Bookkeepers are the people who keep track of financial transactions for a business. Their work includes calculating taxes, preparing accounts payable and receivable, managing inventory, billing customers and paying bills. The salary of a bookkeeper varies depending on what industry he or she works in, location of the job and type of employer.
Average Salary of Bookkeepers According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 597,330 bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks working in 2012 across all industries. Since the average salaries of these employees varied by their level of education and years of experience, I looked at three different categories: entry-level; experienced; and lead.
Those with less than one year of experience earned $27k annually. In the category of those with between five and nine years of experience, the average was $33k. Those in charge, with 10 or more years under their belt, earned $40k per year on average. Since these categories cross-industries that have different rates of pay, I averaged together several to see what a typical bookkeeper makes.
For this article, I used a number that is a little above the median – just under $34k – to avoid skewing too many high earners at one end or low earners at another end.
In terms of regional location, those working as bookkeepers in the West made close to 7% less than those working in other regions:
Average Salary by Location for Bookkeeping Jobs
The BLS also reported that there were slightly more men employed in the field of bookkeeping than women. The average salary for all bookkeepers was $34k; for men, it was $36k while it was just under $31k for women.
Businesses with More Than 100 Employees Pay the Highest Salaries
Bookkeepers working at companies with over 100 employees earned more on average than those who worked at smaller companies. Their paycheck averaged out to be approximately $40k per year. However, when I looked at individual industries within this category, some had significantly higher earnings while others did not. Here are two examples:
Bookkeepers in the healthcare industry earned an average of between 20% and 24% more than their counterparts working in other industries. Those employed by natural gas companies made an average of $10k more than those working at smaller businesses.
Some Positions Pay More than Others
Bookkeepers whose duties involved compiling financial documents made slightly more than those who did not. For example, those who checked and recorded numerical data collected during the recording of transactions earned around 7% more each year on average than those whose main responsibility was to post business transactions into ledgers.
On the other hand, those employed as bookkeeping machine operators worked with computers and recorded figures manually and their annual salary averaged out to be just above $31k.
Salary by Industry
Bookkeepers work in many different types of industries. Those who worked for the finance and insurance industries had the highest earnings on average at slightly over $37k annually. This is closely followed by those working for local government, who averaged just under $36k per year.
They are followed by educational services at approximately $35k; state government agencies at about $34k; federal government agencies with an annual salary of around 33k; trucking companies at nearly 32 k; medical equipment and supplies manufacturing corporations where the salary was just under 31 k; telecommunications service providers paying around 30 k; computer systems design companies giving close to 29 k; truck transportation at around 28 k; and natural gas distribution companies paying between 20% and 24 % more than the bookkeepers in other industries.
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