If you are intending to enter a career that involves clerical duties or office administration, you should consider acquiring a bookkeeping certification. For the cost of a little studying and classroom time, you can get a leg up on the competition in a very crowded job market. Not only will this certification help you find the job of your dreams, but it will give you very important skills that will allow you to manage your time and improve your overall efficiency.
A bookkeeping certification course is a college-level course, meaning that you will need to have at least completed your high school diploma or gained your GED to qualify for the training. Most programs also require two years of bookkeeping experience in order to enter. You can obtain this experience either through a full-time job or through an equivalent number of part-time hours. If you are attending college and hoping to enter the bookkeeping field after graduation, you should consider seeking out work-study jobs that will give you the hours you need to qualify for one of these courses. That will make the road easier when you leave college to seek out a program that will give you a leg up in the job market.
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Taking the Test
After completing the training course, you won't have your bookkeeping certification until you've passed the final exam. All courses certified by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers require a five part exam in order to gain certification. The test comes in five parts, and you must have a score of at least 70% in each part in order to pass completely. Note that this is a goal of 70% per section, not an overall average. It is possible to pass four sections with 100% but still fail the course because you scored 65% on one part. Luckily, if you need to retake the test again, you don't have to redo the sections you passed, allowing you to come back and focus only on improving your weak points.
Benefits of Obtaining your Certification
Upon obtaining your bookkeeping certification, you will be able to list the initials CPB, which stand for Certified Professional Bookkeeper, on your resume. This is a major piece of credentialing. Certified bookkeepers are highly sought after in the job market, and having those credentials in your favor gives you a major advantage when seeking out new work. If you already have a job and obtain certification, you should speak to your front office about your pay rate. Having professional status means an automatic pay raise in many companies. If you work independently or in your own business, having CPB status permits you to bill at a higher rate than normal due to the quality of work you will produce.
Gaining your certification is more than just taking a test and getting some new initials after your name. Being a Certified Professional Bookkeeper means that you are constantly keeping up on the latest practices and bookkeeping changes. Once you have completed the course, your work has only just begun. Thankfully, you will be able to enjoy a higher pay rate and level of prestige while you embark upon these new tasks.