Considering becoming an Enrolled Agent, but curious about the kind of salary prospects you could be looking at? We don’t blame you – take a look at our Enrolled Agent Salary Guide below, to get an idea of what salary range you could be looking at before diving in.
What is an Enrolled Agent?
The Enrolled Agent credential is a nationally recognized certification offered by the IRS for tax professionals. You can become an EA by obtaining a Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN), passing all three parts of the IRS’s Special Enrollment Examination (SEE), and passing compliance and background checks. There is no specific education or work experience requirement, although candidates should have well-established tax knowledge before taking the exam.
EAs are federally authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS and have unlimited representation rights. This means EAs can represent any taxpayer, whether they prepared their income tax return or not. They can also represent any tax matter, as well as appeal to any office of the IRS.
Who Should Earn the EA?
EAs are generally tax preparers, but they can also wear an advisory hat by providing tax compliance counseling to clients or providing written advice to third parties regarding business transactions. In general, the EA’s job is to help their clients with a variety of tax matters, from tax preparation, to representation during hearings or conferences, to helping them through audits. EAs can be seen in an office, in front of the IRS, or sitting down with clients. They work in accounting firms of all types and sizes, with many EAs starting their own businesses.
Common Enrolled Agent Salary Ranges in the United States
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You can see a breakdown of entry level salary expectations by state here
EA vs. CPA Salary
According to ZipRecruiter.com, the national average salary for an Enrolled Agent as of July 2019 is $57,041. Jobs paying $41,500 or less are in the 25th or less percentile range, while jobs paying more than $64,500 are in the 75th or more percentile range. Most salaries fall between $41,500 and $64,500.
As of July 2019, ZipRecruiter.com has the national average salary for CPAs as $71,979. Jobs paying $58,500 or less are in the 25th or less percentile range, while jobs paying more than $83,000 are in the 75th or more percentile range. Most salaries fall between $58,500 and $83,000.
In general, CPAs earn more than EAs in all career levels. However, the CPA credential requires significantly more schooling, time, and upfront costs than the EA credential. The EA credential is also more client-focused than a CPA credential. These are both factors to weigh alongside salary numbers for each profession.