Exploring Salaries in the Finance Sector
The best paying finance jobs offer some of the most lucrative remuneration packages in the United States. According to Salary.com, the average salary for finance jobs in the United States is more than $81,000. However, there is a huge range of salaries across a huge range of jobs in the finance sector. Generally, those working in the best paid jobs in finance will be highly educated.
The sector is fiercely competitive, and, as well as a good education, experience is highly coveted. Professionals in the industry are expected to keep up to date with current trends and technology, and a record of continuing professional development and financial education is also highly desirable. Here, we outline five of the best paying finance jobs – who you could be working for, preferred qualifications and skill sets, and your likely responsibilities as well as average starting salaries for new entrants.
Employed by a variety of companies including investment banks, insurance companies and consultancies, you’ll be expected to have gained a BA in a financial discipline and have strong IT skills. Your responsibilities are likely to include analyzing budgets, making income forecasts, financial modelling, and economic research. You may be required to make investment recommendations, and to recommend financial actions to reduce expenses and improve financial performance. Average starting salary nationally is in the region of $81,500.
Accountants are employed by companies of all types. Smaller companies rely on external accountants to administer their finances. Accountants also work on behalf of private individuals to ensure their tax affairs are up to date.
A bachelor’s degree in accounting is needed at entrance level, and you will be expected to continue your education and gain a CPA license. Commonly, this is done while in work. In this type of work, you will undertake tax calculations, review internal financial systems, prepare returns and financial documents, and work with internal and external auditors. According to Salary.com, the starting salary nationally is in the region of $54,000. Many entrants use this position as a stepping-stone to more lucrative finance roles within the industry or investment banking.
Personal Financial Advisor
Personal financial advisors earn some of the highest salaries in the United States. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a financial advisor in the United States is around $89,000. To be a financial advisor, you don’t need a specific financial degree, though you will benefit from a solid grounding in finances, economics and math. You will be advising individuals, discussing budgeting, saving, investing and estate planning, so should have good communication and interpersonal skills. You will often act as the agent between your client and asset managers. While not needing a degree to enter the financial advice sector, you will need to pass professional exams – without doing so you will not be able to offer advice to clients. For this reason, while potential salaries are high, new entrants to the industry will earn much less.
The work of an auditor is integral to ensuring that companies don’t breach financial regulations. Your role as an auditor includes conducting risk assessments, ensuring accuracy of financial records, compliance with current and evolving regulations, and that best practices and procedures are followed. To enter the auditing industry, you’ll need an accounting or auditing-specific qualifications. Degrees in economics or corporate finance are also highly sought, as are advanced degrees in accounting. According to Salary.com, the average salary of an auditor is around $60,000.
As an investment banker at a finance house – usually an investment bank, venture capitalist or hedge fund – your job may be to help corporations raise capital or advise during merger activities, using valuation models to price securities. The hours are long, and social life is often based around colleagues and clients. You are likely to be qualified to at least a B.A. in finance, management or economics, and may need to take professional exams. You will be detail-oriented, studious in your approach, and a good communicator. You will also be a creative solution finder in a highly regulated industry. According to Salary.com, the average salary for an entry-level investment banker is a little over $75,000. However, a large part of the compensation package is by way of bonuses, which could double your financial remuneration.
Best Paying Finance Jobs Summary
While finance jobs offer some of the best paid positions in the U.S. economy, they are notoriously difficult to land, especially at entry level. You’ll face a lot of competition. You’ll need to demonstrate an interest in the economy, stock markets, tax, and other financial disciplines, and stay positive throughout your job search.
As a specialist recruiter, we help entry-level and experienced financial professionals find their perfect role, providing personalized advice and recommending positions that are right for you. In our next article, we examine questions to ask an interviewer to land finance jobs. In the meantime, to benefit from a confidential chat about your career in finance, register with Coast Personnel Services today.