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Accountancy Job Market at the moment?

I am currently considering a career change and thinking about studying the AAT qualification. I'll probably be 35-36 when/if I complete the qualification. If I don't get a job in Accountancy the only experience I will have is doing my own books for a part time Ebay Business.

What is the job market like at the moment? I live near Manchester. Do you think a salary of 22-25k would be realistic starting off? Do you think I'll struggle to get a position? I'm not looking for a job in a Big firm or a set the world on fire career, just a job doing the accounts.

Thanks in advance.


  • CeeJaySixCeeJaySix Well-Known Registered Posts: 645
    I'm afraid that outside of London you would do very well to achieve £22-25k in practice; my cousin was on that as a graduate trainee with KPMG in Bristol, but I've never seen it that high outside the big 4 with no experience. I changed careers at 29 and had to take a 50% pay cut to train in a regional firm. Fortunately it does go up pretty quickly if you're passing exams and are good at the job!
  • nick_989nick_989 Registered Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply. I would be looking for accounts position in a company rather than Accountants that looks after lots of business's if that makes any sense.

    Would 22-25K be reasonable for the full AAT qualification though after a few years experience. Obviously if I did level 2 then looked for a job i'd take 15-16K if there was lots of opportunities. I am on the right lines here?

    Experience is the key thing I know. It's the same in any job really.
  • CeeJaySixCeeJaySix Well-Known Registered Posts: 645
    Industry does tend to be higher paid than practice at least at lower levels which would help a little. Yes £22-£25k more than achievable in 1-2 years if take to it well, and potentially if you can sell yourself and your transferable skills well £15-£20k would be a reasonable entry point (based on my experience, which is non-major city on the south coast - the AAT salary survey may give you an idea of how the north west compares).
  • MakkusuMakkusu Feels At Home BournemouthRegistered Posts: 94
    £22k starting salary is unrealistic, I'm in practice (south-west) and en route to of tripled my salary within first 5 years and started around £12k. Industry usually pays better but progression speed is questionable.
  • Sharon123Sharon123 FMAAT Posts: 80
    If you are looking to work outside of practice then to earn more you will need plenty of experience as the better paid roles seem to be more senior ones in small companies where you will have more responsibility. I don't think level 2 will get you 15k plus as an apprentice would be an alternative. I am in the Midlands
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