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Highest Paying Jobs for Finance Majors – The Top 20

Reading graphs on about stocks is a skill needed for one of the highest paying jobs for finance majors.

The best jobs for finance majors typically have one thing in common: high pay. Many of the top-paying jobs for finance majors do not require a graduate degree. You might only need a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field to make top dollars.

Either way, education remains an essential piece of the puzzle when landing one of the top-paying jobs. Acquiring knowledge from the various finance degree programs helps you in your current or future career.

For this reason, this article will explore the 20 highest-paying jobs for finance majors. Each job description will include the required education, median annual salary, and projected job growth.

What is a Finance Major?

A finance major specializes in financial planning and money management. They learn about investments, banking, accounting, and insurance. With a finance degree, you can land various high-paying jobs in the business world.

Who Needs a Degree in Finance?

A finance major is a perfect degree for those who want to work in business or financial services. But what if you’re not sure that you want to commit to a four-year degree? Or maybe you are interested in finance but don’t want to go through the rigors of a full-time graduate program.

Don’t worry — plenty of high-paying jobs in finance do not require a master’s degree. As mentioned earlier, many of the top positions in the financial industry only require a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Valuable Skills for Finance Majors

Every career requires skilled personnel to handle the various responsibilities and tasks associated with it. For finance majors, some of the essential skills to develop include:

  • Mathematics: A solid foundation in mathematics is essential for success in any field of finance. Most financial calculations focus on mathematical principles, so a thorough understanding of these concepts is critical.
  • Analytical Ability: Financial analysis is crucial for many finance-related jobs. Examining data and extracting meaningful information is essential in this field.
  • Critical Thinking: Making sound decisions under pressure is crucial for anyone working in finance. Critical thinking skills help when evaluating financial proposals or investment opportunities.
  • Communication Skills: Finance jobs often require interacting with people from a wide range of backgrounds. Strong communication skills are essential for conveying complex information to others.
  • Teamwork: Many finance-related jobs require working with others to achieve common goals. Developing teamwork skills will help you be more successful in these environments.

Finance majors who develop these skills will be well-prepared for a successful career in finance.

20 Best Jobs for Finance Majors

Finance majors can pursue various roles and opportunities in the financial field. Given a choice between many positions, why not reach for those that pay the most? The 20 jobs listed below earned top ranking based on their median annual salary.

1. Financial Manager

A financial manager oversees and directs an organization’s economic activities. They create financial reports, manage budgets, and forecast future trends.

Salary

In 2020, the median annual take-home pay of financial executives came in at $134,180. The lowest 10% made less than $70,830, while the top 10% received more than $208,000.
Note the difference in pay between the top and bottom earners. This large discrepancy depends on factors such as:

  • Years of experience: Financial managers with more experience typically earn higher salaries.
  • Company size: Larger companies tend to pay their employees more than smaller companies.
  • Location: Financial managers in major metropolitan areas usually make more than those in rural areas.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Financial Manager

A bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field is the most common qualification for financial managers. Many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or certified public accountants (CPAs).

Growth Potential for Financial Managers

Financial managers will be in high demand in the coming years. Their employment should rise 17% from 2020 to 2030, considerably faster than the average for all occupations.
A projected 64,200 financial manager jobs will be available each year throughout the decade. Many of these openings arise as employees transition to different careers or retirement.

2. Economists

Economists study the economy looking for trends in finances. They can work in various fields, from banking to the government. Economists need to be skilled in math and statistics to be successful.

Salary

In May 2020, the median yearly income for economists was $108,350. The lowest 10% earned less than $59,220, while the top 10% made more than $198,230.

Qualifications Needed to Become an Economist

Most economist jobs require a master’s degree in economics. Recently, however, more employers have accepted just a bachelor’s degree. Many economics programs offer a joint degree in business or public policy for a broader education.

Growth Potential for Economists

Available positions for economists should increase by 13% from 2020 to 2030. This is significantly faster than the average for all other careers.

Every year, on average, about 1,600 jobs open up for economists. Many of these available positions will replace workers who move into different careers or retirees.

3. Chief Financial Officer

As a chief financial officer (CFO), you oversee all of a company’s financial operations. This includes budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting. To qualify for this position, you need a strong understanding of financial analysis and accounting principles.

Salary

The average chief financial officer salary in the US is $410,539 as of January 27, 2022. The range generally falls between $312,111 and $524,582.

Depending on various factors — education, certifications, unique talents, and the number of years of experience — salaries might differ considerably.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Chief Financial Officer

CFOs may only require a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, but a master’s degree is often preferred. Certification from the Institute of Management Accountants (CMA) or Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) can also be helpful.

