Monday, 21 March 2016

Careers for Accounting Majors: They're a Lot More Diverse than You Think Pt. 2

It may come as a surprise that there are accounting jobs that suit nearly every personality type and area of interest. If you have a strong social and/or environmental consciousness, consider environmental accounting.

Environmental Accountants

The strong social and governmental focus on sustainable environmental practices has led to a plethora of local, state, and federal regulations. Additionally, public opinion demands that every business conduct its practice with an eye towards ecological responsibility. The environmental accountant must balance conserving company resources and eliminating waste with ensuring a positive environmental impact.


The environmental accountant integrates conservation practices and principles into standard reporting, that includes cost/benefit analyses. He/She monitors all activity along the supply chain, including administrative and operational requirements (office supply usage, electricity, etc.). Environmental accountants must also have a keen understanding of the regulations that govern the environment in which the company operates, in particular those monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal oversight agency for all public and private business entities.

Since consumer interest regarding environmentally friendly practices is now at an all-time high, it is important to demonstrate a company’s commitment to maintaining a green work environment. So everything from green packaging and sustainable manufacturing to paperless offices come under the purview of the environmental accountant to ensure the most efficient and cost effective means of maintaining an ecologically responsible workplace.


Environmental accountants must possess a Bachelor's degree; acquiring a Certified Professional Environmental Auditor's credential is essential for career growth and maximizing earning potential.


The mean salary varies depending upon location. In New York, the mean salary is $85,000—in Texas, it is $68,000. Texas, New York, and California employ the highest number of environmental accountants.

In my next post, I'll discuss forensic accounting.

Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and technology companies.

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