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Accountant

Accountants provide financial and tax advice as well as business consulting services for organizations and individuals.

Also Known As

Auditor, Business Analyst, Certified General Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Chartered Professional Accountant, Comptroller, Controller, Fraud Investigator, Treasurer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Accountants (1111.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Financial Auditors and Accountants (B011) 
  • 2011 NOC: Financial auditors and accountants (1111) 
  • 2016 NOC: Financial auditors and accountants (1111) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Accountants

2006 NOC: 1111.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in administering accounting systems, examining financial accounts and records, preparing income tax returns from accounting records, and in maintaining internal control procedures

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to develop cost finding and internal control procedures; and in analyzing financial statements and reports

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting with clients to provide financial, business and tax advice; may supervise articling students, other accountants and administrative technicians

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Accountants offer accounting services to the public or provide internal accounting services to organizations. Duties vary from one position to another. In general, accountants:

  • Design and administer accounting and business planning systems that include records of assets, liabilities, and transactions
  • Prepare budgets, tax returns, and financial statements
  • Analyze information to help develop and implement financial management policies, business strategies, and resource planning, and the control and use of business assets
  • Develop and evaluate business models and projections to support project proposals and short- and long-term business planning
  • Provide personal and corporate income tax services and estate planning goals
  • Provide internal and external auditing services (for more information, see the Internal Auditor occupational profile)
  • Recommend solutions for individual or organizational financial challenges
  • Serve as bankruptcy trustees and business valuators
  • Provide expertise in business strategic planning
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Accountants usually work in an office setting and often work in teams. Their hours vary depending on the organization and their duties. Overtime is common at budgeting time, month end, and an organization’s fiscal year end. Overtime is also common when personal income tax time approaches.

Depending on the position and the technology, some accountants may need to travel. They may be able to perform some tasks remotely while doing others from their office. Some organizations allow flexible work hours and remote working options.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Accountants need:

  • High ethical standards
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Critical-thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Time-management skills
  • The ability to work independently or as part of a team

They should enjoy having clear technical rules, working within highly structured processes, and solving problems creatively. They should be comfortable directing others.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Financial auditors and accountants

2011 NOC: 1111

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 85 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and Sep 23, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Organized
Prepare financial statements and reports
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Team player
Examine accounting records
Prepare financial information for individuals, departments or companies
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Analyze financial documents and reports
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

Training to become an accountant involves a combination of related post-secondary education and practical experience.

Accountants who provide public accounting services must be designated as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA Alberta). For more details, see Certification Requirements and the CPA Alberta website.


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Accountant

Chartered Professional Accountants provide financial reporting and consulting services for organizations and individuals.

As of July 1, 2015 Alberta's 3 regulated accounting designations, Chartered Accountants, Certified General Accountants and Certified Management Accountants, have been merged into a single designation, Chartered Professional Accountant.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Chartered Professional Accountants Act [pdf] and Chartered Professional Accountants Regulation [pdf], Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) is a protected title. Therefore, to call yourself a Chartered Professional Accountant, you must register as a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants Alberta (CPA Alberta). You do not have to register with CPA Alberta if you do not call yourself a Chartered Professional Accountant. However, you must be registered to provide professional accounting services, such as audits or review engagements.

All CPAs who are members in good standing with CPA Alberta and were registered as a Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) can continue to use their previous designations.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Accountant.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Accountants work for a wide variety of organizations including:

  • Accounting firms and tax preparation offices
  • Banks
  • Credit offices
  • Government bodies
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Private businesses
  • Public corporations
  • Stock exchanges
  • The education sector

They may be salaried employees or work on a fee-for-service basis.

Experienced individuals with professional accounting designations may advance to management positions or teach at the post-secondary level. Those in public accounting firms can move through the ranks of senior staff to become managers and partners.

In industry, experienced accountants can become controllers, treasurers, chief financial officers, or senior executives.

In government, accountants may work as:

  • Budget officers
  • Internal auditors
  • Accounting managers
  • Information systems managers
  • Senior managers or executives

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 1111: Financial auditors and accountants occupational group, 78.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 1111: Financial auditors and accountants occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 541 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Financial auditors and accountants

2016 NOC: 1111
Average Wage
$39.31
Per Hour
Average Salary
$77,317.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1111 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $51.92 $30.61 $27.69
Overall $22.60 $75.00 $39.31 $35.55
Top $24.62 $84.84 $49.03 $42.07

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Oil & Gas Extraction
Utilities
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Transportation and Warehousing
Agriculture
Educational Services
Construction
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Information, Culture, Recreation
Manufacturing
Retail Trade
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Wholesale Trade
Health Care & Social Assistance
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
33%
33%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
15%
15%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
2%
2%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA Alberta) website: www.cpaalberta.ca

Chartered Professional Accountants Western School of Business (CPAWSB) website: www.cpawsb.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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