Growth Potential for Chief Financial Officers

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the annual increase of CFOs will average 4% through 2029, slightly lower than for all occupations.

4. Actuary

One of the most lucrative fields for finance majors is actuarial science. Actuaries assess financial risks and help companies plan for unexpected events. They typically have a strong background in math and statistics.

Salary

In May 2020, the median annual salary for actuaries was $111,030. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the lowest 10% received less than $66,030 per year, while the top 10% earned more than $196,010 per year.

Qualifications Needed to Become an Actuary

To become an actuary, you will need a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science or a related field. For accreditation, you will also need to pass the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA) exams.

Growth Potential

According to the BLS, actuaries will have a lot of job opportunities in the future. The profession will have a 24 percent higher employment rate than typical jobs from 2020 to 2030.

Over the decade, 2,400 new actuarial job opportunities are expected each year, on average. Many of these openings will be available to replace employees who move into different career paths or leave the workforce, such as retirees.

5. Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors help people manage their finances by providing advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, and other financial matters. These professionals analyze the business world to help make financial decisions for their clients.

Salary

According to the BLS, personal financial advisors earned a median annual salary of $89,330 in May 2020. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $44,100 per year, while the top 10% took home more than $208,000 per year.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Personal Financial Advisor

To become a personal financial advisor, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. It would help if you also obtained licensure to sell securities. Many employers require certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Growth Potential for Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors will see a slower than average rate of growth over the next decade, according to employment prospects through 2030.

Despite a lack of job creation, the BLS predicts that the number of personal financial advisor jobs will remain at 21,500 per year over the next decade, on average. The majority of those openings will replace workers who move into different occupations or leave the workforce.

6. Statisticians

Statisticians collect, analyze, and interpret data to help businesses and organizations make informed financial decisions. They typically have an undergraduate degree in mathematics, economics, or statistics.

Salary

In May 2020, statisticians made a median yearly salary of $92,270, according to the BLS. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,700 per year, while the top 10 percent earned more than $150,840.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Statistician

A bachelor’s degree in mathematics, economics, or statistics is necessary to become a statistician. However, employers often prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Strong analytical and mathematical skills are also essential.

Growth Potential for Statisticians

Analysis by the BLS indicates that the employment of statisticians will increase much faster than the average for all jobs. The rise could be 33% from 2020 to 2030.

Over the next decade, there will be around 5,200 mathematics and statistician job openings each year, on average.

7. Financial Analysts

Financial analysts assess a company’s financial status and make recommendations to investors, management, and other stakeholders. An understanding of complex financial data is a must. Financial analysts work for banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, or investment firms.

Salary for Financial Analysts

In May 2020, the median annual pay for financial analysts was $83,660. The lowest 10% made less than $48,760 per year, while the top 10% earned more than $159,560.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Financial Analyst

Most financial analysts have a bachelor’s degree in finance or economics. However, employers may prefer candidates who have an advanced degree, such as a master’s in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance. Such an education benefits analysts to understand and analyze complex financial data.

Growth Potential

Financial analysts will see a 6% increase in employment between 2020 and 2030, roughly matching the growth rate for all jobs.

On average, the BLS predicts approximately 41,000 financial analyst positions to open each year during the next ten years.

8. Financial Examiners

Financial examiners ensure that businesses and individuals comply with economic laws and regulations. They conduct audits, investigate financial crimes, and help to prevent fraud.

This position of great responsibility requires a great deal of analytical skill.

Salary

In May 2020, the median annual wage for financial evaluators was $81,430. The top 10 percent earned more than $159,120, while the bottom 10% made less than $43,890.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Financial Examiner

You must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field for this position. Some employers prefer candidates who have also passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Growth Potential for Financial Examiners

Predictions by the BLS show positions for financial examiners will increase by 18% between 2020 and 2030, considerably faster than the general trend for all occupations.

On average, 6,900 openings for financial examiners are expected each year during the decade.

9. Insurance Underwriters

Insurance underwriters evaluate the risk of insuring individuals, businesses, and properties. They work with insurance agents to recommend the best policies for their clients and help set premiums.

Salary

In May 2020, the median annual income for insurance underwriters was $71,790. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the lowest 10% made less than $43,210, while the top 10% earned more than $129,550.

Qualifications Needed to Become an Insurance Underwriter

To become an insurance underwriter, you will need a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, or a related field. You will also need strong analytical skills and knowledge of risk assessment.

Growth Potential for Insurance Underwriters

According to the BLS, the employment level of insurance underwriters will drop by 2 percent from 2020 to 2030.

Over the next decade, approximately 8,300 insurance underwriting positions should open each year on average, despite declining employment.

