It can be very difficult to get that first accounting job. Employers want a candidate with accounting experience, but you cant get hired to get the experience. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to get your foot in the door. With a bit of creative thinking, you can persuade an employer to give you a chance.

The accounting field has great variety in the types of jobs and specializations available. Some accountants may focus more on taxes, while others concentrate on bookkeeping and financial analysis. Some may specialize in payroll, accounts payable or accounts receivable. Others may delve into auditing and forensic accounting or go the government and nonprofit route. It can help to examine your career goals before you seek out experience.

Regardless of specialization, though, there are some qualities common to every accounting position. Its important that youre detail-oriented and organized. Your clients often might not be and will be looking to you to provide solutions. Youll need good math and analytical skills so you can detect issues in client records and provide solutions. Communication skills are also important in accounting.

There are also some general software skills that will help you, and often theres free or low-cost training available. For example, you might want to learn QuickBooks or Sage 50 Accounting. Having demonstrable skills with these accounting programs, in addition to a solid foundation with Excel and Outlook, can enhance your appeal as a candidate.


How to find a job in accounting with no experience

There is not one singular path nor is there just one single role to pursue in the world in accounting. But there are indeed some steps to take to get started, such as:

1. Research accounting types and roles

Most successful journeys begin with a sense of direction. Entering into a new industry, you could benefit from taking the time to become familiar with the different types of accounting businesses or the roles accountants can take. Begin a search of the different kinds of roles out there in the accounting field. Store your notes in a spreadsheet—a tool youll likely be using a lot in accounting, anyway.

2. Complete your education

May roles in the accounting industry do expect some degree of education, the equivalent of a high school diploma at a very minimum. Most roles in accounting operations require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. For an accountant title, you should also be looking at things like an associates or bachelors degree in accounting or a related field. A masters degree for some more advanced title could even serve you. Look at the roles that intrigue you and see if the coursework expected of them speaks to you. Some programs offer online options or part-time status if you need that kind of flexibility.

3. Pursue additional training or certifications

When you have completed the necessary education, be aware of any additional training or certifications that might give you an advantage when applying for accounting jobs, even if they end up just something to keep in mind for future pursuits. Consider asking an industry mentor about the training they would suggest. You might also explore current listings for the accounting job you want, with attention to preferred certifications.

Extended training may give you an advantage if you are applying for accounting jobs without previous experience in the field. For example, although it is possible to get a job without a certified public accountant (CPA) certification, some employers prefer to hire accountants with this designation.

4. Intern or volunteer

Internships and volunteer opportunities can be a way to build your resume when you are starting your accounting career. Consider looking for these kinds of opportunities after or during your accounting education. Sometimes, unpaid positions can convert to paid positions upon program completion. Some internships may be paid as well.

5. Network effectively

Networking can be an effective way to connect with colleagues in the accounting field. Try attending social gatherings when possible, and making connections online using digital tools like social media. Watch for virtual networking events as well, to connect with other accounting professionals in different locations.

6. Apply for entry-level positions

When you are ready to apply for accounting jobs, look for entry-level openings first. Entry-level positions are usually intended for professionals who have the required education but might not yet have experience in the field. These listings sometimes also use the phrase “new graduate” to mean that they are specifically for people who have completed their education and dont have experience yet.

7. Continue developing

As you search and apply for entry-level positions, be sure to continue pursuing educational opportunities to develop your skills as an accountant and stay sharp. Look for professional development opportunities and be sure to keep your resume updated with each new class or certification you pursue.

Can you find a job in accounting with no experience?

It is quite possible to enter the accounting field without experience and from there to build an enjoyable and successful career. You could get started by pursuing the appropriate education to get started in accounting, but you could also enter an entry-level clerical role and then pursue training from there. Some accounting roles do require specialized certifications or more sophisticated knowledge of accounting principles that could be challenging to learn independently. For that reason, it might be a good idea, you may want to acquire training and experience to get started in the accounting industry.

Tips for getting a job in accounting with no experience

Working in accounting can be rewarding in that it is an in-demand field that will likely afford you job security and potential for growth throughout your life. Beyond the above steps that go with planning this stable career journey, here are some additional tips for beginning your accounting career:

Stay positive

Keeping a positive outlook can be one of the most important elements of finding a job in accounting with no experience. You are more likely to encounter job openings that do require experience, so staying positive can help motivate you to continue searching for jobs at your education and experience level.

Apply above your level

If you have all of the other qualifications, consider applying for job listings that require more experience than you actually have. Sometimes employers are willing to consider applicants with other backgrounds if they show promise as a benefit to their organization.

Be perseverant

The best way to approach a job search is to submit a lot of applications. Entry-level work in accounting will probably present you with many choices—take advantage. Perseverance and broad outreach will often be rewarded.

Keep learning

Try viewing the search and application process as a learning experience. Try to determine what new understanding you can glean from each resume submission and interaction with a hiring manager. Reflecting on these experiences can support your growth, development and confidence. Be sure to keep your technical skills current by pursuing practice and training, as well.

Stay flexible

It may also be useful to keep your goals flexible when beginning your accounting career. If you want to be a lead accountant, consider applying for an entry-level or even support role in an office that also employs accountants. You may have the opportunity to advance in the company if you do. You can also use your time in a support role to learn by watching and listening to those around you at work.


How can I start an accounting job with no experience?

How to find a job in accounting with no experience
  1. Research accounting types and roles. Most successful journeys begin with a sense of direction. …
  2. Complete your education. …
  3. Pursue additional training or certifications. …
  4. Intern or volunteer. …
  5. Network effectively. …
  6. Apply for entry-level positions. …
  7. Continue developing. …
  8. Stay positive.

How do I get experience in accounting?

The most beneficial and practical way to get accounting experience is through internships while you’re in college. You’ll encounter more opportunities to gain experience if you get a bachelor’s degree and a CPA license. Outside of that, you can volunteer or work at accounting-related jobs.

Is it hard to get first accounting job?

It can be very difficult to get that first accounting job. Employers want a candidate with accounting experience, but you can’t get hired to get the experience. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to get your foot in the door. With a bit of creative thinking, you can persuade an employer to give you a chance.

What is the best entry level accounting job?

  • BOOKKEEPER. Bookkeepers track and record purchases, sales, and other financial transactions for individual clients or organizations. …

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