Today, we will look into two of the most desirable yet very hectic jobs- Engineers Vs Chartered accountants. Nowadays, aspiring working professionals have an array of options to choose from as their careers. However, while jobs that require an artistic approach and a new perspective with every project are gaining popularity with every passing day, the OG jobs are making a comeback.
For ages, jobs such as doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, and other professions on the terms were considered to be traditional ones for those who enjoyed studying for long hours- basically, those who found themselves classically labeled as “nerds.” However, today, the competition for jobs such as these has risen exponentially and are the front runners of the corporate job sector. So let us get straight to the topic.
Certified Public Accountants (Chartered Accountants)
Let us start with chartered accountants. Professionally they are called certified public accountants (CPA), and majorly their work involves providing assurance services leaning heavily towards financial services. Earlier, each state required its own licensing procedures and testing schemes. So, if you want to function professionally in all of the 50 states of the United States of America, you need to go through the drill 50 times if you were a chartered accountant a decade ago. Today, thanks to mobility laws, you have to go through a common testing service and other qualifying procedures to practice anywhere in the country as a chartered accountant.
Standardized testing for being a Certified Public Accountant
While the standardized testing format has evolved, the basic qualifying terms remain the same. You will need to pass the uniform certified public accountant examination (UCPA) with 150-semester units from an undergraduate college. Additionally, you also require a year or more of any accounting-related experience. This could be anything that puts your accounting skills at work, be it a part-time job, an internship, or even just simple course development in accounting- all this comes under the accounting experience that you are expected to have.
Finally, continuing Professional Education (CPE) is often required to maintain one’s license and attesting power as a chartered accountant. This is a mandatory test that every accountant must go through, who otherwise would have to use the designation CPA inactive or any other equivalent phrase.
Educational qualifications to be a certified public accountant
It is already a well-established fact that chartered accountants across the globe are surprisingly well paid. But to be on the path to such a paycheck, it is important to identify the prerequisites and fulfill them accordingly.
- High school requirements: There is no high school subject requirement as such. Still, dwelling on classes with subjects like economics, accountancy, business analytics, English, and math only makes it easier to grasp the concept of chartered accountancy that is fairly complex and may turn sticky without a good foundation.
- Undergraduate requirements: Moving on to an undergraduate degree is not something that holds a very crucial spot in your chartered accountancy journey, but it is definitely something that helps. Most aspirants usually go through the undergraduate drill, only to be in a position to fulfill the 150-semester points criteria for the uniform certified public accountant exam. However, this might not be such a wise thing to do after all. The exam is a standardized test. Nevertheless, it is still hard to crack, and it is always good to have a backup plan ready.
Most people usually major in a business subject or a core subject on those terms such as economics, accountancy, or even mathematics or statistics. This not only ensures to bridge the knowledge gap between your high school and chartered accountancy course, but it also ensures that if you happen to lag in your certified public accountant course, you can easily jump back to another job seamlessly, which could be related to your major or any other interests that you might have pursued as an undergraduate student.
Other Testing Requirements
Finally, to conclude with our requirements to appear for the uniform certified public accountant exam properly, we have the final leg- the coaching course. These are basically extra classes or even support clubs that focus on the subjects with such a perspective that they hit all the right points to score an ideal score on the exam. This is, of course, optional and if you prefer to study on your own, that’s perfectly fine.
But the perk of being part of such clubs and classes stands quite useful, as the people who guide these seminars are already working professionals who can prove to be your window into the practical world of accountancy. So, these classes might be worth your money and time.
Different Types of Accountants
After you get through the drill of education, and you get certified as an accountant, you have an array of choices to choose from like- a staff accountant, investment accountant, project accountant, cost accountant, management accountant, forensic accountant, auditor, financial advisor, and financial consultant. Let us briefly look at each of these types to help you figure out which one suits you the best.
