Careers in Accounting

What will I do on the job?

Accounting class

As an accounting clerk or bookkeeper, you will compute, classify and record numerical data to keep sets of financial records complete. You may also check the accuracy of data originally recorded by other workers. Some accounting clerks or bookkeepers are fully responsible for the accounting records of a business. Others may be responsible for specific parts of the records, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, financial statements, budgets and costing systems.

These tasks are performed under the direction of a professional accountant. Professional accounting requires a four-year degree and is not available through this program. Please refer to the Associate of Science Oregon Transfer Degree for information on pursuing a four-year business degree.

What skills will I use on the job?

PCC’s program is designed to develop your skills in areas such as: business mathematics, accounting, law and tax, ten-key on business calculators, microcomputer applications, financial management, communication and organization.

How much can I earn?

Approximate annual salaries in the Portland area:

  • Starting: $20,000 – $24,000
  • Experienced: $24,000 – $30,000

Income varies between clerks, bookkeepers, accountants, and payroll specialists - for a full list of potential incomes, review the National Bookkeepers Association's National Salary Survey.

Who will hire me?

Accounting clerks and bookkeepers are hired by public accounting firms, private and public organizations, businesses, and occasionally by individuals. Our graduates work with such firms as Oregon Graduate Institute, Wells Fargo Bank, Accountemps, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Intel.

Job Outlook

Strong growth in Accounting jobs means good job and salary security.

"Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 18 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will have a very large number of new jobs arise, almost 226,000 over the projections decade. An increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws, and corporate governance regulations, and increased accountability for protecting an organization’s stakeholders will drive growth." Bureau of Labor Statistics