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Montana's economy has effectively recovered from the great recession, and it was tied for the 15th lowest unemployment rate in the country as of March 2017 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In face, The Montana Department of Labor and Industry reported the state’s exceptional achievements in 2015 including the 5th fastest gross state product growth in the country.  Montana also has a high success rate with its startups and had the highest amount of them in the nation that year. The Department also expects the accounting profession to add 69 new jobs per year through 2025. As of 2015, there were about 3,322 licensed accountants in the state, according to the Department's Research and Analysis Bureau.

The leading non-agriculture industry is health care, followed by manufacturing and business services. Mining is a long-time contributor to the gross state product, while biotech is a new and growing component. No Fortune 500 companies are located in the state. The biggest employers are hospitals and health care companies including A Plus Healthcare, Acadia Montana, Avitus Group Benefits and Billings Clinical Health. Advanced Silicon Materials is a representative technology-sector company, while Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. is a stalwart of the manufacturing sector.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey from May 2015 reports the median income among accountants in Montana to be $59,490. Experienced accountants in the top 10 percent earned $101,760 on average.

The Montana Board of Public Accountants licenses certified public accountants (CPAs) in the state. The Board maintains a two-tiered system. You must first obtain a certificate by passing the state-administered exam and by earning a bachelor's degree with an accounting focus. The second step is to obtain a permit to practice as a CPA. Earning a permit requires 2,000 hours of accounting and auditing experience in private firms, for government, in academia or in a public accounting firm.

You are eligible to apply for a Montana CPA license if you meet the requirements described above and are applying for the first time, or if you were previously licensed in Montana but allowed your license to terminate, and are not licensed outside Montana.

The Montana Society of CPAs (https://www.mscpa.org/) offers CPAs a variety of professional benefits ranging from continuing professional education classes to networking events. The organization offers a discounted student membership and also confers scholarships.

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FEATURED ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ACCOUNTING PROGRAMS

More accountants and business professionals in Montana are turning to master's programs to earn the 150 semester hours required for a CPA license, or just as a way to advance their knowledge in specialized areas of accounting.

The MS in Accounting through Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management is designed to build upon undergraduate education in a wide variety of majors. Whether you're a CPA license candidate looking to complete those last 30 semester hours, or a business professional looking to expand your career options, Syracuse University's master's in accounting is a perfect fit.

12 Schools Offering Accounting Degree Programs:


Carroll College (Helena, MT)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Major in Accounting
Dawson Community College (Glendive, MT)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts in Accounting
Associate of Science in Accounting
Flathead Valley Community College (Kalispell, MT)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Certificate
Programs Offered:
Applied Science Certificate in Accounting Technology
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology
Great Falls College MSU (Great Falls, MT)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
Montana State University (Bozeman, MT)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, MACC Degree
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Business - Accounting
Master of Professional Accountancy
Montana State University-Billings (Billings, MT)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Certificate
Programs Offered:
Applied Science Certificate in Accounting Technology
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology
(some programs offered online)
Montana Tech of the University of Montana (Butte, MT)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Certificate
Programs Offered:
Associate of Accounting Technology
Associate of Accounting Technology - Health Service
Associate of Accounting Technology - Human Resource
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology - Health Service
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology - Human Resource
Certificate in Accounting Technology
Rocky Mountain College (Billings, MT)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, MACC Degree
Programs Offered:
Major in Accountancy
Major in Managerial Accounting
Master of Accountancy
Stone Child College (Box Elder, MT)
Levels Offered:
Certificate
Programs Offered:
Certificate in Accounting
The University of Montana (Montana, MT)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, MACC Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology - Computer Support
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Master of Accounting
University of Great Falls (Great Falls, MT)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Bachelor of Science in Accounting - Public Accounting
University of Montana-Helena College of Technology (Helena, MT)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Bachelors Degree, Certificate
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting and Business Technology - Accounting Technology
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting and Business Technology - Small Business Management
Bachelor of Applied Science in Accounting/Bachelor of Business Information Technology - Dual in Accounting/Business Technology
Certificate in Accounting

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