29+ Best Paying Jobs in Finance (Top Picks)

29+ Best Paying Jobs in Finance (Top Picks)

Finance has traditionally attracted the top talent with its higher pay and the broad applicability of finance throughout all industries. Jobs in finance are also seen as having good long-term prospects, making them a desirable choice for many job seekers.

There are many different types of jobs in finance, from investment banking and asset management to corporate finance and financial planning.

Salaries for finance jobs vary widely, depending on the role and the company.

However, there are some general trends that can be observed in terms of which jobs tend to pay the most, which we’ll cover below.

What skills do you need for a job in finance?

Jobs in finance require strong analytical and mathematical skills.

You’ll need to be able to understand and make decisions based on financial data.

Strong communication skills are also important, as you’ll often need to explain your findings to clients or colleagues.

Industry-specific skills

Accounting

Accounting is the process of recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions to provide information that is useful in making business decisions.

Asset management

Asset managers are responsible for overseeing and managing investment portfolios on behalf of clients.

Corporate finance

Corporate finance is the area of finance that deals with the financial decisions made by corporations.

Financial analysis

Financial analysts use financial data to perform analysis that helps guide investment and other business decisions.

Cash flow management

Cash flow management is the process of ensuring that a company has sufficient cash on hand to meet its financial obligations.

Financial software

Financial software is a type of application software that is used to manage finances.

Mathematical skills

Those working in finance should have a working knowledge of algebra, statistics, and arithmetic.

Some more advanced roles, such as those in financial engineering, may require knowledge of differential and integral calculus and how to use financial software such as R, Python, or Matlab.

Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills are important for any job, but they are especially important in finance.

This is because you’ll often need to make decisions based on data, and you’ll need to be able to weigh different options and choose the best course of action.

Problem-solving skills

The ability to identify and solve problems is another important skill for those working in finance.

This is because you’ll often be presented with complex data sets or financial problems that need to be resolved.

Soft skills

Communication skills

As mentioned above, strong communication skills are important for jobs in finance.

You’ll need to be able to explain financial concepts to those who may not have a background in the field, as well as being able to clearly communicate your findings and recommendations.

This includes both written and speaking communication.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is important in any job, but it’s especially important in finance.

This is because even small errors can have big consequences when dealing with money.

Time management skills

Time management skills are important in any job, but they’re especially important in finance.

This is because you’ll often need to meet deadlines and juggle multiple projects at once.

The ability to stay calm under pressure is also important, as there will be times when the markets are volatile or you’re dealing with a difficult client.

Interpersonal skills

Jobs in finance often require working with others, so it’s important to have strong interpersonal skills.

This includes the ability to work well in a team, as well as the ability to build relationships with clients and colleagues.

Leadership skills

Leadership skills are important for any job, but they may be especially important for those in management roles in finance.

This is because you’ll be responsible for leading a team of financial professionals and making sure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

 

Best Paying Jobs in Finance

#1 Investment Banking

Investment bankers are typically among the highest-paid employees in the finance industry.

This is due to the high level of responsibility and stress associated with the job, as well as the long hours required to be successful in investment banking.

Investment banking is also popular for its desirability among entry-level employees, with salaries usually starting in the high-five figures with the potential for six figures in the first year.

Types of investment banking jobs

>Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

M&A investment bankers advise companies on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and spin-offs.

They work with both buyers and sellers to negotiate deals, assess the financial impact of proposed M&A transactions, and provide advice on the best course of action for their clients.

>Corporate finance

Corporate finance investment bankers advise companies on issuing new debt and equity, as well as advising on mergers and acquisitions and special situations.

They work with a company’s management to identify opportunities to raise capital, structure transactions, and get the best terms for their products or services.

>Sales and trading

Sales and trading jobs are typically divided into two categories: front office and back office.

Front office jobs involve working directly with clients to buy or sell securities.

Back office jobs support the front office and include roles such as compliance, risk management, and operations.

>Research

Research investment bankers provide analysis of companies, industries, and markets to help their clients make informed decisions about where to invest their money.

They use a variety of data sources, including financial reports, company filings, news articles, and economic indicators, to produce their research.

What is the average salary for an investment banker?

The average salary for an investment banker is $106,000.

However, salaries can range from $40,000 to $250,000+, depending on the role, location, and experience level.

Bonuses are also common.

#2 Asset Management

Asset managers also tend to be well-paid, as they are responsible for managing large sums of money.

Asset management is a broad field, encompassing everything from hedge fund managers to portfolio managers.

Types of asset management jobs

>Hedge fund manager

A hedge fund manager is a type of asset manager who invests in various types of investments as well as other hedge funds (fund of funds).

Hedge funds are private investment vehicles that use leverage and other aggressive strategies to generate returns.

Hedge fund managers typically have a high level of experience and education, and they are paid handsomely for their expertise.

Related: Types of Hedge Fund Strategies to Know

>Mutual fund manager

A mutual fund manager is a type of asset manager who invests in various types of securities, typically stocks and bonds.

