Bookkeepers maintain and record business transactions, reconcile accounts, balance ledgers and follow all the bookkeeping procedures established by their employer. Entry-level bookkeepers typically only require a high school diploma and tend to earn less than similar positions like accountants and auditing clerks. Bookkeepers who worked for the postal service earned more than those working in other sectors of the industry did.
According to PayScale, entry-level bookkeepers earned an average of $11.47 per hour, which is equivalent to an annual salary of $23,858 as of May 9, 2011. The middle 50 percent of entry-level bookkeepers earned between $9.72 per hour and $13.22 per hour for a salary between $20,218 and $27,498 per year.
According to O Net, entry-level bookkeepers, accountants and auditing clerks most frequently had a high school diploma or equivalent before getting their positions. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed had received a high school diploma as the level of education required for the position. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed had completed some college but received no degree. Just 18 percent of entry-level bookkeepers, accountants and auditing clerks had earned their bachelor’s degree at the time of gaining employment in the field.
The middle 50 percent of bookkeepers with one to four years of experience earned between $10.57 and $15.33 per hour for an annual salary between $21,986 and $31,886. Bookkeepers with five to nine years of experience earned between $12.19 and $18.39 per hour for an annual salary between $25,355 and $38,251. Bookkeepers with 10 to 19 years of experience earned between $12.68 and $19.44 per hour for an annual salary between $26,998 and $40,435. Bookkeepers with over 20 years of experience earned between $13.06 and $19.49 per hour for a salary between $27,165 and $40,539.
Entry-level bookkeepers tend to earn less than similar entry-level positions in their field. Entry-level accounting clerks earned an average salary of $31,600, according to Salary Wizard as of May 2011. Entry-level accountants earned an average salary of $43,713. First-year internal auditors earned an average salary of $49,013.
The median salary for the bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk industry in general was $33,450, as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paying sector for those employed in the field was the postal service with an annual mean wage of $56,430. The highest paying sector with over 18,000 employers was the federal executive branch of the government with $42,770. The three sectors with the highest number of employees were the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services sector with 99,530 employees and an annual mean wage of $34,100; the management of companies and enterprises with 82,860 employees and a mean salary of $35,970; and local government with 73,790 employees and an annual mean wage of $35,830.