It is known that CPAs are highly sought after thanks to their extra training, knowledge, proven work ethos and dedication. However, many people don’t really know what this means for CPAs, beyond a well-paying job, or whether the investment in extra studies and if they get one. In this piece, we will attempt to give you a statistical idea of their availability, domestic and international demand and prevalence in the highest-demand states.

How many CPAs are there in the United States?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were around 1,392,200 accountants employed in the United States in 2020. As of August 2021, according to NASBA around 669,130 of these are licensed CPAs. Furthermore, the BLS stated that there were about 135,000 accountancy positions available in 2020 across the US, while Inded.com noted a total of 88,667 CPA positions available in November 2021. This means that of the accountancy jobs available, 66% of them were exclusively available to licensed CPAs.

Of these, the BLS stated that the highest number of accountants were working in Professional, Scientific and Technical services (448,500), Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services (344,300), Finance and Insurance (126,000), Government (116,800) and Management of companies and enterprises (94,400.)  

Number of CPAs by State

Indeed.com stated, the highest number of available CPA jobs were in the following states as of November 2021:

  1. California – 8,589
  2. Texas – 5,985
  3. New York – 4,243
  4. Florida – 4,041
  5. Pennsylvania – 3,221
  • Illinois – 3,170
  • Ohio – 2,704
  • Virginia – 2,380
  • New Jersey – 2,096
  • Georgia – 2,076

The BLS also showed that the highest employment level in Accountants and Auditors (this includes regular accountants and CPAs) were:

  1. California – 150,050
  2. New York – 112,360
  3. Texas – 109,470
  4. Florida – 73,690
  5. Pennsylvania – 50,240

Based on this, it looks as though the states with the most job options per accountant would be, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Texas and New York, in that order. Not bad odds if you are planning to look for a job or looking for a state where you can keep your options open. However, this does not necessarily mean that these are the best states for CPAs, as there are work/life balance and cost-of living considerations to bear in mind as well.

How many CPAs are there in the world?

According to the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), as of November 2021 they had 696,000 CPAs registered with them. This means that there should be around 26,900 registered CPAs located overseas. This number is likely to increase thanks to the opening of Prometric centers across the globe over the last couple of years in response to the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. These include the opening of testing centers in India in April 2020, the Republic of Korea and Japan on September 24, 2020, and in Israel and Saudi Arabia in May 2021, among others.  These locations and the countries able to sit there are outlined in our article detailing how it’s easier than ever for international students to get their CPA.