10 Reasons to Consider a Career in Bookkeeping

As long as there are businesses, there will be a need for bookkeepers. According to the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)*, the outlook for employment opportunities for Bookkeepers over the next three years looks promising for those looking to join the industry or continue in it, especially in the Maritimes, Quebec and Manitoba.  Here are the top 10 reasons to consider a career in Bookkeeping:

  1. The three-year outlook on employment opportunities for Bookkeepers is healthy. Throughout Canada, there is a fair to good demand for bookkeepers.Out of 13 provinces and territories, 8 have a “fair” outlook for employment opportunities, while Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, and the Yukon Territories all have “good” employment outlooks.
  2. Job openings vs. those seeking employment in bookkeeping are projected to be fairly balanced for the 2017-2026 period. The ESDC projects new job openings to total 82,700 and new job seekers to total 80,300. This means that there's a healthy balance of bookkeepers, both entering and exiting the workforce.
  3. The median age for bookkeepers in 2016 was 48 and the average retirement age 64. Because the median age of bookkeepers is older than average, the retirement rate for bookkeepers is expected to be significantly higher than the average for all occupations over the projected period. This introduces new opportunities for those considering entering this field of work.
  4. There’s opportunity for self-employment. Many bookkeepers work with various clients instead of being employed within a company department. For those who are more entrepreneurial focused, bookkeeping can provide opportunity for self-employment in a stable occupation. In fact, 34% of bookkeepers are self-employed as compared to only 14% across all other occupations.
  5. High flexibility. Although the proportion of full-time employees in bookkeeping is lower than the average for all occupations (59% for bookkeepers as opposed to 81% for all occupations), the 2019 Salary Guide from Robert Half on Financial Services lists Flexible Work Schedules as one of the most wanted perks, and also one of the perks that companies offer. Whether you’re looking for full-time or part-time work, bookkeeping often presents opportunities for both.
  6. The average wage growth is healthy. In fact, “Over the 2014-2016 period, both employment and the average hourly wage in this occupational group increased at a rate faster than the average for all occupations."
  7. The unemployment rate of bookkeepers in 2016 stayed stable at 3.9%, nearly half of the national average of 7.0%.
  8. Educational requirements for bookkeepers is feasible and offers flexibility and options. You may choose to earn a designation through online or distance education like the diploma and designation programs offered by Knowledge Bureau, which features the DFA-Bookkeeping Services Specialist™ Designation Program . For bookkeeping, there’s sure to be an educational path that will fit individual needs, lifestyle, timeline, and budget.
  9. Specialization in bookkeeping transfers well to those employed as secretaries, administrative assistants and clerical workers who want to continue their education and add more value to their position or expertise. And it also works the other way. For those employed as secretaries, administrative assistants or clerical workers, the skills they’ve learned and employed in their current jobs transfer well to bookkeeping should you be looking for a career change.
  10. And finally, salary expectations, although moderate, have room for growth with experience and education. The 2019 Accounting and Finance Salary Guide from Robert Half has bookkeeper salaries starting at $34,750 for Accounting Clerks, and up to $73,500 for Full Charge Bookkeepers, with the average salary for bookkeepers landing around $45,750. And, education and experience can progress toward professional accounting occupations.

Bookkeeping has a history as a stable career option and projections show that is likely to continue. If you’re considering a career in the financial industry, bookkeeping may be something to look into. Stability, healthy projections, and flexibility in both job and education are some key points that make bookkeeping an attractive career.   It’s a great option for newcomers to Canada, as well, especially if they want to get their feet wet in the vibrant tax accounting field. 


Accounting and Finance Salary Guide – 2019 by Robert Half

National Occupational Classification 2016

Department of Employment and Social Development Canada

Additional Educational Resources: Do these ten points have you wanting to find out more about how to become a bookkeeper? Knowledge Bureau offers a variety of education options for both current and prospective bookkeepers. Customize your educational journey by choosing between 6 courses to earn your DFA – Bookkeeping Services Specialist™ designation, 3 courses to earn your Certified Bookkeeping Practitioner Diploma, or choose individual certificate courses ranging from beginners to advanced levels. And don’t forget to check out a Free Trial for the course(s) you’re interested in.