Most college graduates or young candidates don’t usually expect to be on top of the pay scale when they’re just starting out in their new job. Their primary goal is to earn as much training as they can in order to get their dream career.

But this isn’t always the case. There are still jobs out there that offer a starting salary that is so much higher than what most entry-level positions offer.

If you have set your eyes on a career in accounting, you stand to earn a hefty paycheck right from the very beginning, provided you have earned the right certification. The average basic salary of an entry-level accountant in the UAE who has an accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (Cima) is Dh372,000 a year or Dh31,00 monthly.

The figure is well above the starting salary of a non-Cima qualified accountant, which is approximately Dh5,000 per month, according to Geetu Ahuja, head of GCC at Cima.

The compensation gets doubled as one gains more experience in the accounting field. The median salary of a Cima-qualified accountant with 10 to 20 years of experience is Dh66,389 monthly, including close to Dh10,000 in bonus payments.

Why are skilled accountants well paid? Ahuja explained that accountants are in a unique position to assess the future of the global economy and use these insights to drive “the strategic and financial decisions of their companies.”

“In today’s volatile economy, having access to such expertise can make a world of difference to the success of an organization. Hence, skilled and experienced accountants are sought after and attractively remunerated,” she told Gulf News.

Cima recently polled 396 of its members based in the UAE. The results showed that about seven out of ten (72 per cent) accountants with Cima certification are satisfied with their income. A significant number of them (84 per cent) also anticipate a pay increase of 9.1 per cent over the next 12 months, well above the forecast economic growth of 4.4 per cent.

This doesn’t mean everyone must now aim to become a Cima-certified accountant. There are many other jobs that offer attractive salaries from the very start.

According to, other careers worth exploring include investment banking analyst, which has an average annual salary of $73,000 or Dh268,136 as of 2011.

An entry-level assistant actuarial analyst can earn $54,000, while a law research associate can have an average annual income of $40,000. A search engine optimization (SEO) analyst can take home an annual pay worth $44,000, while a health care research analyst stands to make $47,000 a year.

The figures, however, are for the United States job market and may vary in the UAE.