Contributor, Benzinga
September 1, 2020

You might want to consider a finance job if crunching numbers is your thing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the finance industry is expected to grow 10%, adding more than 770,000 jobs by 2026. Finance jobs span hundreds of job titles and industries, so the possibilities are endless.

If you’re interested in this field, there’s sure to be a job that meets your needs. 

We’ve researched finance jobs, salaries and how to find jobs, so read on for information and strategies to help you decide if this career path is right for you.

Main Takeaways: Getting a Finance Job

  • A bachelor's degree is usually required for this type of work. Additional financial certifications, like a CFA or CPA, can also enhance your credentials.
  • Numerous job titles fall under the finance career. A few sample ones include investment advisors, accountants, banking, and more.
  • Salary expectations vary by position. Read on to learn the range your job potential may fall into and to browse our live listings for finance jobs.

Overview: What Does a Finance Job Entail?

Finance jobs cover a broad range of job titles so job duties can be quite varied. Generally, if you’re a financial analyst, finance manager or financial advisor, you’re charged with helping individuals and businesses by assessing their financial situation and developing strategies to improve their overall profitability. 

Do I Need a Math Degree to Work in this Field?

Most finance jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in statistics, business, economics, accounting or finance. Some jobs require a master’s degree and others may require specific licenses or finance certifications such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

In some cases, bookkeepers or accountants at small companies can substitute experience for education.

Types of Finance Jobs and Titles

There are many different job titles and categories that fall under the larger finance umbrella. Let’s take a look at some of these roles.

Entry-Level Finance Jobs 

An entry-level finance worker could be an intern or recent college graduate. Junior finance workers support senior finance professionals and are part of a larger finance team. They might be tasked with job functions such as gathering and organizing financial data as part of a company audit.

Sample job titles: Entry-level finance worker, junior finance professional, junior financial associate

Investment Finance Jobs

An investment financial analyst monitors the stock market and recommends the best investment strategies to business clients ranging from sole proprietors to large corporations. Once a client invests in stocks, an analyst monitors the success of the stock and provides reports to business partners.

Sample job titles: Investment financial analyst, investment financial associate, investment financial advisor

Financial Analyst Jobs 

A financial analyst provides financial analysis and guidance to individual and business clients. Analysts work as part of a larger finance team and reporting to the chief financial officer of chief executive officer. The advice they provide to clients can significantly impact a company’s profitability and performance.

Sample job titles: Financial analyst, senior financial analyst, business analyst

Corporate Finance Jobs

Corporate finance professionals work on staff at a corporation and provide financial advice and analysis to decision-makers. Jobs could range from providing support services to a financial manager or director.

Sample job titles: Corporate finance analyst, corporate financial advisor, corporate tax planner

Accounting Jobs

Accountants review financial records for individuals or business clients and track each financial transaction using accounting software programs such as QuickBooks. They collaborate with payroll managers and tax auditors

Sample job titles: Accountant, tax accountant, staff accountant

Banking Jobs

There are many different kinds of jobs that fall under the banking category, such as teller, investment banker, loan officer and bank manager. Each role is unique and requires different levels of education, but most work with customers.

Sample job titles: Bank teller, loan officer, bank manager

If you want to explore a more cutting-edge finance career as opposed to the traditional route, you might want to brush up on these topics:

  • Cryptocurrency or bitcoin: Cryptocurrency is an encrypted digital currency that is used outside of traditional banks. Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency created in 2009.
  • Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence uses technology to detect fraud, chat with banking customers and trade stocks.  
  • Blockchain technology: Blockchain technology is an encrypted software system that facilitates bitcoin transactions. Think of it as a virtual public ledger.
  • Financial technology (Fintech): Fintech involves innovation and technology that supports banking and financial services. 

The finance sector is always evolving, so you need to keep ahead of the learning curve. If you’re familiar with these products and practices, you’ll be more marketable in a competitive industry. 

Salary Ranges and Expectations for Finance Jobs

Since the finance field encompasses a broad range of job categories, salaries for these roles can vary considerably. Here are a few sample job titles and average median salaries:

  • Financial advisor: $88,890 
  • Financial manager: $127,990
  • Financial analyst: $85,660
  • Accountant: $70,500
  • Loan officer: $63,040
  • Bookkeeper: $40,240

Generally, the more specialized your area of expertise is, the higher your salary will be. Also, if you possess a higher level of education, that will give you more leveraging power when it comes to salary demands.

