How to Become a Financial Manager

Read our Advertiser Disclosure.
Contributor, Benzinga
May 15, 2020

FREE Trial with Benzinga Pro happening right now!

Do you work in the finance industry and want to advance your career? Or maybe you haven’t yet entered the workforce and find the financial manager role intriguing.

Either way, we’re here to help you decide if a career as a financial manager is a good fit. 

Financial Manager Overview

Financial managers can go many different avenues with career options. But what does the job entail and what level of education is required to get hired? How much can you expect to earn? Is the demand for financial managers expected to increase over time? 

We’ve answered these questions and many more in this guide on how to become a financial manager. 

Job Description

In this role, you will oversee the financial health of the organization you’re employed by. This entails developing financial projections and reports, managing investing activities and ensuring the organization complies with financial regulations. Some positions also require you to search for market trends that foster growth and increased profitability for the company. 

Financial managers work in many capacities. Choose from a career as a controller, cash manager, credit manager, insurance manager, risk manager or treasurer. 

Most financial managers work in office settings and frequently collaborate with C-suite executives and other key members of management. 

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial managers earn around $129,890 per year. This equates to $62.45 per hour. 

Here’s a breakdown of the average salaries for financial managers working in high-demand sectors: 

  • Company and enterprise management: $145,280
  • Finance and insurance: $125,600 
  • Government: $114,250
  • Manufacturing: $130,900
  • Professional, scientific and technical services: $152,810

Education Requirements

Most financial manager positions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, finance or economics. But earning a degree doesn’t mean you’ll hop right into this role. You may need at least 5 years of experience in the field to qualify.

Job Outlook

The demand for financial managers is expected to grow 16% by 2028. This growth rate is 11% faster than the industry average for most occupations.

Steps to Becoming a Financial Manager

Follow these simple steps to work toward your career goal of becoming a financial manager. 

Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

Consider an online bachelor’s degree program from a reputable online college or university. The institution should be accredited and offer degrees in business administration with a concentration in finance, accounting or economics.

Also, be mindful of the job placement rates for recent graduates. It’s not ideal to spend several years working toward a degree that won't be recognized by top employers. 

While enrolled, be sure to take advantage of the resources offered by the career center. You can get help with resumes, cover letters, interviewing and job searches. 

Gain Experience in the Field

You will need at least 5 years of financial experience to qualify for most financial management positions. Start with an internship while enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program and transition to a role as an accountant, financial analyst, loan officer or securities sales agent if possible. 

Also, consider earning the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Public Accountant designation (CPA) to give yourself a leg up against the competition. These professional certifications aren’t a must to get hired as a financial manager, but they demonstrate that you have a high level of financial expertise. 

Sharpen Your Skills

An online course isn’t enough to land a financial manager role. However, you can supplement what you’re learning in a bachelor’s degree program. Finance courses are available for all skill levels and you can enroll for a fraction of what you’d pay in tuition and fees for an online bachelor’s degree program. 

Network with Finance Professionals

Most colleges and universities host job fairs and other networking opportunities to connect students with prospective employers. You should attend these events and interact with recruiters from companies you’re most interested in. Also, follow up with these individuals on occasion to stay in the know about future opportunities that may arise. 

Best Universities for Becoming a Financial Manager

Consider these online finance degree programs to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to excel as a financial manager. 

1. Missouri State University


Missouri State University offers an online bachelor’s degree in finance to help you prepare for a career as a financial manager. It’s a CFA Institute-affiliated program that’s accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). You will also acquire foundational knowledge to help you pass the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 Exam on the first attempt. 

2. Florida International University 


Learn the mechanics of finance and business with an online bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida International University. The curriculum delves into analysis and risk management, capital budgeting, commercial banking, corporate and mortgage mathematics, economics, statistics and financial decision-making. 

Sharpen your finance knowledge while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Consider these online courses to lend a helping hand. 

1. The Complete Finance Manager Course 2020 by Udemy

Source: Udemy

Consider this Udemy bestseller to supplement your knowledge while preparing for a career as a financial manager. Offered by 365 Careers, it covers enterprise resource planning systems, accounting, financial statement analysis, capital budgeting, company valuation, and more. 

Register today for only $9.99 to unlock 13 hours of on-demand video lectures, 4 articles and 135 downloadable resources. You will also receive a certificate of completion when you finish the course. 

2. The Complete Financial Analyst Course 2020 by Udemy

Source: Udemy

This course is also presented by 365 Careers and provides knowledge that can benefit you as a financial manager. You will learn how to easily analyze financial statements, evaluate 10-K reports, calculate financial ratios and more. A seat in this course is only $10.99. The enrollment fee includes 17.5 hours of on-demand video lectures, 13 articles, 476 downloadable resources and a certificate of completion when you reach the finish line.

Prepare for Your Career as a Financial Manager 

Financial managers enjoy challenging but rewarding careers. You can earn a lucrative salary and help your organization boost its financial well-being.

Consider our top recommendations for online courses and degree programs to start your journey. Select an option that best suits your needs to begin making your dream of becoming a financial manager a reality. 

Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community