EA salary guide

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

Enrolled Agent LevelSalary
Entry level$25,000
Mid level$39,000–$52,000
Senior$68,000–$129,000+

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.

StateAnnual Salary
Alabama$51,735
Alaska$54,498
Arizona$54,913
Arkansas$47,602
California$62,961
Colorado$50,677
Connecticut$55,918
Delaware$50,566
Florida$49,928
Georgia$52,973
Hawaii$57,277
Idaho$59,315
Illinois$47,344
Indiana$54,561
Iowa$50,837
Kansas$51,050
Kentucky$48,494
Louisiana$51,760
Maine$58,223
Maryland$48,923
Massachusetts$58,930
Michigan$47,552
Minnesota$53,372
Mississippi$47,829
Missouri$50,311
Montana$55,485
Nebraska$53,230
Nevada$54,070
New Hampshire$63,612
New Jersey$55,146
New Mexico$50,636
New York$65,649
North Carolina$43,327
North Dakota$54,146
Ohio$52,991
Oklahoma$49,472
Oregon$51,782
Pennsylvania$56,081
Rhode Island$54,949
South Carolina$50,845
South Dakota$54,146
Tennessee$53,379
Texas$47,071
Utah$52,291
Vermont$60,100
Virginia$47,097
Washington$57,391
West Virginia$48,141
Wisconsin$53,280
Wyoming$58,640