Considering becoming an Enrolled Agent, but curious about the salary prospects? Take a look at our Enrolled Agent Salary Guide to get an idea about industry salary range.
What is an Enrolled Agent?
The Enrolled Agent (EA) 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, regardless of whether they prepared their income tax return. EAs 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 by 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, including: tax preparation, representation during hearings or conferences and helping clients through audits. EAs may be found in an office, in front of the IRS or sitting down with clients. They work in accounting firms of all types and sizes, and many EAs start their own businesses.
Common Enrolled Agent salary ranges in the United States
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Review a breakdown of entry level salary expectations by state here.
EA vs. CPA salary
According to ZipRecruiter.com, the average annual salary for an Enrolled Agent as of December 2021 was $59,020. While annual EA salaries within the US range between $25,500 and $97,000, the majority of EA salaries currently fall between $45,000 (25th percentile) to $68,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $86,500 or more. The average pay range for an Enrolled Agent varies by as much as $23,500, suggesting that there may be opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on variables such as skill level, location and years of experience.
As of October 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded the national median salary for CPAs in the U.S. as $73,560. Jobs paying $58,500 or less are in the 25th percentile range, while jobs paying more than $83,000 are in 75th percentile. Most salaries fall between $58,500 and $83,000. Again, earning potential varies with experience.
In general, CPAs earn more than EAs in all career levels; however, the CPA credential requires significantly more schooling, time and up-front costs than the EA credential. Additionally, the EA credential is more client-focused, with a variety of career paths. Be sure to consider additional factors alongside salary when planning your professional path.
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Entry-level salaries for EA agents
Below, you’ll find Zip Recruiter’s average Enrolled Agent salaries.