Finance Careers and Salary Data

There are multiple careers a person who studies finance can seek out, many with lucrative avenues to pursue. Upon graduating, the starting wage for finance majors is among the highest in the country, so understanding what jobs will be the most readily available and which are the easiest to attain. The following is a guide of the most popular career options, as well as the salary statistics accompanying such options.

Financial Analysts:

A financial analyst provides guidance to businesses and individuals who are seeking out investment options and decisions. Different areas a financial analyst must assess include:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Portfolios, or collections of investments
  • Financial statements and commodity prices, sales, costs, expanses, and tax rates

Analysts must also evaluate current and historical financial data, study economic and business trends, meet with company officials to gain better insight into a company’s prospects and managements, and make up written reports when needed. Generally, they’re depended on for some of the most important financial information and equip others to make the most informed decisions possible. These jobs also are accompanied by large amounts of stress many times, due to the pressures imposed by different organizations and even bosses.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of financial analysts was $74,350 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,490, and the top 10 percent earned more than $141,700.

Financial Managers:

The main responsibility of financial managers is to keep the financial health of an organization. This typically involves producing financial reports and directing investment activities. Financial managers work in many places, including banks and insurance companies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that other responsibilities of financial managers usually include the following:

  • Prepare financial statements, business activity reports, and forecasts
  • Monitor financial details to ensure that legal requirements are met
  • Supervise employees who do financial reporting and budgeting
  • Review company financial reports and seek ways to reduce costs
  • Analyze market trends to find opportunities for expansion or for acquiring other companies
  • Help management make financial decisions

On average, financial managers make more money than financial analysts. In May 2010, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of financial managers was $103,910.

Personal Financial Advisors:

Professionals working as financial advisors work one on one with a client, recommending investments and advice to match the clients’ goals. Pay for this job can fluctuate greatly depending on which type of client you’re working for. Typically they’re required to give a wide range of financial advice to people, including advice on:

  • Investments
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Taxes and law
  • Insurance decisions
  • Education expenses
  • Retirement plans

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of personal financial advisors was $64,750 in May 2010.

Financial Examiners:

Financial examiners are largely employed by the government or exist as a third party agency to ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions. They do this by:

  • Reviewing balance sheets
  • Evaluating the risk level of loans
  • Assessing bank management
  • Preparing reports that detail an institution’s safety and soundness

The median annual wage of financial examiners, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $74,940 in May 2010.

As a finance major, it’s evident that a competitive starting wage is fairly likely. OF course, since wages and salaries are largely contingent on where one lives, many of the highest paid reside in large cities that function as financial centers for different parts of the country and even the world. Jobs as financial advisors are fairly accessible and are located all over the country. Ranging from working with different companies to politicians, and even simply helping individuals with different portfolios and other financial information.

Online Graduate Programs in Finance

Walden University PhD - Mgmt: Finance DBA - Finance MBA - Corporate Finance Walden University – Walden University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is one of the most popular schools for students seeking online graduate degrees. The school has a PhD and DBA in Finance available as well as an MBA in Corporate Finance if that better suits your career goals. Length of study can vary from two to three years.
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Northcentral University PhD - Business Admin: Financial Mgmt DBA - Financial Mgmt MBA - Financial Mgmt Northcentral University – Northcentral University is an Arizona-based school with accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. NCU is ideal for students seeking an online education from a smaller school with more personal attention from professors. NCU has online degrees for a PhD, DBA, and MBA in Financial Management.
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