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Accounting Schools in Washington

Accounting can be a demanding yet potentially rewarding field of study for those with a mind for both math and business. Those looking to earn accounting degrees in Washington have a variety of options, from earning an associate degree at a community college to pursuing a master's or doctoral degree. Several accounting schools in Washington even offer their programs online or in a hybrid format. As part of their curriculum, students can expect to take may take courses in areas such as corporate taxation, ethics, economics, auditing, cost accounting, business law, and statistics.

Washington Schools: Accounting Programs

According to information from the National Center for Education Statistics there are over 50 postsecondary institutions in Washington that offer certificate, diploma or degree programs in accounting as well as related fields such as bookkeeping or auditing. Below is a list of these schools:

Name

City

School Website

University Type

Net Price (2011-2012)

Bates Technical College

Tacoma

www.bates.ctc.edu/

2-year, Public

$6,158

Bellevue College

Bellevue

bellevuecollege.edu/

4-year, primarily associate's, Public

$7,266

Bellingham Technical College

Bellingham

www.btc.ctc.edu

2-year, Public

$3,913

Big Bend Community College

Moses Lake

www.bigbend.edu

2-year, Public

$6,272

Central Washington University

Ellensburg

www.cwu.edu

4-year, Public

$14,532

Centralia College

Centralia

www.centralia.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Public

$5,881

City University of Seattle

Seattle

www.cityu.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$24,480

Clark College

Vancouver

www.clark.edu

2-year, Public

$6,002

Clover Park Technical College

Lakewood

www.cptc.edu

2-year, Public

$4,669

Columbia Basin College

Pasco

www.columbiabasin.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Public

$7,247

Eastern Washington University

Cheney

www.ewu.edu

4-year, Public

$11,499

Edmonds Community College

Lynnwood

www.edcc.edu

2-year, Public

$7,280

Everest College-Vancouver

Vancouver

www.everest.edu/campus/vancouver

2-year, Private for-profit

$17,842

Everett Community College

Everett

www.everettcc.edu

2-year, Public

$6,940

Gonzaga University

Spokane

www.gonzaga.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$27,971

Grays Harbor College

Aberdeen

www.ghc.edu

2-year, Public

$5,182

Green River Community College

Auburn

www.greenriver.edu/

2-year, Public

$8,708

Heritage University

Toppenish

www.heritage.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$12,787

Highline Community College

Des Moines

www.highline.edu

2-year, Public

$6,853

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Kirkland

www.lwtech.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Public

$5,260

Lower Columbia College

Longview

lowercolumbia.edu

2-year, Public

$6,128

Northwest University

Kirkland

www.northwestu.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$18,723

Olympic College

Bremerton

www.olympic.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Public

$5,939

Pacific Lutheran University

Tacoma

www.plu.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$24,067

Peninsula College

Port Angeles

www.pencol.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Public

$4,743

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom

Lakewood

www.pierce.ctc.edu

2-year, Public

$6,446

Pierce College at Puyallup

Puyallup

www.pierce.ctc.edu/

2-year, Public

$6,431

Renton Technical College

Renton

www.rtc.edu

2-year, Public

$5,818

Saint Martin's University

Lacey

www.stmartin.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$20,579

Seattle Community College-North Campus

Seattle

www.northseattle.edu

2-year, Public

$3,594

Seattle Community College-South Campus

Seattle

southseattle.edu

4-year, primarily associate's, Public

$6,180

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle

www.spu.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$26,047

Seattle University

Seattle

www.seattleu.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$31,961

Seattle Vocational Institute

Seattle

sviweb.sccd.ctc.edu

< 2-year, Public

$1,080

Shoreline Community College

Shoreline

www.shoreline.edu

2-year, Public

$7,359

Skagit Valley College

Mount Vernon

www.skagit.edu

2-year, Public

$7,106

South Puget Sound Community College

Olympia

www.spscc.ctc.edu

2-year, Public

$7,165

Spokane Community College

Spokane

www.scc.spokane.edu

2-year, Public

$4,333

Spokane Falls Community College

Spokane

www.spokanefalls.edu

2-year, Public

$5,903

Tacoma Community College

Tacoma

www.tacomacc.edu

2-year, Public

$4,940

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

Seattle

www.washington.edu

4-year, Public

$9,395

University of Washington-Tacoma Campus

