How to Become an


The complete career guide to be an Auditor: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $75,280
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 10.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Fast Paced Career
    Career Attribute

Auditors examine financial records to ensure compliance with applicable tax laws and industry regulations. Additionally, auditors may examine company finances and records to offer strategic advice on improving profits, reducing costs, and streamlining processes.

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What is an Auditor?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in auditor roles.

  • Review and examine financial statements, records, and documentation to ensure businesses are properly complying with applicable tax laws, GAAP standards, and industry regulations
  • Perform assessments of financial operations in order to advise on ways to improve profits, reduce costs, and streamline processes and workflows
  • Compile detailed reports on financial health and present findings and recommendations to company leaders
  • Prepare balance statements and budgets for investors, director boards, or shareholders
  • Examine financial documents for evidence of fraud, embezzlement, or other criminal activities

A Day in the Life of an Auditor

Auditors visit different types of businesses to ensure companies are adhering to applicable laws. They examine documentation, files, and processes to evaluate compliance and efficiency and make improvement recommendations.

Where accountants are typically hired by a company to work in an office full-time, auditors are generally contractors that—while they may work 100% for a firm—travel a lot between businesses. Before auditing a new client, you’ll have a significant amount of administrative work to do to prepare for the audit. Then, you’ll need to travel to the client’s office to perform the audit.

While performing the audit, you’ll likely work in the client’s office on a normal, 9-5 weekday schedule. You’ll have the opportunity to meet a lot of people, work closely with clients, help business be more successful, and make a lot of connections. After finishing the audit, there will be more travel to get back home as well as additional paperwork, expense reporting, and invoicing work to perform.

Typical Work Schedule for an Auditor

The work schedule for an auditor can be erratic, especially if the job you accept requires travel. Travel, paperwork, and short deadlines commonly require auditors to work more than the standard 40 hours a week. However, for people who love problem-solving, traveling, meeting new people, and providing much-needed business advice, the overtime is a small price to pay for the rewards of the work.

Projected Job Growth for Auditors

Demand for auditors is expected to grow in coming years due to stricter laws and industry regulations related to the financial industry. As organization face higher fines for non-compliance, the demand for auditors to validate compliance is expected to see higher-than-average growth.

Auditor Specializations

There are many different types of auditors that focus on different aspects of a business. The type of auditor you aspire to be will depend on your professional interests and skills.

  • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs): Most auditors begin their careers as CPAs since the certification is usually a prerequisite for becoming an auditor. CPAs work with individuals and companies to prepare financial and tax documents, keep records, and offer recommendations.
  • Internal Auditors perform financial audits for the company they work for. They typically validate efficiency and compliance for large enterprises that have significant documentation.
  • Government Auditors perform audits of business financial statements and documentation in cases where tax fraud or other criminal financial activity is suspected.
  • Information System Auditors evaluate the stability, privacy, and security of technologies and information systems to ensure data privacy and adherence to information governance laws.

Career Progression

  • Early Career: Bookkeeper, Accountant
  • Mid-Career: Auditor, Controller
  • Late Career: Finance Director, Chief Financial Officer

Typical Employers

The Big Four accounting firms— Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG—provide auditing for many Fortune 500 companies and have a constant need for quality auditors. Additionally, government agencies often employ auditors, as well as enterprise corporations in highly regulated industries like healthcare, banking, and manufacturing.

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How To Become an Auditor

Most auditors start off as accountants since working as an auditor requires earning and maintaining a CPA certification. To qualify to take the CPA exam, you’ll need 150 credit hours of coursework and a bachelor’s degree. The specific bachelor’s degree you earn is somewhat flexible. Some people get accounting degrees, some opt for business degrees with an accounting focus, and some choose accounting programs that offer an auditing focus.

After completing a bachelor’s degree and passing the four-part CPA exam, you’ll need to work as an accountant for several years. This will give you the experience and knowledge you need to succeed as an auditor. Many people also go on to pursue a master’s degree in either business or accounting to make themselves more marketable as auditors. However, while some businesses will require auditors to hold a graduate degree, most are more concerned with your experience, qualifications, and career successes.

Additional auditing-specific certifications can increase your marketability. You can earn certifications as an Internal Auditor, Government Auditor, or Information Systems Auditor from respected institutions. Most require you to have auditing experience before you can apply for the certifications, so if you’re having trouble transitioning from accountant to auditor, getting into a master’s degree program that guarantees placement in an auditing internship can be a valuable career move.

Auditor Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Auditor salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Auditor's can make an average annual salary of $75,280, or $36 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $52,090 or $25 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #164 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Auditor. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Auditors

  • 2.7%   Doctorate
  • 20.5%   Masters
  • 55.3%   Bachelors
  • 9.1%   Associates
  • 8%   College
  • 4.2%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Auditor job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 142,400 jobs for a total of 1,475,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 10.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #170 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Auditors

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services 350,600 72,900 73%
Management of companies and enterprises 89,400 4,400 5%
Self-employed workers 79,300 2,700 3%

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