- Staff accountant: Aspirants of staff accountants generally go ahead with an undergraduate degree with a major in accountancy. They are trained to deal with payable accounts and receivable accounts, create and manage a budget, and additionally manage bank accounts also sometimes. The work is not very strenuous, and the average pay mark stands at $50,099, excluding bonuses and profits.
- Investment accountant: This is a chartered accountant sector outside of the tax structure. That does not mean it is excluded from the national tax structure. These accountants do not deal with those. They usually deal with asset management for the firms and provide brokerage for colossal investments that firms make. Aspirants of investment accountants usually take up a degree with a major in economics or financial management. The average salary of an investment accountant is about $61,918, with eligibility for bonuses and profit-sharing.
- Project accountant: These are basically certified public accountants who are assigned to specific projects. Their employment tenure depends on whether they were hired as long-time employees or contractors for a specific job. Their responsibility is subjective to the kind of work they were brought into, ranging from budget allocation to tax auditing and much more. The average salary stands at $56,857 with bonuses.
- Cost accountant: These accountants are there to help out firms on a specific project with cost efficiency. They help close asset leaks and prohibit letting liabilities from being part of the project. The average paycheck stands at $55,710.
- Management accountant: These accountants analyze the financial standing of the firm and what they should or should not do to make their position better. Their responsibilities are directly related to external finance analytics and risk management and advice the firm on further monetary actions that are to be taken. Their average salary stands at $59,405 with allowances and bonuses.
- Forensic accountant: These accountants are the hawk eyes of a firm. They tend to fraud, errors, double counting, emission, and make sure everything complies with the federal laws. They need to maintain the accuracy of facts and data and sometimes require additional research to back their reporting. Their average pay scale lies at $66,311.
- Auditor: These accountants’ job is self-explanatory. Often, projects under a firm need to be subjected to external auditing, and these are the professionals to whom firms turn. Auditors usually prefer to freelance, but they also get hired quite often by multinational companies. Their average salary lies at $55,748, along with allowances and bonuses.
- Financial advisor: These accountants are the ones that need to use their creative side of the brain because they advise both firms and individuals about what to do with their financial assets. They must talk to their clients and get a clear idea of their financial goals and present them with satisfactory plans. Their average salary lies at $58,078.
- Financial consultant: These are the accountants that make the final decisions regarding financial plans and strategies. They usually prefer to freelance, which gives their work more autonomy and integrity. Their average salary lies at $67,099 with additional bonuses and shared profits. So that was it for chartered accountancy, and anyone with a knack for numbers and a passion for ideating should consider themselves apt for this job.
Let us move to another section of this blog- Engineers Vs Chartered accountants
Moving on, we have the engineers, the builders of our society- literally. This is a profession for those whose second nature is innovation. Essential engineering entails using various principles and theories to develop services like machines, informatic systems, or any other tool that makes the task of functioning easier for human beings.
A brief History of Engineering
The concept of engineering existed from way back to ancient times where humans used tools like wedges and levers for hunting. This innovation was taken to the next level where tools like the wheel were invented, giving birth to a whole new industry which is today’s travel industry. So ever since human beings started feeding their thought to make life easier and more comfortable, that was when the concept of engineering came into existence. Today, engineering is a leading industry that is gaining popularity by the day, so we try and decipher what that is all about.
Qualifications required for being an Engineer
To be certified as a working professional engineer, there is a drill that all aspirants have to go through. This is not state or region-specific and is unilateral throughout the country.
Firstly, one is to have a bachelor’s degree (undergraduate degree) with a major in engineering. Many people also opt for a master’s degree or even doctoral studies to top it off. These are not necessary as an undergraduate degree is quite sufficient for a job, but a master’s degree adds a new perspective of depth to the job. A master’s degree also requires 2 years of full-time education tenure, which does not add to your work experience. But as one moves up the corporate ladder, this kind of grasp on your subject matter is a huge perk since it equips you with the skill to take on heavier challenges.
