become an accountant in connecticut

How Long Does it Take to Become an Accountant vs. an Accounting Assistant?

You’re a “numbers” person. Math has always been your strongest subject. You pay great attention to detail, and organization and analytics are where you shine. The world of accounting may be the perfect path for you. But did you know there are alternative accounting careers within the field, aside from the “accountant” title? You may also pursue a career as a bookkeeper, or accounting assistant, for example.

If you are considering earning your accounting degree in Connecticut, you may be wondering what your options are, and how long it will take to launch your career. The truth is, there are many options for you. The type of accounting degree that is right for you will depend on your career goals and, of course, your time commitment to a post-secondary degree. Instead of weighing whether accounting school is right for you, you may be asking yourself, “How long does it take to become an accountant?” and “What should I expect in committing to an accounting school?” Here, we will answer these questions and fill you in on how long it takes to land several different accounting careers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants today earn an annual median salary of $70,500. Most employers looking for accountants require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Some employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting.

Often times, public accountants look to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). CPAs are licensed by their state’s Board of Accountancy. Earning that certification requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements. Almost all states require CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework to be licensed, which is 30 hours more than the usual four-year bachelor’s degree. Add this together, and you can expect to spend at least five years in your journey to become an accountant. Of course, that can vary depending on your other commitments at work and home. If you are already working and will need to take part-time courses, becoming an accountant can take longer.

Now, if you are looking to become an accounting professional on a shorter timeline, you may want to consider some of those aforementioned alternative accounting careers. Some of the options that may pique your interest may include:

  • Accounting Assistant
  • Accounts Receivable/Payable Clerk
  • Auditing Clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Payroll Professional

Unlike an accountant career, the above professions can be achieved with an associate degree in accounting. The associate-level accounting degree typically takes about two years to complete. At an accounting school like Goodwin College, however, you can complete your degree even faster, or take classes on a flexible schedule that meets your needs. Accounting classes are often offered on a variety of days, evenings, and weekends, on-campus and in a hybrid, on-campus, online format. This option may be perfect for you if you are balancing school with other work and family obligations. If you are asking how long it takes to become an accountant, however, you are likely looking for a fast-pace option that will get you into a new career as quickly as possible. At Goodwin, you can take accounting classes at an accelerated, 7.5-week pace, and complete your associate degree in half the normal timeframe.

Not only can you land a successful accounting career with an associate degree, you can also set yourself up for advancing in the field later on. In some circumstances, accounting professionals with an associate degree – such as accounting clerks or bookkeepers – go on to pursue junior accounting positions by showing their accounting skillsets and expertise on the job.

If you are interested in pursuing an accounting program in Connecticut, call Goodwin College at 800-889-3282 or visit us online at