Projected Growth Rate of the Finance Field

The overall growth rate of the finance industry is 10%. This rate can vary depending on the finance job you pursue. Here are projected growth rates for the same job titles we reviewed above:

  • Financial advisor: 15%
  • Financial manager: 19%
  • Financial analyst: 11%
  • Accountant: 10%
  • Loan officer: 11%
  • Bookkeeper: -1% 

How to Get a Finance Job

Other than the required education, what does it take to land a finance job? Here are some tips to point you in the right direction:

  • Leverage your school’s career center: An academic advisor can help you revamp your resume, find an internship and look for a job. They build relationships with employers and often have the inside scoop on jobs before they’re posted online.
  • Network: Add connections on LinkedIn, join professional organizations, attend finance seminars and job fairs and join finance groups on Facebook. 
  • Apply online: Post your resume on reputable online job search sites and apply on company websites. Keep several versions of your resume so you can apply strategically.
  • Register with a staffing agency: Search for agencies that specialize in matching candidates with finance-related jobs. You’ll have recruiters doing the legwork for you, plus you’ll get help tweaking your resume.
  • Consider an internship: Some companies pay interns a salary, and even if they don’t, you’ll gain valuable experience and build your resume. 
  • Become an expert in a specific area: The more specialized you are in the finance industry, the more likely you’ll be able to land the job you want. For example, if the stock market interests you, consider becoming an online stockbroker
  • Offer your services gratis: Get your feet wet and offer your financial services and expertise to a nonprofit organization. Volunteer experience listed on your resume demonstrates your skillset and experience, even if it’s unpaid.
  • Start a financial blog: Choose a topic you’d like to specialize in and share your blog with family members, friends, colleagues and on social media. 
  • Ask for referrals: If you have a friend or colleague in the finance industry, tap hi or her for referrals and inquire about job openings.
  • Start your own business: Serve as a personal financial advisor or accountant or provide financial consulting services to business clients. You can create a website for about $10 a month and advertise for free on social media.
  • Keep learning: Continue to take finance courses online, read finance books and follow industry news to stay on top of the latest trends, practices and laws. Depending on your area of interest, obtain additional certifications to demonstrate your expert-level knowledge.

Top 8 Skills to Be Successful in Finance

What kinds of skills do you need to make it in this business? Here are our top 8 picks:

1. Analytical Skills

All finance jobs require good analytical skills because you’ll be required to analyze and interpret financial data. You’ll need to analyze details objectively and logically and provide a report detailing your findings that is easy to understand.

2. Problem-Solving Skills

Any finance-related role will require you to identify and solve problems, whether you’re a financial analyst, banker or loan officer. Whether it’s solving a client’s tax dilemma or addressing the financial implications of a complex business structure, you’ll need strong problem-solving skills on the job.

You might even be asked to complete a case study exercise as part of the job interviewing process so employers can gauge your problem-solving abilities.

3. Communication Skills

No matter what your role is, you’ll need to effectively communicate with colleagues, business partners and leaders, so good communication skills are a must. You could be asked to give a presentation to a few people or a large group, so it’s important to be comfortable speaking in front of others. 

4. Technical Skills 

Any finance-related job requires above-average technical skills. You’ll need to be proficient in financial software programs as well as other programs such as QuickBooks and Excel to Google Docs and Skype.  

5. Relationship Building Skills 

The ability to build collaborative relationships with coworkers, leaders and business partners is critical in any profession. As a financial advisor or analyst, you’ll need to earn the respect of your colleagues so they’ll be confident in your advice.

6. Organizational Skills

How you manage projects, organize your time and juggle tasks are all critical in a finance job. You should be able to demonstrate how you manage your tasks using your organizational skills on the job so employers can be confident you’ll complete projects on time. 

7. Creativity Skills

You might not think much creativity is necessary in the finance world but that’s far from the truth. You may need to develop a new process for recording financial data or a data collection technique that streamlines productivity so you’ll have to tap your creative skills.

8. Accounting Skills

Even if accounting isn’t your area of interest, you should know basic accounting principles, standards and techniques. Phrases like cash flow management, profit and loss, reconciliation and trial balance should all be a part of your vocabulary in this profession.

The Numbers are in Your Favor 

The U.S. Federal Reserve currently oversees over 5,000 banking institutions which hold over $34 trillion in assets. These assets, distributed across individuals and businesses, provide thousands of opportunities for jobs in the finance industry. From accountants and financial advisors to bankers and chief financial officers, there will always be a need for workers in this field. If this is your chosen profession, you’ll have a secure job with a solid plan for retirement.