Tacoma

www.tacoma.uw.edu/

4-year, Public

$9,399

Walla Walla Community College

Walla Walla

www.wwcc.edu/

2-year, Public

$5,874

Washington State University

Pullman

wsu.edu/

4-year, Public

$16,327

Wenatchee Valley College

Wenatchee

www.wvc.edu

2-year, Public

$7,466

Western Washington University

Bellingham

www.wwu.edu

4-year, Public

$13,920

Whatcom Community College

Bellingham

www.whatcom.ctc.edu

2-year, Public

$6,258

Whitworth University

Spokane

www.whitworth.edu

4-year, Private not-for-profit

$25,600

Yakima Valley Community College

Yakima

www.yvcc.edu

2-year, Public

$6,078

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, 2013, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

Certification and Licensing Requirements for Washington Accountants

Accounting professionals in Washington who have met certain criteria can elect to become certified public accountants (CPAs). The general steps needed to receive initial CPA licensure in Washington, as laid out by the Washington State Board of Accountancy, include:

  1. Graduating with a bachelor's degree or higher, the equivalent of an accounting concentration, and 150 total semester hours of credit.
  2. Taking and passing the Uniform CPA Exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
  3. Gaining a minimum of 2,000 hours of work experience in accounting over the course of at least a year (must be verified by a licensed CPA.)
  4. Pass a professional ethics exam administered by the AICPA.

If it has been more than four years since passing the Uniform CPA exam, individuals will need to complete a certain number of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours. Washington also offers reciprocity for those who are licensed CPAs in different states or countries. Please contact the Washington State Board of Accountancy for complete licensing requirements.

Career Opportunities for Graduates of Accounting Schools in Washington

Accounting schools in Washington could help open up a variety of career paths, from bookkeeping positions in small businesses to tax-fraud investigation jobs for the IRS. For those who wish to pursue employment at an accounting firm, all of the "Big Four" firms (KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young) have offices in Washington. There are other, smaller accounting firms as well, including:

Accounting Firms in Washington

City

Website

Bader Martin P.S.

Seattle

www.badermartin.com/

Bashey, Hutchinson & Walter

Bellevue

www.hutchcpa.com/home

Clark Nuber

Bellevue

www.clarknuber.com

Francis & Company PLLC

Seattle

www.francis-company.com

Gallina LLP

Seattle

www.gallina.com

Hawthorne & Company

Seattle

www.hawthorne-cpa.com/index.html

Jackson, Morgan & Hunt, PLLC

Seattle

www.jmhseattle.com/index.htm

McSwain & Company

Olympia

www.mcswaincpa.net/index.html

Peterson Sullivan

Seattle

www.pscpa.com/

Sweeney Conrad P.S.

Bellevue

www.sweeneyconrad.com

Wipfli LLP

Spokane

www.wipfli.com

Employment Outlook for Accounting Careers in Washington

The employment outlook for accounting-related careers in Washington varies from job to job. However, data suggests that traditional accounting positions in the state are growing roughly as fast as they are at the national level. For more information on job growth and the earning potential accounting-related careers, refer to the list below:

Occupation

Mean Annual Wage, Washington (May 2012)

Mean Annual Wage, United States (May 2012)

Projected State Employment Growth (2011-2021)

Projected National Employment Growth (2010-2020)

Accountants and Auditors

$68,970

$71,040

18%

16%

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

$39,360

$36,640

15%

14%

Budget Analysts

$74,430

$71,040

4%

10%

Financial Analysts

$86,010

$72,100

26%

23%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment Projections, 2012; Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, 2013; Washington State Employment Security Department, 2013

*Salaries and employment opportunities may vary based on experience, education, location and other factors.

Sources:

College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, 2013

http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013,

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm

National Employment by Occupation, Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://bls.gov/emp/ep_table_102.htm

Washington State, Employment Security Department, Long-Term Occupational Projections (2011-2021), May 2013

https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/employmentdata/reports-publications/industry-reports/employment-projections

Washington, 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013,

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wa.htm

Washington State Board of Accountancy

http://www.cpaboard.wa.gov/

 

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