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Tax Day and beyond: Projected openings in occupations related to filing returns

| April 2020

It’s tax season, which means many workers are busy helping people prepare and submit income tax documents. The flurry of filings may create a few months of extra work in some tax-related occupations, but in others their services are needed the rest of the year as well. 

Chart 1 shows the number of openings projected each year, on average, in selected tax-related occupations from 2018 to 2028. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these occupations collectively are expected to have an annual average of nearly 420,000 openings over the decade. That total is for all of the occupations year round, not just for the busiest months leading up to Tax Day: typically April 15 for filing federal income taxes; state deadlines vary.

View Chart Data

Chart 1. Openings in selected tax-related occupations, projected 2018–28 annual average

Employment, projected 2018–28

Occupation

Occupational openings, projected 2018–28 annual average

Employment, 2018

Numeric change, 2018–28

Percent growth,
2018–28

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

4,600 58,200 -1,400 -2.4

Tax preparers

10,600 86,600 4,800 5.6

Personal financial advisors

23,200 271,700 19,100 7.0

Lawyers

45,700 823,900 50,100 6.1

Accountants and auditors

146,000 1,424,000 90,700 6.4

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

188,500 1,707,700 -65,800 -3.9

Note: Occupational openings are projected as annual averages and are not limited to tax season.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program.

The occupation of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is projected to have the most annual average openings from 2018 to 2028. All of those openings are projected to come from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation permanently, either by transferring to another occupation or by exiting the labor force (such as for retirement).

In each of the occupations in the chart, the need to replace workers who are leaving is projected to account for the largest share of openings—even in those occupations with fast employment growth. For example, the 7-percent rate of growth projected for personal financial advisors is faster than the 5-percent rate expected for all occupations. Still, that occupation is expected to add 23,200 openings per year, on average, over the 2018–28 decade, of which only 1,900 are new jobs from growth.      

Like many workers, people in these occupations have a variety of responsibilities—and not all of them do tax-related work. Read about what workers do, their wages, typical education and training requirements, and more for these and hundreds of other occupations in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Get projections data, including those for occupational openings, from the BLS Employment Projections program.

About the Author

Ryan Farrell is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. He can be reached at farrell.ryan@bls.gov .

Suggested citation:

Ryan Farrell, "Tax Day and beyond: Projected openings in occupations related to filing returns," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2020.

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/careeroutlook Contact Career Outlook

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