People employed in finance careers help individuals and companies keep and grow the money they earn. These professionals work in areas such as financial planning, money managing, insurance and commercial and investment banking. The opportunities in the financial field are expected to increase, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Finance careers will grow by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, faster than the 7 percent estimated for all occupations. The pay is impressive, as well. Finance careers pay a median annual salary of $67,710, which is about $30,000 above the median for all occupations, and top finance careers can pay much more.
Top Finance Careers
Below are some of today’s top finance careers based on salary, career expansion and opportunities for growth.
Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records to ensure that the information they contain is correct and that taxes are paid accurately and on time. Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting tasks for corporations, government agencies and individuals. Other accountants can also serve as management accountants, preparing information for internal use. Auditors can function as internal or external auditors. U.S. News & World Report ranked accountant as No. 7 on its best jobs in business list, which is not surprising given that accountants earn a median annual salary of $69,350.
Insurance underwriters determine whether an agency will offer an applicant an insurance policy, and if so, at what cost. Underwriters analyze applications, determine risks, and evaluate recommendations using insurance technology tools. These professionals serve as the link between an insurance agent and the insurance company. Though underwriters can earn a median annual salary of $69,760, the profession is not growing as rapidly as other positions in finance. This is likely due to updates in insurance technology taking on many roles once assigned to traditional underwriters. Nevertheless, underwriting can be a good position for detail-oriented analysts to kick off their insurance careers.
Logisticians can gain employment in nearly any industry. These professionals analyze and coordinate the supply chain, meaning they make sure products travel from the supplier to the customer efficiently, safely and economically. Many logisticians work in manufacturing or for the federal government. The median salary for this profession stands at $74,590 per year, and the growth is projected to be about 7 percent, matching the national average. Logisticians need a degree in business, supply chain management or systems engineering. Once they graduate, many logisticians use their degrees and knowledge to earn professional certificates from APICS, Defense Acquisition University or the International Society of Logistics.
Pulling in a median annual salary of $75,240, budget analysts put their degrees in economics, statistics and business to work by providing assistance and analysis during the budget development process. Most of these professionals work for federal, state or local government agencies. Many others work for educational institutions. As they advance in their careers, some budget analysts go on to become controllers, Chief Financial Officers or vice presidents. The BLS has projected that this field will grow at a rate of 7 percent between 2016 and 2026, the same as the average for all professions.
Banking and finance are highly regulatory industries, and financial examiners work to keep their employers on the right side of complex banking laws. These professionals evaluate risk, assess financial management teams and review balance sheets in order to do their jobs. Some financial examiners emphasize risk assessment while others concentrate on consumer compliance. Financial examiners have a median annual salary of $81,690 per year and a projected job growth rate of 10 percent between 2016 and 2026. They need bachelor’s degrees with coursework in finance, accounting, economics and math. Some of these professionals also earn master’s degrees or obtain their CPA licenses.
Financial analysts assess how well stocks, bonds and other wealth creation vehicles are performing in order to help individuals and businesses make wise investment decisions. These analysts evaluate financial data, study business trends, assess companies’ financial statements and evaluate the strength of an enterprise’s leadership before recommending an investment portfolio to their clients. According to the BLS, financial analysts earn about $84,300 per year, and the profession is projected to grow 11 percent by 2026. Plus, the industry boasts a very low unemployment rate of 2.1 percent. Financial analysts typically hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, and many go on to earn a certification through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Personal Financial Advisors
By working with individuals and families to help them grow wealth and prepare for the future, personal financial advisors provide financial planning services and investment advice. Their work combines financial investment with one-on-one teaching about personal finance. Many of these professionals enjoy the perks of self-employment and others take positions in banking and investment firms where they are well-positioned for future roles in banking leadership. Personal financial advisors earn a median annual salary of $90,640, and their ranks are projected to grow at a rate of 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. U.S. News & World Report ranked this career at No. 8 on its list of best business jobs. Personal financial advisors need at least a bachelor’s degree in a business or financial field to get started in their careers.
Top Finance Careers Require Top Education
Students and young professionals who envision themselves in one of these top finance careers can get started by earning a B.A. in Business Administration online at Ave Maria University. Our flexible programs make it possible for you to earn a degree while working. Hone your analytical and communication skills and learn from experienced faculty and a nationally recognized network of business managers and CEOs.