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Obtaining a degree in finance will open up a wide range of well-paying career opportunities. Along with the skills you gain through your degree, you should also consider your other interests, values and strengths, to gain better insight into what position in finance may best suit you. Learn what a finance job is and review some of the many career options available in this field, along with primary job duties and average salary information for each position.

What is a finance job?

A finance job falls into one of three categories: public, personal or corporate. Public finance jobs encompass state finances and any other finances related to school districts, government agencies and other public entities. Personal finance positions involve making decisions about real estate, vehicles, buying insurance, investing and saving for retirement and educational costs. Corporate finance careers focus solely on business financial activities.

Best finance jobs

Here are the best finance jobs for you to consider:

Credit Analyst

National Average Salary: $56,134 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Credit Analysts assess the financial health of people who apply for loans, to determine any potential risks in offering them financing. They evaluate credit applications for criteria such as application purpose, credit score and payment history. They prepare reports based on findings, which helps them make final decisions on credit-worthiness. Additionally, they help departments control credit exposure and make payments on time to reduce potential customer disputes.

Business Teacher

National Average Salary: $56,160 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Business Teachers instruct high school and college students on a variety of financial topics including finance, accounting, marketing, money management and investments. They are responsible for evaluating classwork, assignments and papers, preparing course material, and facilitating lectures and classroom discussions. They may also perform administrative duties if they are appointed as a department head or if they supervise undergraduate and graduate students during internships and research.

Financial Planner

National Average Salary: $62,458 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Financial Planners are responsible for creating financial plans for clients by applying accounting principles. They help clients organize their finances, and project investment and savings plan results to determine if they are prepared for retirement. Regular tasks include gathering personal and financial data, assessing data to make projections based on inflation, returns, savings potential and how much a client earns and spends.

Financial Analyst

National Average Salary: $71,704 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Financial Analysts commonly work in banks and insurance companies to provide businesses with guidance on investments. They analyze investments like stocks and bonds for performance and translate important information to management teams. They are responsible for adapting to fluctuating market conditions to project potential investment opportunities.

Budget Analyst

National Average Salary: $74,750 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Budget Analysts commonly work with educational, governmental and nonprofit businesses. They evaluate business budgets and how current and new business ventures could impact financial security. They also estimate the future financial needs of a business.

Investor Relations Manager

National Average Salary: $77,904 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Investor Relations Managers advocate for a company or client to investors. They are responsible for managing communication about a company’s equity by releasing financial information, giving management feedback from investors and holding meetings. Additionally, they take care of crisis management, advising management on how to preserve a company’s investor relations.

Portfolio Manager

National Average Salary: $88,720 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Portfolio Manager determines what strategic investments a company or individual should make to improve their financial portfolio. They perform extensive research about current events and financial markets and meet with analysts and investors.

Director of Finance

National Average Salary: $99,869 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Director of Finance maintains a company’s financial health. They manage accounting and finances such as setting department budgets, establish financial strategies for profitable growth and create operational and strategic goals. They are also responsible for employee compliance and developing and enforcing policies to make sure a company reports its financials correctly.

Actuary

National Average Salary: $105,916 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Actuaries utilize math, statistics and finance theory to determine the potential financial consequences of risk. They help businesses decide which financial risks to take, based on the possibility of an undesirable event happening compared to a good opportunity. They are employed by insurance companies and work with accountants and underwriters to decide on insurance rates.

Private Equity Analyst

National Average Salary: $106,076 per year

Role and Responsibilities: Private Equity Analysts work with firms to build financial models, monitor portfolio companies, research new ways to invest and provide asset valuation support for trading groups and private equity groups.

Wealth Advisor

National Average Salary: $128,862 per year

Role and Responsibilities: A Wealth Advisor works more specifically with individuals, helping them make good investments. They provide a range of financial services and products to help individuals protect and increase their wealth.

Popular skills and qualifications to list on a resume for finance jobs

While every job is different, here is a list of popular skills and qualifications you can list on your resume when applying for finance jobs:

Analytical ability

Financial jobs require logical, systematic thinking and the ability to draw reasonable conclusions from the analysis of many scenarios.

Problem-solving skills

Complex problems arise often in financial careers. It’s important to know more than processes, equations and systems. Addressing complicated business structures or individualized client solutions requires an investigative skill set.

Accounting knowledge

Possessing the basic knowledge to accurately record accounting transactions and apply regulations is important for finance jobs. Even if you have an accountant on your team, it’s a good idea to understand accounting principles so you can be comfortable reading financial statements to give financial advice.

Decisiveness

Making quick, informed decisions is a necessary skill for financial professionals. Many finance jobs need employees to make timely decisions that have huge risk or reward possibilities.

Interpersonal and communication skills

Even finance jobs require good communication. Many financial roles involve working with clients, or at least other coworkers, and need effective communication to have constructive and complex discussions. Some finance jobs require a lot of writing, while others are more management heavy. Regardless of the job, active listening, building rapport with clients and clarifying statements for clients are a few important interpersonal skills to have.