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Old 12-05-2015, 06:08 PM
3,139 posts, read 2,179,187 times
Reputation: 5043


Hi All,

I have a very close friend who works in a small town at a radiostation, and he functions as both the secretary and bookkeeper for the radio station. He gets paid very little annually, and is looking to find something more financially lucrative and also enable him to save up to propose to his girlfriend. He's been at this job for 3 years but truly wants to leave. His current salary is about $26k/yr.

His background:
He's 37, graduated college with a music degree, didn't go to grad school, and held various temporary positions in several different fields. He eventually found a knack and liking for figures, and has had, for the past decade, worked mostly at a bookkeeper for small companies.

He's growing frustrated b/c although he's very smart and articulate, he can't seem to find a good job above $26k/yr which will make him happy and help him to eventually meet his financial goals. He's applied to several jobs but has either been turned down directly, or hasn't heard from the employer at all.

What helpful advice, if any, can I give him?

Is bookkeeping lucrative, in terms of salary? What can he do to increase his chances of gaining employment at a business that pays something more substantial? Is there any other similar jobs he should try to apply to/for?

Thank you for all of your help/advice .
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:17 PM
350 posts, read 556,662 times
Reputation: 479
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook the median pay for bookkeepers is $35k. Also the median pay for administrative assistants is $35k. This guy is due for a raise. If his current employer balks at this and he can't find another job in this small town that will raise his standard of living, he should consider moving to a city that can pay him a livable wage.

If he absolutely, positively can't make the move or get a raise, he does have one other thing going for him. As a bookkeeper he sees, or has seen, exactly how much money is coming in and going out of a number of small businesses. This should let him know which of these businesses are profitable in this small town and how they're making their money. So if he has an entrepreneurial bent he could approach these businesses and offer consulting services as to how to cut costs and make more money. At the very least he could start his own bookkeeping service, run it out of a home office, and sell his bookkeeping services when he's not working at the radio station. Or just combine the two.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:49 PM
Location: The Heart of Dixie
1,357 posts, read 1,111,702 times
Reputation: 3438
Originally Posted by erjunkee View Post
Is bookkeeping lucrative, in terms of salary?
The short answer is generally no, though I suppose it depends on what he considers lucrative. Anything over 50k would probably require much more education (accounting/finance degree/CPA) and experience.

I was curious so I looked up bookkeeping jobs in my area to get an idea of how the pay varies. Here's a few examples of pay.... 40k, 40-50k, $15-$20/hr, up to $15/hr, $14.25-$16.50/hr, $19/hr. And that's just the first few I came to. The one that has the highest pay has much more rigid requirements than the others, but most only want a few years of experience and some software skills. I'm not sure where you're located, but if your friend is doing actual bookkeeping, it sounds like he's on the low end of the pay scale. The pay in the area where I live is fairly low when it comes to the national average and I've seen data entry jobs around here that pay more than 26k.

It's tough out there, especially in roles like that because there are a lot of people out there with degrees or specialized experience that look pretty appealing to employers. Tell him not to give up. He might also take a look at his resume. If there's a lot of competition, he needs to stand out.

Otherwise I agree with the other poster - move to a city that will pay more.
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Old 12-06-2015, 07:43 AM
3,139 posts, read 2,179,187 times
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sideman and melodica, thank you so very much for your helpful advice. I truly appreciate it!

If there are others out there with any more/other recommendations, I'd truly appreciate you sharing them w/me.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:31 PM
3,139 posts, read 2,179,187 times
Reputation: 5043
fyi if it helps, my friend works in the state of CT.
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