November 12, 2018

Congrats, Tax Managers, You (Barely) Made Glassdoor’s List of the Highest-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

Glassdoor recently came out with its new ranking of the top 25 highest-paying jobs in the United States, and it was slim pickings for accounting-ish positions.

Keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling down until you reach No. 24, where you’ll find tax manager sandwiched between cloud engineer and data scientist. Tax manager has a median base salary of $96,175, according to Glassdoor. Average annual base pay is $121,988.

Here’s Glassdoor’s methodology for its ranking:

For a job title to be considered for Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Paying Jobs in America report, job titles must receive at least 100 salary reports shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year (7/1/17 – 6/30/18). To ensure the most reliable median base salary for all job titles, Glassdoor also applies a proprietary statistical algorithm to estimate annual median base pay, which controls for factors such as location and seniority. … This report takes into account job title normalization that groups similar job titles. C-suite level jobs were excluded from this report.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to be a tax manager when you grow up, maybe these glowing and not-so-glowing reviews on Glassdoor from public accounting tax managers about their job and their employer will sway you one way or the other:


  • Deloitte: “Benefits are good, the people are generally nice and friendly, you can create a decent work life balance depending on your team you work with, can choose your own career path.”
  • PwC: “You can work in a variety of projects in the first few years and define your own career direction. They stress work/life balance with plenty of vacation (that you can take!), plus, if you are good enough, you can negotiate part-time hours or work from home hours. Benefits are top-notch. You get to work with the cream of the crop coming out of college every year. The company stresses ethics and diversity.”
  • KPMG: “Great resources, lot learning opportunities, and working with very smart people. KPMG also has great clients that always keep the work interesting. The leadership is also positive and approachable.”
  • EY: “The job has flexible hours, fast career development, great people, high percentage raises. Exposure to upper management, directors, and officers.”
  • RSM: “Flexible summer hours allow for a healthy work life balance during the off season as well as the lull before February.”
  • BDO USA: “Great support in management and continuing education. Competitive salary and opportunity for growth.”
  • Grant Thornton: “Career advancement, flexibility, great team, fulfilling work.”


  • Deloitte: “Company does not reward loyalty. Compensation and bonuses for current employees is always outpaced by people that jump from firm to firm. The politics especially as you move up the ladder get tiring.”
  • PwC: “Essentially you will be away from your family for 80 percent of the time which does affect work life balance. Long hours depending on your project.”
  • KPMG: Management clueless and seemingly indifferent to needs of employees when it comes to use of office space. Technology is behind other firms.”
  • EY: “Maintaining US chargeability while sending work to India and Argentina is bogus! Bonus is a joke especially since Senior Mgrs are required to develop book of business and meet dollars sold.”
  • RSM: “The better you are and the harder you work, more work gets dumped on you with not much reward in return. Politics and favoritism play a huge role. No clear guidance on career development, management makes decisions on the fly on an as needed basis. Certain partners give out the vibe that employees are disposable working machines.”
  • BDO USA: “Flexibility is not really practiced here. They push everyone to work and to get clients. The work you do is not appreciated.”
  • Grant Thornton: “It is high demand like all public accounting firms. I think they are slightly below market pay. Less respect if you’re from a smaller office.” [“Less respect” is more respect than some GTers are given by management, it seems.]

Here’s the entire top 25 highest-paying jobs ranking from Glassdoor, including median base salary, so, like me, you can have serious regerts about the career choice you made:

  1. Physician: $195,842
  2. Pharmacy manager: $146,412
  3. Pharmacist: $127,120
  4. Enterprise architect: $115,944
  5. Corporate counsel: $115,580
  6. Software development manager: $108,879
  7. Physician assistant: $108,761
  8. Software engineering manager: $107,479
  9. Nurse practitioner: $106,962
  10. Software architect: $105,329
  11. Engineering manager: $105,260
  12. Applications development manager: $104,048
  13. Plant manager: $103,892
  14. IT program manager: $102,969
  15. Solutions architect: $102,160
  16. Financial planning and analysis manager: $102,155
  17. Data architect: $101,900
  18. Strategy manager: $101,754
  19. Systems architect: $100,984
  20. Scrum master: $98,239
  21. Consulting manager: $97,154
  22. Attorney: $96,678
  23. Cloud engineer: $96,449
  24. Tax manager: $96,175
  25. Data scientist: $96,116

Image: iStock/Shendart

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