Are you considering starting a career in the accounting industry? Are you someone who is good with numbers and likes to solve complex issues? Becoming an Enrolled Agent (EA) is a career that is in high-demand, is easy to get started in, and provides financial stability.
Those who have the most success as Enrolled Agents are individuals who are organized, detail-oriented, good with numbers, and are able to stay up to date on forever evolving tax laws. This is a job that involves working with people and maintaining high ethical standards in order to be in compliance with federal and state laws.
If you are interested in achieving your career goals, becoming an EA may be the right choice for you.
Do I Need To Go To College To Become An EA?
College is not required for individuals who wish to become Enrolled Agents. You can become an EA either by working directly for the IRS for five years or more in certain roles, or by taking the Enrolled Agent exam. This is a 3-part exam known as the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE).
The exam is comprised of three parts:
- Part 1 – Individuals
- Part 2 – Businesses
- Part 3 – Representation, Practice and Procedures
The National Association of Enrolled Agents outlines these key factors for those interested in taking the exam:
- Candidates may schedule each part of the exam at their convenience, in any order. It is not required to take all parts in one sitting. Exam fees are $181.94 per part.
- Prometric maintains approximately 300 test sites throughout the US and internationally. To enter the testing facility, you must present a valid, government-issued identification card containing both your signature and picture.
- Each part of the exam will have about 100 questions, along with a small number of experimental questions that will not be scored (you will not know which questions will count towards your score and which are included to gather statistical information on questions prior to being added to the exam).
- The exam includes three types of multiple choice questions: direct question, incomplete sentence and all of the following except.
- Exam results are scaled, by calculating the number of questions answered correctly from the total number of questions asked and converting to a scale that ranges from 40 to 130.
- Test results are available immediately following the exam. Candidates who pass are not told their score simply that they passed. Candidates who fail will be told their score, as well as diagnostic information to help prepare for re-examination.
- Candidates who do not pass a part of the exam after four attempts during the May 1 through February 28 test window must wait until the next testing period before attempting the part again.
- Candidates have a two year window from the time they pass the first part to pass the other two parts of the exam.
Enrolled Agent Salaries
EA salaries depend on a variety of factors, such as the number of years of experience, type of experience, and work location. There are three salary levels for enrolled agents. They are entry level, mid-level, and senior level.
Enrolled Agent Salaries for Entry Level
An entry-level enrolled agent with up to five years of experience can typically expect to earn an average of $42,000 per year.
Enrolled Agent Salaries for Mid-Level
A mid-level enrolled agent with between five and 10 years of experience can generally expect to earn an average salary of $50,000.
Enrolled Agent Salaries for Senior Level
A senior-level enrolled agent with between 10 and 20 years of experience can typically expect to earn an average salary of $55,000. Agents with more than 20 years of experience may see a pay raise up to $60,000 per year.