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Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA): Alternative Careers:

In Canada, the three accounting designations, CA / CMA / CGA have merged under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

More information:

You may find that your international training and experience as an accountant are not immediately accepted in B.C. The analytical and math skills you have already acquired, along with your communication skills and hands-on experience can be used in alternative careers.

Alternative Career: Loan Officer (NOC 1232)

Also referred to as Mortgage Officer, Credit Officer, Account Manager

You interview applicants for loans, evaluate applicant’s financial status, complete credit and loan applications and submit to management with recommendations for approval or rejection, promote the sale of credit and loan services.

Requirements:

  • completion of secondary school and extensive general banking experience is usually required
  • a bachelor’s degree related to commerce or economics may be required
  • completion of a loan or credit training program, ranging from six to twelve months, is usually required

Skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Math skills
  • Computer skills

Wages:

Alternative Career: Trust Officer (NOC 1114)

You manage estate, personal, charitable and corporate trusts, direct trust account investments, and distribute trust funds.

Requirements:

  • bachelor’s degree in business administration, commerce, economics or a related field is usually required
  • additional courses may be required from financial organizations such as Institute of Canadian Banking, Canadian Securities Institute, etc

Skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Administration abilities
  • Computer skills

Wages:

  • Median hourly wage $28.85
    WorkBC

Alternative Career: Mortgage Broker (NOC 1114)

You collect clients’ financial information (income, liabilities, assets), research mortgage options, explain options to clients, negotiate mortgage loans with lending institutions, and advise clients when making a decision.

Requirements:

Skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Administration abilities
  • Computer skills

Wages:

  • Median hourly wage $28.85
    WorkBC

Alternative Career: Bookkeeper (NOC 1311)

Also referred to as Accounting Technician

You track all money coming into and going out of a business; prepare bills and invoices; create budgets and financial reports; prepare tax returns and perform other personal bookkeeping services.

Requirements:

  • completion of a college program in accounting, bookkeeping or a related field

OR

  • completion of two years (first level) of a recognized professional accounting program

OR

  • courses in accounting or bookkeeping combined with several years of experience as a financial or accounting clerk are required

Skills:

  • ability to understand and work with numbers
  • good communication skills
  • strong organizational skills
  • must be detail-oriented

Wages:

  • Median hourly wage: $19.23
    WorkBC

Alternative Career: Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Office Workers (NOC 1212)

Also referred to as accounts payable supervisor, accounts receivable supervisor, bookkeeping supervisor, collections supervisor, credit supervisor, payroll supervisor, supervisor of accounting

You create efficient working procedures, co-ordinate and review the work of clerks, train employees, authorize payments, credits and other financial transactions, and prepare and submit reports.

Requirements:

  • completion of a college program or courses in bookkeeping, accounting or a related subject
  • previous experience in the clerical occupation you are supervising

Skills:

  • ability to examine and confirm accuracy of work
  • good communication skills
  • strong organizational skills
  • analytical and results oriented

Wages:

  • Median hourly wage: $24.04
    WorkBC

Employment Outlook

Demand for experts in tax, financial instruments, forensic accounting, and bankruptcy is increasing. The demand for accountants specializing in a specific industrial sector may also be on the rise.

Financial Sales Representatives (NOC 6235)

(Including Loan Officers)

Many job openings are expected in the banking industry in British Columbia. These new jobs focus on building in-depth, value-added customer relationships. In keeping with this trend, banks are recruiting employees with higher education or skill levels.

employment outlook for financial sales representatives (NOC 6235)

Chart from WorkBC

Other Financial Officers (NOC 1114)

(Including Financial Planners, Financial Investigators, Trust Officers, Mortgage Brokers)

employment outlook for other financial officers (NOC 1114)

Chart from WorkBC

Bookkeepers and Accounting Technicians (NOC 1311)

employment outlook for bookkeepers and accounting technicians

Chart from WorkBC

Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Office Workers (NOC 1212)

employment outlook for supervisors, finance and insurance office workers (NOC 1212)

Chart from WorkBC

Retraining

You can become certified as a CPA by completing either:

  • CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP), a two-year graduate-level program that is delivered on a part-time basis; or
  • CPA Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF). The full program takes one year, full-time, to complete. The schedule can be flexible and is comprised of 10 online ACAF courses, ranging from six to eight weeks.

For more information on which program is the best for you:  Become a CPA

Searching for Jobs

Volunteering in the Field

Volunteering can help you to explore a new career and learn more about engineering and technical work in B.C. You will meet new people and build a network of contacts that may lead to information on job openings and an inside connection at a potential employer.

Helpful Resources

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