How Long Does It Take To Become an Accountant?


Are you looking for a career change? Have you considered how to become an accountant?

Accounting is a great industry with many opportunities to earn a great income and start living as an entrepreneur.

Nevertheless, many aspiring entrepreneurs hesitate to become an accountant because of the time commitment.

But how long does it take to become an accountant? Does the time commitment pay off to earn a lucrative income?

Here’s how to become an accountant:

Do You Need a Degree to Be an Accountant?

As a general rule, you should pursue at least an Associate’s Degree in Accounting which takes two years for full-time study.

It’s generally recommended to pursue a Bachelor of Accounting Degree which takes 4 years for full-time study.

You should also consider other certifications to pursue in addition to your accounting degree. Your accounting degree will give you the foundation to provide accounting services.

However, if you wish to stand out from your competition you want to provide specialized services. You can pursue certifications that help you develop these skills.

For example, you can get certified as a tax preparer to learn how to prepare tax returns for your clients. These courses can take six months to one year of study.

How to Start Your Career

So what happens after four to five years of pursuing your degree and additional certifications? Are you an accountant now?

Technically, yes. But you still have to get some work done before you can go around telling your friends that you’re an accountant!

Even with your qualifications, you’ll have to start with entry-level jobs before you can start a large accounting firm. You want to start by offering basic bookkeeping services to your friends and family.

Once you build a reputation with your network, you can start reaching out to local businesses. Ask local businesses if you can handle their bookkeeping needs.

You’ll likely have to spend one or two years as a bookkeeper before you offer premium accounting services. Once you’ve built rapport with local entrepreneurs, they’ll trust you with tax preparation and other in-depth services.

After you receive your qualifications, you want to focus on working and building your client base.

Starting Your Business

Even as an entry-level accountant, you can start your business. You can register as a sole proprietor or set up an LLC.

You can register your business on your own or hire an attorney to assist you. In general, this process can take between one to three months.

Registering your business isn’t crucial, but offers great legal protection for your accounting services.

That’s How Long Does It Take To Become An Accountant

Now you know how long does it take to become an accountant, you can determine if this is a great career path for you.

As a general rule, it’ll take you four to five years to receive your basic qualifications. It can then take you one to three months to register your business as an accountant.

But as soon as you receive your qualifications, you can start your work as an accountant. This is a great career path if you want to pursue entrepreneurship and build a lucrative income.

You can find more tips on how to become an accountant on our blog!