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2023 Taxation Degree Guide

Taxes aren't everyone's favorite topic, but if you have a knack for numbers and want to help your clients prepare taxes, a degree in taxation may be a good fit for you. Tax preparers work with both residential and commercial customers to prepare their taxes. You will need to work closely with your clients by interviewing them, record data into tax preparation software and look for ways to minimize the amount of taxes your clients owe.

A thorough knowledge of taxes and tax law will be necessary to be successful in this role. Tax preparers are closely related to other financial related careers such as tax examiners and accountants. While accountants are responsible for paying corporate taxes for their organization (in addition to numerous other responsibilities), they are typically not solely responsible for determining the taxes to pay - especially in larger organizations. Another related career is tax examiners - these people typically work for the government either at the state or federal level. Tax examiners examine tax returns for individuals and businesses to determine if audits are necessary.

You can become a tax preparer by obtaining a certificate in tax preparation or pursue an associates or bachelor's degree. You have some options depending on who your clients will be and what you want your role to be. The relative simplicity of preparing personal taxes may only require you to attend a vocational school. On the other hand, preparing taxes for a large multinational corporation may require a more advanced degree. Some students go on to get an advanced degree in taxation so they can work for large companies handling much more complex scenarios.

Taxation Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#220 Most Popular Major
1.5k Degrees Awarded
-15.8% Increase in Graduates

Taxation was the 220th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 1,547 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 15.8% reduction in taxation degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 1,791.

This year's Best Taxation Schools ranking compares 59 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of taxation programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Taxation
2023 Overall Best Taxation Colleges >

Best Taxation Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Taxation
Bachelor's Degrees in Taxation
Master's Degrees in Taxation


Requirements for Getting a Degree in Taxation

At a minimum, schools will prepare you for tax preparation by including courses on tax law, regulations, electronic tax systems, and tax planning. If you plan to prepare taxes for large organizations, additional coursework in depreciation, capital gains and losses and estates and trusts will be needed.

In order to be a successful tax preparer, you will need to enjoy working with people as communication skills are critical. You must be an active listener to ensure mistakes are not made. You also need to have a strong attention to detail and a knack for numbers.

Prior Education for a Taxation Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most taxation degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic taxation program qualifications, to serve in some taxation careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Taxation Degree Types

There are various different levels of taxation degrees. Taxation programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest taxation degree you can get. The time it takes to complete a taxation degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to taxation, with approximately 46.8% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to taxation tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 46.7%
Some College Courses 14.9%
High School Diploma 12.6%
Master’s Degree 11.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.0%

64.3% of taxation workers have at least a bachelor's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in taxation have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the taxation career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Taxation Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$77.5k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Tax preparation is a necessary service for consumers and commercial entities.

Solid Growth Projected for Taxation Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your taxation degree? Taxation careers are expected to grow 9.6% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to taxation.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Accountants and Auditors 1,537,600 10.0%
Tax Preparers 106,200 10.7%
Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents 61,700 -0.6%
Financial Examiners 57,600 9.7%

Taxation Degree Salary Potential

Taxation graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $77,471 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $56,787 to as high as $124,137. As you might expect, salaries for taxation graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Taxation Careers

Salaries for taxation graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers taxation grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Financial Examiners $90,310
Accountants and Auditors $78,820
Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents $60,500
Tax Preparers $46,860

Getting Your Taxation Degree

With over 146 different taxation degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased taxation school rankings to help you with this.

One of 21 majors within the Business, Management & Marketing area of study, Taxation has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 416,590
Accounting 99,265
Finance & Financial Management 57,778
General Business/Commerce 56,042
Marketing 52,916

View All Taxation Related Majors >


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