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Studying AAT

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is one of the most popular qualifications to study if you're new to accountancy. But is it right for you?

Need help deciding whether to study AAT?

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Can I study AAT?

Yes! You don't need any previous experience or qualifications to start studying AAT, just a willingness to learn! It'll give you a step onto the accountancy career ladder if you...

Have recently left school or college.

Work in accounts in a junior or administrative role.

Are thinking of changing career to become an accountant.

What jobs can I do with AAT

With an AAT qualification, the world is your oyster! Whilst studying you'll develop the skills to get your first role as an Accounts Assistant. As you get further through the qualification, you'll be able to progress and even specialise with jobs such as Payroll Manager, Finance Analyst, Tax Manager and Bookkeeper becoming available.

How much can I earn?

Salaries vary from job to job and city to city, but a typical entry accounts role could see you earning between £16,000-£24,000. Over time you could see this rise to as much as £37,000 as you progress and gain experience.

Am I too old to start training?

Not at all! In fact, accountancy is one of the most popular choices for people who want a new career path. Take a look at this infographic to see just how popular a career in accountancy is...

Have I got the time to train?

Even though you need to be dedicated, you can easily fit AAT training around your work and personal life. With a range of study options on offer, you'll find something that works best for you.

To show you it can be done, read our conversation with Julie, who balances her AAT training with a management role and regular hospital appointments, whilst still looking after her two kids (and a black labrador!)

University wasn't really for me, so being able to have a full time job and still study an accountancy course was really handy. I would definitely recommend Kaplan. I feel like I am learning at the pace I want to learn.

Hannah Clarke
AAT Live Online Student

Can I afford it?

AAT training can cost anywhere from £750 to over £2,500 per level depending on your study method. But the investment in your future means it could pay for itself in a matter of months!

To make studying more affordable, we have a range of ways to pay for your course including:

Interest free payment plans

Spread the cost of your course into more manageable monthly payments, with no added interest.

Government funded Apprenticeship

Funding is available subject to eligibility criteria being met. If you are already employed in an accountancy or financial services role, please speak directly to your employer.

Advanced Learner Loan

A government backed loan for English residents aged 19+ studying the Diploma qualifications (levels 3 & 4). You'll be able to borrow up to £2,753 towards the cost of your course and pay it back in monthly installments when you earn over £21,000.

Employer sponsorship

If you are currently working, your employer may be prepared to fund your training. A survey we undertook found that 60% of career changers were able to get funding through their company.

Terms and conditions apply. Select a payment option to see if you are eligible to apply.

Where do I start?

AAT is broken down into three levels. If you're currently working in accounts or have studied accountancy before, you may be exempt from some units.

Take AAT's skillcheck test to find out more >

AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting (Level 2)

The Foundation Certificate covers the basic principles of accountancy, such as double-entry bookkeeping, costing and preparing financial statements, as well as how to use accounting software.

It'll take between 6 and 12 months to complete depending on how much time you can commit to studying.

With these skills you could land yourself a job in a junior or entry level accounts role, such as an Accounts Assistant or Purchase/Sales Ledger Clerk, where salaries range between £16,000 and £24,000 a year.

AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3)

The Advanced Diploma builds on your knowledge gained at Foundation (level 2), teaching advanced bookkeeping, accounts preparation and ethics in accountancy.

This level also takes between 6 and 12 months to complete.

When you've completed the Advanced Diploma, jobs open to you might include Bookkeeper, Finance Assistant or Payroll Supervisor, with a nice salary increase too!

AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4)

The final level will teach you more complex accounting tasks such as budgeting, drafting financial statements and evaluating financial performance.

You'll also get to choose two optional subjects to specialise in. This could include tax, auditing or credit management. After this, you'll be fully qualified!

You can apply to become a full AAT member and get the letters MAAT after your name, but more importantly you could get a job as a Payroll Manager, Senior Bookkeeper or Finance Analyst. From here, you can earn £25,000, rising to as much as £37,000 with experience!

(All salary information taken from AAT Salary Survey 2015)

If all of this sounds a bit daunting, you might want to try an AAT Bookkeeping qualification. This gives you a taster of AAT, whilst giving you the skills to become a Bookkeeper. You'll still get a recognised qualification upon completion and then have the option to move onto the full qualification with exemptions.

Look at AAT Bookkeeping courses >

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**AAT pass rate of 94% based on overall Level 2 pass rates from Sept 14 - Aug 15