Careers in accounting, law and engineering are usually very lucrative, as each of these professions requires a high level of education and training. The salary for accountants, lawyers and engineers are based on factors such as their area of specialty, their employer, the industry in which they work, years of experience and the location in which they work and live.
The median salary for accountants in the United States was $59,430 per year as of May 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the industry of accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services, the median salary for an accountant was $61,480. Those working in the management of companies and enterprises earned a median salary of $59,820, and those working for insurance carriers earned a median salary of $59,550.
Lawyers in the U.S. earned a median salary of $110,590 per year as of May 2008, according to the BLS. In the management of companies and enterprises the median income of a lawyer was $145,770, while in the industry of legal services the median was $116,550. Lawyers were also employed by the government, with the federal executive branch offering a median salary of $126,080, the local government paying $82,590 and the state government $78,540.
Engineers may specialize in dozens of different fields, a factor which greatly affects salary. The BLS states that the median salary for electrical engineers was $82,160 per year as of May 2008, while mechanical engineers earned less, at a median of $74,920. Biomedical engineers earned a median salary of $77,400, civil engineers received a median salary of $74,600, environmental engineers earned a median salary of $74,020 and petroleum engineers were paid a median salary of $108,020 per year.
For accountants, certification is one of the best ways to advance, according to the BLS. Accountants can seek certification from organizations such as the Institute of Management Accountants and may go on to become treasurers, chief financial officers or controllers. Lawyers usually begin their careers in salaried positions, and with experience and success may go on to become partners at their firms. Engineers advance in their field with experience, taking on more complex projects and possibly moving on to take a supervisory or managerial position.