If you’re an enrolled agent (EA) looking to gain experience in the field, it can be challenging to find new opportunities and a daunting task to figure out your ideal career path. 

Now that you’ve passed the EA Exam, though, opportunities abound. You can leverage your certification to pursue a wide range of professional growth experiences. However, passing the exam doesn’t guarantee you a job. Being new to the field, you will need to be strategic in finding ways to gain the experience you desire. 

In this article, we’ll dive into three unique ways to gain experience as an enrolled agent. 

3 tips to help you gain experience as an EA 

Get listed 

The first step to begin gaining experience as an enrolled agent is to make sure you have an updated listing on the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. Once you’re listed, you’ll have the opportunity to provide more services and unlimited representation rights, putting your enrolled agent credential to work. 

Join tax organizations 

Joining professional tax organizations can provide a great way to gain experience. Both the National Association of Tax Professionals and the National Association of Enrolled Agents provide discounts, resources and training to their members. 

Start building a client base 

Once you are listed as an enrolled agent and have joined tax organizations, it’s now time to focus on building your client base.  

Begin by creating a website and developing your digital footprint and brand. Attend and network at local business events and extend those new relationships by connecting on LinkedIn.  

There are many ways to market yourself to potential clients. Be sure to find the best strategies that fit your skill sets and stay consistent with your approach. 

Best job opportunities for EAs 

Once you’ve gained experience as an enrolled agent, you will be able to find a variety of job opportunities. Here are some of the best job opportunities for enrolled agents: 

  • Tax accountant: Tax accountants are responsible for preparing, filing, and analyzing tax returns. They also provide advice on tax planning and compliance. This is a great job for enrolled agents who want to use their knowledge to help others. 
  • Tax preparer: As a tax preparer, you’ll give assistance to individuals and companies when it comes to filing their taxes. In a tax preparer role, it is essential that you have a good eye for detail and possess the ability to work quickly and productively.  
  • Banking: All banks are regulated and monitored by the Federal Reserve, so they must remain in compliance with all government regulations. Having a tax specialist on staff can help banks in meeting necessary regulations and ensure taxes are properly filed. 
  • Law firm: Law firms will find it advantageous to have an EA on staff as they can represent clients facing an IRS audit or dealing with another tax issue. Additionally, having a tax specialist in-house can be beneficial for law firms looking for a subject matter expert to handle their small business taxes. 
  • Investment firm: Investment firms must have tax advisors on board to assist in decreasing their clients’ tax responsibilities. An EA can provide guidance to the staff of the firm on how to manage the purchasing and selling of investments to meet the desired goals of the clients throughout the year. 
  • Department of Revenue: Being an enrolled agent allows one to work for either the Internal Revenue Service or state revenue departments. This is a sought-after job for EAs with the essential duty of assisting people in resolving their tax issues daily. Additionally, working in government usually offers superior vacation, medical and retirement benefits along with increased job security. 
  • CEO or business owner: Many agents choose to establish their own tax preparation and planning firms. As an EA, you would be responsible for all the vital tasks, such as tax preparation, tax strategy and representing clients in front of the IRS. Some tax preparation and planning firms also include bookkeeping services as part of their practice. 

To be successful in any of the positions for an enrolled agent, it’s essential to possess excellent attention to detail and the capacity to do your job quickly and effectively. Discover more about the roles and salary ranges for enrolled agents in our EA salary guide.  

Ready to get started? 

Obtaining the EA qualification can create a range of job opportunities with accounting firms and tax offices. Firms that make up the Big 4 hire EAs for numerous roles since they are able to practice in all 50 states and handle taxes for global customers filing in the United States. EAs with experience can also launch their own tax practices, offering them more flexibility in their career. 

A career as an enrolled Agent is also relatively recession-proof. No matter how the economy fares, people will always require help with tax filing or dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. Gaining your EA accreditation will give you knowledge and options to further your career. 

If you are seeking continuing professional training (CPE) courses to move your career forward, Surgent CPE provides more than 1,500 CPE webinars and self-study courses. If you are still looking to earn your EA credential, Surgent EA Review is the top-rated exam review provider in the industry and can assist you in getting to your goal quickly. Sign up for a free trial today.