The overall job outlook for tax preparers has been positive since 2004. Vacancies for this career have increased by 9.64 percent nationwide in that time, with an average growth of 1.61 percent per year. Demand is expected to go up, with an expected 41,640 new jobs filled by 2018. This represents an annual increase of 9.14 percent over the next few years.
Employment Growth Rates
Employment for tax preparers is expected to grow between 8 and 14 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to O*Net Online. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job growth for accountants, who may also serve as tax preparers, will grow 13 percent between 2012 and 2022. That growth rate is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Statisticians at O*Net Online estimate an increase of approximately 26,500 tax preparer jobs during the same time frame.
The greatest demand for tax preparers will be for those who have professional degrees or certifications in accounting. Tax preparers who have specific tax preparer certifications will also have some available job opportunities.
Reasons for Job Growth
Tax preparer jobs are expected to grow because individuals and companies will continue to hire professionals to prepare and file their tax returns because complex and ever-changing tax laws make it difficult for inexperienced filers to complete them correctly.
Tax preparers earn good money but it is seasonal. The first four months of the calendar year are extremely busy follow by eight months of significantly slower volume. Whether you decide to work for an existing tax business or own your own tax service, these skills provide a continuing source of future income.
Career Education and Skills
A college degree is not required to become a tax preparer. But it helps to have a high school diploma and a certification. You also need good writing and verbal communication skills. Other skills include typing and ten-key proficiency, basic knowledge of bookkeeping, and basic knowledge of federal and state income tax laws, regulations, and forms.