10. Budget Analyst

A budget analyst creates and oversees the budget for a company or organization. They work with senior management to forecast future revenue and expenses and recommend the best allocation of resources.

Salary

In May 2020, according to the BLS, the median annual salary for budget analysts was $78,970. The lowest 10 percent made less than $51,220 per year, while the top 10 percent earned more than $121,360.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Budget Analyst

Budget analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. Some employers require or prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Growth Potential for Budget Analysts

The demand for budget analysts will grow by 5% from 2020 to 2030, slower than the overall employment growth rate. Although employment will rise by only 5 percent over the next decade, on average, 4,300 openings for budget analysts are expected each year during that time.

11. Accountants

Accountants have one of the most versatile careers in finance. They can work for companies, organizations, or individuals. Accountants record, classify and report financial information. They also provide advice on financial matters to clients or employers.

Salary

The median annual salary for accountants was $73,560 in May 2020. The lowest 10% made less than $45,220 per year, while the top 10% earned more than $128,680.

Qualifications Needed to Become an Accountant

To become an accountant, you must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting from an accredited school. You will also need to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Growth Potential for Accountants

The demand for accounting services will grow 7% from 2020 to 2030. This is about as quickly as the average for all jobs.

Over the next ten years, on average, there will be approximately 135,000 job openings for accountants per year.

12. Purchasing Managers

Purchasing managers acquire materials and services for their organization. They work with suppliers to get the best prices and terms and develop contracts to purchase goods and services.

Salary

The median annual wage for purchasing managers was $125,940 in May 2020. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $74,570 per year, while the top 10 percent earned more than $197,630 per year.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Purchasing Manager

A bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics, or finance is the typical minimum education requirement for this job. However, employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Growth Potential for Purchasing Managers

The BLS anticipates purchasing managers, purchasing agents, and buyers to lose 4% of their employment levels by the end of the current decade.

Over the next ten years, on average, there will be about 45,800 job openings for purchasing managers, purchasing agents, and buyers each year. This is a positive trend considering that the profession expects a 4% decline from 2020 to 2030.

13. Financial Services Sales Agents

Financial services sales agents sell financial products and services to individuals and businesses. To recommend the best products for their clients, they must understand financial products and services. These professionals typically work for banks, insurance companies, or investment firms.

Salary

According to the BLS, financial services sales agents made a median salary of $64,770 per year in May 2020. The lower 10% made less than $36,910, while the top 10% earned more than $208,000.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Financial Services Sales Agent

To become a financial services sales agent, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. Many employers also require several years of sales experience.

As for skills, you should be able to build relationships with clients, understand financial products and services, and negotiate prices.

Growth Potential for Financial Services Sales Agents

The BLS anticipates job openings for financial services sales agents to grow by only 4% over the decade. This is a slower rate than most occupations.

Despite a modest employment increase, an average of 42,500 jobs are anticipated each year over the decade.

14. Loan Officers

As you may know, a loan officer helps people obtain loans. They work with banks and other lenders to find loan products that fit customers’ needs. Loan officers typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field.

Salary

In May 2020, the median salary for loan officers was $63,960. The bottom 10% earned less than $33,650, while the top 10% made more than $133,850.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Loan Officer

To become a loan officer, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. You also need to have at least two years of experience working in banking or financial services.

Growth Potential for Loan Officers

Loan officers’ employment should remain unchanged over the next decade.

Despite this stagnation, about 25,000 loan officer job openings are expected each year on average throughout the decade.

15. Cost Estimators

Cost estimators calculate the cost of a product or service. They work with engineers, architects, and other professionals to develop an accurate estimate. As a cost estimator, you can work on many projects in various industries, including construction, engineering, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Salary

As depicted on the BLS site, cost estimators earned a median annual wage of $66,610 in May 2020. The lowest 10% took home less than $40,380 per year, while the top 10% made more than $114,360.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Cost Estimator

Like most finance jobs, you will need a degree to become a cost estimator. Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, or math.

You could also pursue certification in a specific field, such as construction estimating, to advance your career.

Growth Potential for Cost Estimators

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the employment of cost estimators to remain flat throughout the next decade.

Although employment will stay constant, around 17,800 job openings for cost estimators are projected on average each year during the decade.

16. Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents

Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents work with the Internal Revenue Service to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes. They collect taxpayer information, review tax returns, identify errors, and investigate tax fraud.

Salary

Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents earned a median yearly salary of $55,640 in May 2020. The lowest 10% received less than $33,180 per year, while the top 10% made more than $105,430.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Tax Examiner, Collector, or Revenue Agent

A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field is usually required to become a tax examiner, collector, or revenue agent. Employers often prefer candidates who have completed a post-secondary program, specifically in taxation.

