A lot of our students start studying towards an AAT qualification in order to either progress their existing career or start a new one in an accounting role. It’s important to remember that a qualification won’t guarantee you a certain role or pay check, but it can give you a serious helping hand towards reaching your goal. So what kinds of job are available after you qualify at each level, and what do they pay? Money isn’t everything (in fact we find it tends to rank relatively low in students’ priorities when enrolling), but you might want to have some kind of plan mapped out for your career, or maybe you’ve qualified and need inspiration on what jobs to search for? That’s why we’ve compiled a list of a few roles and potential salaries you might be eligible for upon completing each stage of the AAT Accounting pathway.


AAT Access

As the AAT Introductory Award in Accounting (AAT Access) is a beginner level course, this qualification won’t necessarily make you eligible for a lot of new roles. It will, however, demonstrate to employers your enthusiasm and that you grasp the basics of accounting, making your CV stand out to potential employers. Look for junior and assistant roles in order to get your first step on the accounting career ladder.


Potential roles and average salaries:1

Junior Administrator: £15,000

Junior Accounts Assistant: £19,000


AAT Level 2

The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting (Level 2) will qualify you for entry level accounting roles. The topics covered by the course tend to make students more qualified for jobs in finance administration, but the essential accounting skills that you learn are widely applicable across a variety of different roles. Many people – especially graduates – start with this course, so a lot of employers will be looking for this qualification when hiring for a low-level position.


Potential roles and average salaries:

Accounts payable Clerk: £20,500

Accounts Officer: £21,000

Payroll Administrator: £23,000


AAT Level 3

The content of the AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3) is geared more towards evaluation, while it continues to build your skillset with more advanced accounting processes. This means you can begin to look into more specialist roles using your new knowledge of topics like tax and insolvency. Plus, once you gain this qualification you will be eligible for AAT Bookkeeper (AATQB) status, meaning you would have the option to work as a freelance bookkeeper.


Potential roles and average salaries:

Finance Officer: £23,000

Assistant Accountant: £25,000

Bookkeeper: £25,000


AAT Level 4

You’ll have completed the full AAT pathway once you finish the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4). Having this qualification on your CV will demonstrate your commitment to the accounting profession and to your own personal development. You’ll be qualified for more senior roles, but employers will often be looking for experienced candidates to fill these kinds of positions. So, if you’ve raced through the full AAT qualification you may still need to put more time in at a lower level role. You may also want to start looking at roles with management aspects, as you’ll be sufficiently qualified for the additional responsibilities involved.


Potential roles and average salaries:

Accounts Manager: £32,500

Commercial Analyst: £37,500

Financial Accountant: £42,500



AAT Accountancy Average Salaries

Here’s a handy table showing which AAT accountancy course you would need to study to be able to apply to for some different accountancy roles. It also identifies the average salaries for those roles.


Accountancy Career Role AAT Course Average Salary
Junior Administrator AAT Introductory Award in Accountancy £15,000
Junior Accounts Assistant AAT Introductory Award in Accountancy £19,000
Accountancy Clerk L2 AAT Accountancy Course £20,500
Accounts Officer L2 AAT Accountancy Course £21,000
Payroll Administrator L2 AAT Accountancy Course £23,000
Finance Officer L3 AAT Accountancy Course £23,000
Assistant Accountant L3 AAT Accountancy Course £25,000
Bookkeeper L3 AAT Accountancy Course £25,000
Accounts Manager L4 AAT Accountancy Course £32,500
Commercial Analyst L4 AAT Accountancy Course £37,500
Financial Accountant L4 AAT Accountancy Course £42,500

It’s not just your level of qualification that can impact your salary. In 2015 the AAT conducted research of their own that shows your level of AAT membership can have an effect on your salary.2
AAT mean salaries by membership.png

Once you complete Level 4, you are eligible for AAT Full Membership (MAAT). Then, once you have been an MAAT for five years or more, you can pay an additional fee to become an AAT Fellow Member (FMAAT). You can use these letters after your name, not only demonstrating the level of qualification you have achieved but your ongoing dedication to professional development and the high standards of the AAT.

MAATs and FMAATs tend to be more senior accountants, meaning they are paid more generously; hence the biggest jump on the chart above. The AAT also collected data on bonuses received by different levels of membership: on average Affiliate members earned a £1,282 bonus while Full or Fellow members received £2,212 – almost a whole £1000 more.

Hopefully you now have some ideas as to where an AAT Accounting qualification can take your career. Remember, if you’re still eager to progress even further you can start studying the ACCA qualification and begin the journey to becoming a Chartered Certified Accountant!


If you’d like to find out more about any of our AAT Accounting courses, give one of our Course Advisors a call on 020 3911 3408


1 All average salaries taken from Total Jobs Salary Checker https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/salary-calculator
2 AAT Salary Survey 2017 https://www.aat.org.uk/prod/s3fs-public/assets/2017-Salary-Survey-report.pdf