Although Delaware's economy had
has been especially hard hit by the recession, it has rebounded with an unemployment rate of 4.5% as of March 2017 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Banking and corporate law are powerful economic pillars in Delaware.
According to 2017 Labor Market Information from the Delaware Department of Labor, job availability for accountants is excellent, and the number of job opportunities is expected to grow from 5,081 to 5,590 by 2024. The Department reports that the average income for an accountant in Delaware is $77,854 as of May 2016, though experience can increase your earning power. Experienced accountants in Delaware earned an average of $91,208, while those just starting out averaged $51,147.
The top industry in Delaware outside of banking and law is chemical production. DuPont, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the state's largest employers, as are AstraZeneca and Christiana Healthcare. JPMorgan Chase, AIG and SLM, another Fortune 500 company, are major players in the insurance and financial services sector and poultry giant Perdue Farms has a large presence on the Delmarva Peninsula. 'Big four' and second tier certified public accounting (CPA) firms have offices in the state and are joined by homegrown companies like Gunnip & Co. and McBride Shopa.
The Delaware State Board of Accountancy issues both a CPA certificate and a permit to practice and you'll need both to work as a CPA in the state. To take the CPA certification exam, you'll first need to complete 150 semester hours. You'll then need to pass the AICPA ethics exam and obtain work experience under the supervision of a CPA before applying for a permit to practice.
Joining a professional association can be a boon to your career. The Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants (http://www.dscpa.org) has a full calendar of professional development and networking programs. The Institute of Management Accountants offers certified management accountants (CMAs) opportunities for continuing education networking through its Mid Atlantic Council (http://midatlantic.imanet.org/).