The necessary skills for this career include:

  • Strong math skills
  • Excellent communication and problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of tax laws and regulations

Growth Potential for Tax Examiner, Collector, or Revenue Agent

Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents should see a 4% decrease in employment from 2020 to 2030. Even so, over the next decade, an estimated 4,400 tax examiner and collector and revenue agent job openings will be available each year on average, according to projections by the BLS.

17. Logisticians

Logisticians work with supply chains and inventory, ensuring delivery of the right products to the right places at the correct times. Experts in this field are well-known for their analytical skills and ability to think on their feet.

Salary

Logisticians earned a median annual salary of $76,270 in May 2020. The lowest 10% made less than $44,190, while the highest 10% earned more than $122,580.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Logistician

Most logisticians have a bachelor’s degree in logistics, business administration, or a related field. However, some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Growth Potential for Logisticians

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of logisticians will grow 30% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. As companies continue to outsource their logistics operations, there will be a growing need for about 24,500 openings for logisticians to manage these functions.

18. Management Analysts

Management analysts work with organizations to improve their performance. They collect and analyze data to identify areas for improvement and develop plans and strategies to increase efficiency. These professionals can work in various industries, but they most commonly find employment in the finance, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors.

Salary

The BLS reports that management analysts made a median salary of $87,660 in May 2020. The lowest 10% made less than $50,990, while the top 10% earned more than $156,840.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Management Analyst

Most management analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, economics, or a related field. However, some employers prefer candidates with an advanced degree.

While you do not need certification for this profession, it can help improve your chances of employment.

Growth Potential for Management Analysts

Management analysts will have increasing job opportunities between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average for all jobs.

On average, about 99,400 openings for management analysts are expected each year over the decade.

19. Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts study market conditions. They examine possible sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, how much they are willing to pay for them, and their target audience.

Salary

In May 2020, the median annual wage for market research analysts was $65,810. The top 10 percent of market research analysts made more than $127,410 per year, while the bottom 10% earned less than $35,380 each year.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Market Research Analyst

A bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics, mathematics, or statistics is the most common education for market research analysts. However, employers often prefer candidates with a master’s degree in business administration or marketing.

The Growth Potential for Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts will see rapid growth during the next decade, with employment expected to rise 22 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. On average, there will be about 96,000 job openings for market research analysts each year during the decade.

20. Credit Analysts

Last on our list of the highest paying jobs for finance majors are credit analysts. Credit analysts evaluate a company’s credit risk and issue recommendations to lending institutions. This role may also involve creating presentations to summarize a company’s financial stability.

Salary

The BLS reports that the median salary for credit analysts was $74,970 in May 2020. Data showed that the lowest-earning 10% of workers in this occupation made less than $44,250, while the highest-earning 10% brought home more than $146,690.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Credit Analyst

A bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field is typically required to become a credit analyst. However, some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree.

That’s not all. Credit analysts need to read and understand financial statements. Therefore, strong math and accounting skills are necessary. They should also have excellent communication skills to explain their findings to others effectively.

Growth Potential for Credit Analysts

Like financial analysts, credit analysts are in high demand as the economy grows. The BLS projects that employment for credit analysts will increase by 6% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Within the above 20 occupations, you have a good starting point for finding the best job fit for your skills and interests. No matter which field you choose, be sure to continue learning and developing your skills so that you can stay ahead of the competition.

FAQs

Can I earn a finance major online?

Yes. There are a growing number of online finance degree programs available. Still, not all programs offer the same level of quality or rigor. It’s essential to do your research before deciding on an online finance degree program.

GetEducated reviews and ranks online finance degree programs each year to assist you. The findings help you make informed decisions about your education. There are many accredited and affordable online bachelor's degrees in finance and master's degrees in finance.

What are the most common jobs for finance majors?

The most common jobs for finance majors lie in the financial services industry. Positions in this field include financial analyst, investment banker, and financial planner, among many more.

Is finance a high-paying major?

Yes. Finance is a high-paying major. The average starting salary for finance majors is $55,000, and the average mid-career salary is $110,000.

Is finance a promising career in the US?

Yes. The finance field offers a promising career in the US with high salaries and opportunities for growth.

Take the Next Step

When it comes to finding a high-paying job after college, majoring in finance can be a great choice. Many finance jobs offer six-figure salaries and plenty of opportunities for advancement.

Do you want to earn your finance major online? Check out our selection of online finance degrees.

Earn your degree from a school that’s respected and accredited. Financial planning is a growing field, and an online finance degree can give you the skills you need to succeed.

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