Where on God's Earth can you only make $30k with a CPA license? In Houston you can't even get one for less than $60k!
Okay, anyway, this is the AICPA website, they will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about how to become a CPA in your state (some variation on that). Generally, however, you need a college degree in SOMETHING with lots & lots of accounting & other business courses. You need to have good moral character (no felonies, etc.) & you have to pass a test. The test is a big, long, hairy mess that you used to have to take over 2 days all at once. Now, you get to take it one section at a time at a computer in a testing center (Thomson Prometric) near you. BTW, I NEVER in a million years thought I would be an accountant, but it has been the best decision of my life.