Mutual funds are a type of investment vehicle that pools money from many investors and invests it in a portfolio of securities.

Mutual fund managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, and they are responsible for managing the fund’s portfolio and making decisions about where to invest the money.

>Portfolio manager (general)

A portfolio manager is a type of asset manager who manages a portfolio of investments for their clients.

Portfolio managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, and they are responsible for making decisions about where to invest their clients’ money.

What is the average salary for an asset manager?

The average salary for an asset manager is $116,000.

However, salaries can range from $50,000 to $250,000+, depending on the role, location, and experience level.

#3 Consulting

Consulting is another well-paid field in finance, as consultants typically have a high level of experience and education.

Consultants provide advice to businesses on a variety of topics, including strategy, operations, and marketing.

Types of consulting jobs

>Management consultant

A management consultant is the most common type of consultant who provides advice to businesses on how to improve their operations.

Management consultants typically have a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field, and they use their knowledge of best practices to help businesses streamline their operations and improve their performance.

What is the average salary for a consultant?

The average salary for a management consultant is $90,000.

#4 Financial Planning

Financial planning is another high-paying career option in finance.

Financial planners help individuals and businesses save for their future goals, such as retirement or buying a home.

Financial planners typically have a degree in financial planning or a related field, such as accounting or economics.

What is the average salary for a financial planner?

The average salary for a financial planner is $85,000.

#5 Trading

Trading is a high-paying career option in finance that involves buying and selling securities.

Traders typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, and they use their knowledge of the markets to buy and sell securities.

Traders might be specialized to certain markets (e.g., foreign exchange, commodities, derivatives, emerging markets) or are generalists.

What is the average salary for a trader?

The average salary for a trader in a prop shop is around $75,000 to start and can go up from there.

For independent traders, it varies widely depending on how much capital they have and their results.

Traders, of course, can lose money in any given year.

Highest Paying Finance Jobs ($250k+ Career Paths)

#6 Financial Examiner

Financial examiners are responsible for ensuring that financial institutions comply with regulations.

They often have a background in accounting or auditing, and they must be able to understand complex financial data.

Financial examiner positions typically require at least a bachelor’s degree, and some positions may require professional certification as well.

What is the average salary for a financial examiner?

The average salary for a financial examiner is $70,000.

#7 Financial Analyst

Financial analysts provide analysis of financial data to help businesses make informed decisions.

They typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, and they use their analytical skills to interpret financial data and provide insights to businesses.

What is the average salary for a financial analyst?

The average salary for a financial analyst is $85,000.

#8 Loan Officer

Loan officers are responsible for approving or denying loan applications.

They must have a good understanding of the applicant’s financial situation to make loans that are likely to be profitable for the lender, as well as the legal regulations surrounding loans.

What is the average salary for a loan officer?

The average salary for a loan officer is $63,000.

#9 Credit Analyst

Credit analysts are responsible for assessing the creditworthiness of individuals and businesses.

They typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, and they use their analytical skills to evaluate financial data and make recommendations about whether to extend credit.

What is the average salary for a credit analyst?

The average salary for a credit analyst is $75,000.

#10 Corporate Finance

Corporate finance jobs are another well-paid option in finance.

Corporate finance roles include positions such as financial analyst, controller, and treasurer.

These jobs tend to require more experience than entry-level jobs in finance, but they also offer greater responsibility and compensation.

What is the average salary for a corporate finance professional?

The average salary for a corporate finance professional is $100,000.

#11 Accountant

Accounting is another field that offers high salaries for financial professionals.

Accountants are responsible for preparing and maintaining financial records, and they often work with clients to help them save money on their taxes.

Like financial planners, accountants typically have a degree in accounting or a related field.

What is the average salary for an accountant?

The average salary for an accountant is $70,000.

Salaries, however, can vary widely based on experience and especially if an accountant owns their own practice.

#12 Actuary

An actuary is a professional who assesses risk and analyzes data to determine the probability of events occurring.

Actuaries typically have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or actuarial science, and they use their skills to evaluate data and make predictions about future events.

What is the average salary for an actuary?

The average salary for an actuary is $112,000.

Highest Paying Finance Career Tier List (Finance Job Tier List)

#13 Budget Analyst

A budget analyst is responsible for putting together a company’s annual budget and making sure that it stays on track throughout the year.

They also work with managers to find ways to cut costs and increase profits.

Budget analysts typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting, although some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Many budget analysts also have professional certification, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation.

What is the average salary for a budget analyst?

The average salary for a budget analyst is $85,000.

#15 Financial Manager

A financial manager is responsible for the financial health of a company.

They create financial reports, monitor investment activities, and make decisions about how to use a company’s financial resources.

Financial managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting, and many also have a master’s degree or professional certification, such as a CPA or CFA designation.

What is the average salary for a financial manager?

The average salary for a financial manager is $116,000.

#16 Management Analyst

Management analyst, also known as management consultants, help organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

They conduct research, analyze data, and make recommendations about how a company can operate more efficiently and effectively.

