MS
Salary Range26k - 45k$35k$34,662
Raleigh, NC
Salary Range26k - 43k$34k$34,340
Chattanooga, TN
Salary Range26k - 43k$34k$33,676
Columbus, OH
Salary Range26k - 42k$34k$33,503
Miami, FL
Salary Range25k - 43k$33k$33,206
$25k
$80k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Robert Half
Tax Preparer
Robert Half
08/05/2021
$48,00108/05/2021
Tax Preparer
Robert Half
08/05/2021
$45,91408/05/2021
Robert Half
Tax Preparer
Robert Half
08/05/2021
$35,47908/05/2021
Tax Preparer
Robert Half
08/05/2021
$33,00008/05/2021
Robert Half
Tax Preparer
Robert Half
08/05/2021
$47,58408/05/2021
See More Recent Salaries

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Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Tax Preparer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Tax Preparer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Tax Preparer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Tax Preparer 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 Tax Preparer Resume Examples And Templates

Tax Preparer Demographics

Gender

female

65.2 %

male

28.8 %

unknown

6.0 %

Ethnicity

White

58.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

19.4 %

Black or African American

11.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.6 %

Mandarin

11.0 %

Chinese

10.0 %
Show More Tax Preparer Demographics

Tax Preparer Education

Majors

Business
26.7 %
Finance
4.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

46.2 %

Associate

24.3 %

High School Diploma

11.9 %

Top Colleges for Tax Preparers

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

2. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

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

3. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

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

4. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

6. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

9. Baylor University

Waco, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$45,542
Enrollment
14,159

10. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047
Show More Tax Preparer Education Requirements

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Top Skills For a Tax Preparer

  • Customer Service, 25.1%
  • New Clients, 16.4%
  • Tax Returns, 14.3%
  • Financial Records, 12.7%
  • Sufficient Information, 6.6%
  • Other Skills, 24.9%
  • See All Tax Preparer Skills

Best States For a Tax Preparer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a tax preparer. The best states for people in this position are New York, Oregon, California, and Massachusetts. Tax preparers make the most in New York with an average salary of $60,569. Whereas in Oregon and California, they would average $58,615 and $57,400, respectively. While tax preparers would only make an average of $55,789 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. Connecticut

Total Tax Preparer Jobs:
289
Highest 10% Earn:
$91,000
Location Quotient:
1.4
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. California

Total Tax Preparer Jobs:
2,344
Highest 10% Earn:
$88,000
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

3. New York

Total Tax Preparer Jobs:
879
Highest 10% Earn:
$100,000
Location Quotient:
1.1
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 Tax Preparers

How Do Tax Preparer Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

3.0

Review of tax preparer position February 2020

3.0

Zippia Official LogoReview of tax preparer position February 2020

What do you like the most about working as Tax Preparer?

Seasonal work and flexible schedule Show More

What do you NOT like?

Low pay, considering the knowledge required to do the work and the volume of work that has to be done in a limited amount of time. Show More

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Top Tax Preparer 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 tax preparers and discovered their number of tax preparer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Jackson Hewitt was the best, especially with an average salary of $38,922. H&R; Block follows up with an average salary of $41,769, and then comes Liberty Tax Service with an average of $38,887. 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 tax preparer. The employers include Fiserv, Robert Half International, and Edge Wear

1. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$38,922
Tax Preparers Hired: 
9,300+
2. H&R Block
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$41,769
Tax Preparers Hired: 
7,348+
3. Liberty Tax Service
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$38,887
Tax Preparers Hired: 
7,299+
4. Robert Half International
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$40,684
Tax Preparers Hired: 
354+
5. United Way
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$38,001
Tax Preparers Hired: 
178+
6. Amscot Financial
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$43,433
Tax Preparers Hired: 
124+

Tax Preparer Videos

Updated August 18, 2021