How to Become a Bookkeeper in Montana

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How to Become a Bookkeeper in Montana

Every business needs either a bookkeeper or an accountant to run smoothly.

Although people mix them up, these professionals have different roles.

To become a bookkeeper in Montana, you need a background in business, accounting, or bookkeeping.

Make sure your math skills are sharp and you’re super organized if you want to be a bookkeeper.

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If you’re curious, dive into this guide to find out more!

How to Become a Bookkeeper – Step by Step

One important thing to remember is that certification is required.

You can get certified by following one of two paths:

  • Education
  • Experience

Both paths have three steps, and there are some things they have in common.

Let’s explore these steps to understand them better!

Step 1 – Earn Your High School Diploma

It’s rare for people to get hired without a high school diploma or its equivalent.

It’s especially important if you want to take college courses after high school.

This step is the same for both paths you can take to become a bookkeeper.

Step 2 Education – Earn a Degree

Though not mandatory, getting a degree shows commitment to the field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says a degree is needed for the education path.

You can aim for:

  • Associate’s Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree

While fewer bookkeepers go for a master’s, it’s good to know about it.

Next, we’ll look at where you can get these degrees.

Step 3 Education – Train on-the-job

Getting some training before starting a job is also crucial.

Unlike the Experience path, this on-the-job training lasts only 6 months.

Bookkeepers on the education path must learn how the company’s bookkeeping software works.

At the same time, you’ll need to pick up speed to keep pace with the company’s transactions.

Step 2 Practice – Gain Experience

In the experience route, the second step involves getting certified after gaining some experience.

You can choose to go for both of these credentials:

  • Getting licensed by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), which needs 2 years of experience.
  • Or getting certified by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB), which requires 1 year of experience.

Step 3 Practice – Earn the Credentials

Both certifications are known all across the country.

Each certification includes four exams, making a total of eight tests if you go for both.

Two exams happen at specific testing centers, while the other two are open-book workbooks.

The testing centers are run by Prometric.

People who choose the education route can also get these certifications with the same requirements.

To keep their certifications, certified individuals need to do 24 hours of additional education every year.

Bookkeeping Programs in Montana

Even if you live in Montana, you can’t know which schools offer which type of training.

Let’s see where can you train as a bookkeeper or an accountant!

University of Montana

You can get an accounting degree at UM, the only Montana school with AACSB accreditation for both accounting and business.

As an accounting student, you’ll get hands-on experience through internships and community projects.

Our career services will help you with resumes and interviews to start your career strong.

Our faculty are certified professionals who keep up with the latest tech and trends.

After your bachelor’s, you can join our Master of Accountancy program and go for professional certifications.

Montana State University

Accountants are professionals who team up with others to find and solve business issues.

This program teaches students the skills they need for careers like auditing, tax consulting, or financial analysis.

Our program sets you up for success in the Master of Professional Accountancy program, perfect if you’re aiming for CPA certification or higher finance roles.

Montana State’s Business major also has three other options:

  • Finance,
  • Management,
  • Marketing.
School Name Address
University of Montana 32 Campus Dr, Missoula, MT 59812,
Montana State University Culbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717,
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Bookkeeper Salary in Montana

In the last part of this article, we’ll check out how much bookkeepers in Montana get paid.

Based on info from, the average yearly salary for bookkeepers in Montana is around $41,288.

This number can change each year because of different things.

Below is a table showing the cities where bookkeepers usually make more money.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Plains $44,736
Whitefish $44,736
Paradise $44,736
Fairview $43,278
Billings $42,791
Scobey $42,703
Huntley $42,659
Laurel $42,570
Acton $42,482
Shepherd $42,349

Regional Salary in Montana

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Billings, MT1,350$41,980$20.18$56,210$28,720
Great Falls, MT530$39,310$18.9$51,080$28,420
Missoula, MT1,010$41,540$19.97$55,410$29,490
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, OCC Code 43-3031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

In which industry can I find employment as a bookkeeper in Montana?

All industries need accountants and bookkeepers, so you’ll see such professionals in the:

  • Medical field
  • Banking
  • Manufacturing

What role does a bookkeeper have in a company, in Montana?

When applying for this position, keep in mind the following tasks:

  • Recording sales and purchases.
  • Enhancing the company’s financial status.
  • Documenting other transactions within the company.
  • Effectively utilizing reporting tools.
  • Establishing, implementing, and overseeing systems for tracking money flow.

These tasks are crucial for maintaining precise financial records and safeguarding the financial well-being of the company.

Does education and employment must be in a classroom or office, for bookkeepers in Montana?

Classes can be conducted either in person or online, with online instruction being quite common.

When it comes to employment, this opens up opportunities for bookkeepers to work remotely, whether from home or elsewhere in the city.

Both office-based and remote work have their advantages and disadvantages, as outlined below:


  • Various distractions may occur.
  • Potential for better concentration in a structured environment.
  • Additional tasks may arise.
  • Limited flexibility in sitting position.

Remote (Home):

  • Potential for fewer distractions.
  • Ability to focus in a comfortable environment.
  • Greater flexibility in tasks and schedule.
  • Freedom to adjust sitting position as desired.

USA Bookkeeper Schools by State

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