Looking Deeper Into the Accounting Industry in Maryland - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Looking Deeper Into the Accounting Industry in Maryland

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If you had to make a list of some of the most diverse cities in the United States, Baltimore would undoubtedly be right at the top.

Located in Maryland, Baltimore had an estimated population of about 585,000 people according to the United States Census of 2020. If you expand that out to the entire metropolitan area that includes Washington D.C. and parts of Virginia, that number expands to 2.8 million. 

Among other things, Baltimore is known for its strong tourism. The city attracted more than 24.5 million visitors in 2014 alone according to one study, who collectively spent an impressive $5.2 billion at local businesses and attractions. 

All told, the state of Maryland is an excellent one for accountants of all types – something that is true for a wide range of different reasons that are worth exploring.

What It’s Like to Be an Accountant in Maryland

According to one recent study, the average base salary for a CPA or similar type of accountant in Maryland is approximately $57,482 per year. This is roughly the same as the national average.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this number will vary depending on the amount of experience one has. New accountants and those with up to two years of experience can expect to make about $53,298 on average. For those who have been in the field for a while – typically ten years or more – that number increases to about $66,182 per year. 

Given Maryland and Baltimore’s proximity to Washington D.C., it should come as no surprise that a lot of the top employers for accountants come by way of the federal government. Just a few of the biggest organizations for accountants in the area include but are not limited to ones like:

  • The United States Department of Energy, which pays an average of about $120,000 per year.
  • The United States Department of the Navy, which pays roughly the same amount.
  • The United States Army, which pays about $107,000 per year.
  • The United States Department of Defense, which typically pays its accounting professionals about $104,000 per year.

If you’re thinking of relocating to the Baltimore area to pursue a career in accounting, it’s also important to identify some of the cities that pay their professionals a higher salary than average. Among the most prominent are areas like:

  • College Park, which reports salaries that are an average of $81,000 per year.
  • Silver Spring, which is located close to Washington, D.C., which reports salaries of approximately $64,000 per year.
  • Rockville, which is also located close to Washington, D.C., which reports salaries of about $61,000 per year.
  • Towson, which is located in Baltimore County (which is north of Baltimore City), reports salaries on average of about $59,000 per year.

In terms of benefits, there are a number of things that one can reasonably expect when accepting a position in the area. If you’re going to be performing any work on-site for a client, for example, it’s common for them to provide meals during your time at their location.

Professional development assistance is also usually provided, especially if an organization needs some type of skill or certification that you do not currently possess. A lot of businesses also provide relocation assistance, which is particularly important if you’re going to be moving to Maryland from somewhere else in the country.

Other common benefits include ones like:

  • Parental leave.
  • Disability, life and vision insurance.
  • 401(k) matching.
  • Tuition reimbursement under certain circumstances.
  • And more.

But really, one of the biggest benefits of being an accountant in Maryland has to do with not only the ability to create a more flexible schedule for yourself, but also the ability to work remotely. That last point proved to be particularly important in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold.

While it’s absolutely true that there are certain tasks that need to be completed on-site, a significant amount of accounting work can be done remotely. All it takes is one look at social media for accountants to see how thankful professionals in this industry were for that fact.

When businesses were suddenly forced to close their doors and as lockdown orders sent employees home to work remotely for the foreseeable future, accounting professionals in Maryland had a far easier time managing an ever-changing situation. They were already doing a lot of their work remotely and simply continued to do so. From that perspective, the pandemic – while still an incredibly unfortunate situation – was far less disruptive than it was for people in other fields. 

This also makes the accounting profession not only pandemic-proof but also recession-proof as well. There will always be a need for certified internal auditors, for example. The federal government will always need certified government financial managers. Fraud examiners, defense financial managers, you name it – there will always be a place for them in our society.

In the end, accounting professionals serve a very important role for small organizations, large businesses and everyone in between and Maryland is an excellent place to start a career. In addition to its tourism and points of attraction like the Inner Harbor, the area is famous for its seafood – objectively some of the best on the east coast. This coupled with the fact that the state ranks very highly when it comes to education makes it the perfect place to call home. 

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