A doctoral degree is sharply focused on research, with an expiry tenure very subjective to the aim of your project. This kind of experience is worthwhile if you are working on topic-specific projects, which helps you keep the data in a flow. To be an excellent engineer is really a feat and can not be classified as a cakewalk. But with the right foundation and the correct guidance, it does not have to be such a challenge.
Educational Qualifications required to be an Engineer
- High school qualification: Firstly, in high school, most subjects work for taking up an engineering major at the undergraduate level. Still, subjects like mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, informatics practices, or other classes on these terms help lay a good foundation for a degree in engineering.
- Undergraduate qualification: Following this, you need an undergraduate degree from a college accredited to the board of engineering and technology. But, again, this is just a credibility point that the school is not bogus, and you will get the worth for the money and effort you put into your education.
Standardized Testing and Experience
Then you need to pass the fundamentals of engineering examination (FE) and gain at least four years of engineering experience. Like chartered accountancy experience, this could be anything like a part-time job, a code that you might be writing for a startup, or even an internship within your engineering area. After that, you are required to pass the practices and principles of engineering exam (PE), after which you earn the license to work as a certified engineer.
Different Types of Engineers
Just like as in chartered accountancy, you can choose from various sectors that fall under engineering. These include- architectural engineers, biomedical engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, aerospace engineers, computer engineers, chemical engineers, nuclear engineers, petroleum engineers, big data engineers, environmental engineers, systems engineers. So let us try and iterate what each of the following jobs entails to figure out the best pick for you.
- Architectural engineers: It is the architectural engineer’s job to ensure that the building that we live in does not undergo damage for a reasonable amount of time, be it collapse or damage from natural elements or any other unforeseen events. They also make sure the place is easy and fit to live in by ensuring proper lighting and ventilation, ease of mobility, and other factors you look for when buying a house.
This job does not entail many software skills, but it does require you to have excellent communication and collaborative skills, as you will be working with a team. When you are onsite, you will constantly work with your civil engineer on board and the construction crew. Offsite, you will be dealing with your clients- all in all, people are a big part of your job. The average payment mark stands at a range of $50,000 to $90,400 with incentives based on the type of projects you take on.
- Biomedical engineers: These are the engineers that are in high demand right now. They work with biomedical machines and tools, develop medical devices, and build diagnostic solutions through technology. In addition, the world needs more biomedical engineers through the pandemic, so if you are to specialize in this subspecialty, you are well on your way to a bright future. These engineers choose to work in hospitals, engineering-focused firms, consultancy firms, or even mass medical devices manufacturing firms, which are growing by the day. The average salary ranges from $50,600 to $92,200 with project-based incentives and bonuses.
- Civil engineers:This is one of the evergreen sub-specialties of engineering because the country will need roads, buildings, bridges, transportation facilities, and other infrastructure. While this course will teach you how to build startling structures in today’s age, it is also necessary to make sure that you also protect the environment while we plunge into development. But, unfortunately, the average pay is something that ranges from $51,100 to $93,400.
- Mechanical engineers: Over time the salary of a mechanical engineer varies widely with the kind of projects he’s working on. As a result, he generally works around with various things, from designing small automobile plans and parts to being involved in major plant base designing. A mechanical engineer needs to work with both physical entities as well as programming good pieces of code. So having a good grasp on your coding game is a real perk for you and is a green light for your employer. The average pay lies anywhere between $52,500 to $101,600.
Other sub-specialties Under Engineering
Those were some of the subspecialties under engineering that are gaining rapidly gaining popularity. Other engineers, which include electrical engineers, aerospace engineers, computer engineers, chemical engineers, nuclear engineers, petroleum engineers, big data engineers, environmental engineers, systems engineers, are also well paying with somewhat the similar pay range as above, these are taken up with specific interests of the aspirants. With this, we are to conclude our comparison of chartered accountants and engineers. But, of course, what seems right to you is subjective to your interests, so do not et just a paycheck decide your career for you!