If you have a head for numbers, it can come in really handy when you’re looking for a lucrative career. Whether you’re interested in helping businesses become more efficient or you aspire to crunch sales figures, careers in finance abound. Here are a few of the most promising avenues for working in the field of finance. Whichever avenue you pursue, though, it typically starts with earning a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field.
Financial managers, often the “chief financial officers, are the overseeers of other finance employees within an organization. Under their guidance, they’ll help staff members prepare budgets and financial statements, as well as analyzing industry trends to find ways to improve or expand. As executives within an organization, financial managers are well-paid at a median salary of $109,740 as of May 2012.
People in this career help businesses and individuals make sound financial investments in the stock market, real estate and other investments. For their expertise, they’re rewarded with relatively high salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial analysts earned a median salary of $76,950 as of 2012.
Also high on the finance pay scale are management analysts, who help organizations become more efficient and help cut business costs. People in this profession earned a median salary of $78,600 as of 2012.
Finance laws are changing all of the time, and to keep organizations in compliance, they’ll often hire a person whose job it is to stay on top of all the changes. Financial examiners help monitor the management and finance of financial institutions. People in this profession earned a median salary of $75,800 as of 2012.
Securities and Commodities Agents
Often referred to as “stock brokers,” these professionals connect people who want to buy securities with those selling them. As of May 2012, securities and commodities sales agents earned a median income of $71,720 per year.
Similar to management analysts, budget analysts help businesses keep an eye on costs. They’ll prepare budgets and ensure organizations stick with that budget. Median salaries for this profession were $69,280 as of 2012.
Financial advisors help individuals in making wise financial decisions, which can include investments, but also includes insurance and taxes. As of 2012, financial advisors earned a median income of $67,520.
Accountants help businesses maintain accurate bookkeeping as well as helping file tax documents. Some work in-house for one business; others work independently on a contract basis. As of 2012, accountants earned a median income of $63,550.
Market Research Analysts
Before a business rolls out a product, its leaders typically want to know how viable that product will be on the market. That’s where market research analysts come in, helping companies assess the prices to charge for products and how to market them. Market research analysts earned a median income of $60,300 as of 2012.
When someone wants a home, car or business loan, a loan officer crunches the numbers and calculates risk to determine eligibility. Loan officers earned a median income of $59,820 as of 2012.
Whether your interest lies in working with clients on your own or you’d like to work for a large and growing company, your background in finance can take you in any number of career directions.