How do I get experience in public accounting

Accountant training

Why should I complete an accountant apprenticeship?

An accountant apprenticeship is the perfect training for anyone who has completed a commercial apprenticeship and would like to work in accounting in the future. The job of accountant is very demanding and requires precise and independent work, but also offers a wide variety of potential tasks. Accountants have good career prospects, as many companies are currently looking for accounting experts. With a little diligence and the will to continue your education, you can even rise to the position of head of accounting.

Which providers offer accountant training?

The accountant training is not subject to any statutory regulation and is not protected. At the chambers of industry and commerce, however, you can acquire a prestigious certificate as a “certified accountant” through an examination. This not only certifies that you have extensive accounting knowledge, but also testifies to a high level of ambition and willingness to learn.

In addition to the chambers of industry and commerce, many private institutes and some adult education centers also have accountant training in their program to prepare for the IHK exam. The accountant training is usually designed on a part-time basis. Similar to training as a tax advisor, you can choose between different types of instruction, such as:

  • Weekend seminars
  • Evening courses
  • Distance learning courses

You can use the following overview to check which accountant training is suitable for you:


In some cases, the individual providers expect different skills or school qualifications. The basic prerequisite for starting an accountant apprenticeship is always:

  • Completed vocational training in the commercial sector with at least 2 years of professional experience or
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in accounting

In addition to these formal requirements, for a successful accountant apprenticeship you should have fun dealing with numbers and a careful and reliable way of working.

Procedure and content

The course of your accountant training differs depending on the provider and the chosen form of teaching.

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With face-to-face courses, you attend classes at your teaching institute on the weekend or in the evening. But you can also opt for distance learning. Then you can learn from the comfort of your own home, send the edited learning material back to your provider by post and receive feedback after a short time.

Duration and costs

An accountant training usually lasts between 15 and 18 months, depending on the provider. The costs are around € 1,800 to € 3,100. In addition, there are costs for teaching materials and the examination fees of the respective chambers of industry and commerce.


The accountant training prepares you comprehensively and specifically for the IHK examination to become a "certified accountant". Therefore, the courses of all providers usually convey the following content:

  • Bookkeeping and bookkeeping organization
  • Interim and annual financial statements
  • Payroll
  • Cost and performance accounting
  • Financial management
  • Practical questions about self-employment


Private course providers usually issue an in-house certificate that certifies the content you have learned during the accountant training. You can then register with the IHK for the accountant examination. If you take a course directly at a Chamber of Commerce and Industry, you always end up with the "Certified Accountant (IHK)" exam. After successfully completing the IHK exam, you will receive a certificate.

The job of the accountant

There is hardly a larger company in Germany that can do without an accountant. Whether booking business transactions, drawing up balance sheets or preparing annual financial statements - after completing your generalist accountant training, you will be able to cover the entire range of accounting tasks. This opens up a wide-ranging job market and good salary prospects for you.


After your accountant apprenticeship, you will find numerous fields of employment, for example:

  • In industrial companies
  • In trade and larger craft businesses
  • In the service sector
  • With interest groups
  • With associations
  • At non-profit organizations
  • In the public sector

After completing their training, self-employed accountants often work for small business owners or freelancers who outsource their bookkeeping.


After your accountant apprenticeship, you will be equipped for the following tasks, for example:

  • Post business transactions
  • Keep business books
  • Prepare balance sheets
  • Initiate payments
  • Prepare annual financial statements
  • Prepare accounts
  • Observe tax legislation and check whether these are adhered to in bookkeeping
  • Use accounting software
  • Inform and advise managing directors in the event of discrepancies with invoices

Career prospects

Accountants will continue to be sought-after specialists in the future. The generalist accountant training also opens up a wide range of potential employers. If you are ready to further qualify yourself and acquire additional specialist knowledge, you can even advance to the position of head of accounting. The opportunity to do this is offered by further training to become an accountant or financial accountant, for example.


Young professionals with an accountant training earn an average starting salary of € 1,900 gross per month. Accountants with a few years of professional experience earn on average around € 2,700 gross per month. Depending on personal qualifications, region and company size, deviations up and down are possible. Your gender also plays a role in the amount of your income:

Average salary *

Women2.600 €
Men3.000 €
* gross / per month