An accounts payable clerk works to pay bills and maintain records of expenses for a business. If you are interested in working as an accounts payable clerk, learning the average rate of pay for these positions, as well as learning what factors influence the rate of pay, can help you to decide whether or not to pursue employment in this field.
Rate of Pay
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies accounts payable clerks as part of a larger classification: bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks. As of May 2010, the average wage of all bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks was $16.99 per hour, according to the BLS. However, there is considerable variance in the rate or pay that bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earn. For example, the lowest 10% of clerks earns $10.23 per hour or less while the highest paid 10% earn $24.75 per hour or more. The website salary.com indicates that accounts payable clerks average about $34,000 per year. This works out to just over $16 per hour.
Rates by Industry
The rate or pay that you might earn working as an accounts payable clerk will vary depending on your employer’s industry. The BLS reported that the two highest paying industries for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in May 2010 was the Postal Service and the Motion Picture and Video Industries at $27.58 and $21.17 per hour, respectively. In comparison, the BLS reported that bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks working in the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry earned 16.71 per hour in May 2010.
Another factor that will influence the rate of pay you can expect to earn as an accounts payable clerk or in other bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk positions is the geographic location of the employer. As of May 2010, the BLS reported that bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in the District of Columbia, Connecticut and Alaska earned over $40,000 per year. In comparison, the BLS reported that bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks working in South Dakota and Oklahoma earned less than $30,000 per year.
While not generally required for most accounts payable clerk positions, having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field will help you to more quickly find work as well as advance into other higher paying positions in the field. In addition to acquiring formal education, you can gain experience and build skills on the job as an accounts payable clerk that may allow you to advance into more complex accounting positions or into supervisory or management positions.
“Bookeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks”: Bureau of Labor Statistics
“Average Accounts Payable Clerk Salary Information”: Salary.com