It depends on your jurisdiction and how you are using the term accountant. There are plenty of unlicensed accountants. But in the USA to become a CPA, certified public accountant, most states, if not all, now require five years of college education with certain curricula required. Then you can sit for the test, take the ethics, get background check and some other details like reference letters and internships before finally getting your CPA. Outside US licensed accountants are often referred to as CA for chartered accountants. They often have comparable requirements to becoming a CPA in the US.