Management analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field, and many also have a master’s degree.

What is the average salary for a management analyst?

The average salary for a management analyst is $82,000.

#17 Personal Finance Advisor

Personal finance advisors provide advice to individuals and families about how to best manage their money.

They may help clients save for retirement, invest their money, or make decisions about major financial purchases.

Personal finance advisors typically have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as accounting, business, economics, finance, or mathematics.

Many also have a master’s degree or professional certification, such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

What is the average salary for a personal finance advisor?

The average salary for a personal finance advisor is $90,000.

#18 Real Estate Appraiser

A real estate appraiser is responsible for estimating the value of a piece of property.

They use their knowledge of the real estate market and their skills in research, analysis, and math to determine the worth of a property.

Real estate appraisers typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification.

What is the average salary for a real estate appraiser?

The average salary for a real estate appraiser is $62,000.

#19 Tax Examiner

A tax examiner is responsible for reviewing tax returns and making sure that they are accurate.

They may also conduct audits, investigate taxpayers, and resolve disputes.

Tax examiners typically have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.

What is the average salary for a tax examiner?

The average salary for a tax examiner is $67,000.

#20 Tax Preparer

A tax preparer is responsible for preparing individual and business tax returns.

They use their knowledge of the tax code to ensure that their clients pay the correct amount of taxes and take advantage of all available deductions and credits.

Tax preparers typically have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some positions may require postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree in accounting or a related field.

Many tax preparers also have professional certification, such as the Certified Tax Preparer (CTP) designation.

What is the average salary for a tax preparer?

The average salary for a tax preparer is $45,000.

#21 Insurance Underwriter

An insurance underwriter is responsible for assessing the risk of insuring a person or property.

They use their knowledge of the insurance market and their skills in math, finance, and analysis to determine the premium that should be charged for a policy.

Insurance underwriters typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) designation.

What is the average salary for an insurance underwriter?

The average salary for an insurance underwriter is $67,000.

#22 Insurance Advisor

An insurance advisor is responsible for providing advice on the best type of insurance coverage to individual and business clients.

They use their knowledge of the insurance and reinsurance market to identify the best policies for their clients’ needs.

Insurance advisors typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) designation.

What is the average salary for an insurance advisor?

The average salary for an insurance advisor is $65,000.

#23 Private equity associate

A private equity associate is responsible for conducting financial analysis, due diligence, and investment research.

They work with the partners of a private equity firm to identify potential investments and assess their viability.

Private equity associates typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

What is the average salary for a private equity associate?

The average salary for a private equity associate is $104,000.

As private equity professionals progress in their career, the upside is much larger, especially as they hit the partner level and get an equity stake in the firm.

#24 Venture Capitalist / Angel Investor

A venture capitalist is an individual or firm that provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for equity.

Angel investors are individuals who invest their own personal funds in start-ups.

Both venture capitalists and angel investors typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, especially if they came from a more traditional financial role, such as standard asset management focused on mature companies.

Many venture capitalists were former entrepreneurs, with one or more successful exits.

The funds obtained from their entrepreneurial careers is often used to invest in other start-ups.

What is the average salary for a venture capitalist?

The average salary for a venture capitalist is $158,000.

But this is another industry where pay can vary widely given the various levels of experience, capital, and wide distribution of investment success.

Some might earn very little if their investments don’t work out while others make a lot when they hit a so-called home run (e.g., successfully investing in a unicorn).

#25 Chief financial officer (CFO)

A chief financial officer (CFO) is responsible for the financial management of a company.

They oversee the accounting, budgeting, and forecasting functions of the organization.

CFOs typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.

What is the average salary for a chief financial officer?

The average salary for a chief financial officer is $206,000.

This is another role where experience and company size can have a big impact on pay.

The median base salary for a CFO at a small company (under $50 million in annual revenue) is $175,000, while the median base salary for a CFO at a large company (over $1 billion in annual revenue) is $400,000.

CFOs at Fortune 500 companies can make millions of dollars per year among base salary, bonus, and stock options.

#26 Chief compliance officer (CCO)

A chief compliance officer (CCO) is responsible for ensuring that a company adheres to all applicable laws and regulations.

They develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

CCOs typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Certified Compliance Professional (CCP) designation.

What is the average salary for a chief compliance officer?

The average salary for a chief compliance officer is $143,000.

A CCO is yet another role where experience and company size can have a big impact on pay.

The median base salary for a CCO at a small company is $120,000, while the median base salary for a CCO at a large company is $250,000.

However, the gap in pay is often a lot larger than these numbers suggest because of the higher capitalization of a large company.

#27 Chief risk officer (CRO)

A chief risk officer (CRO) is responsible for identifying and managing risks to a company’s financial wellbeing.

They develop and implement policies and procedures to mitigate risks.

CROs typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Certified Risk Management Professional (CRMP) designation.

What is the average salary for a chief risk officer?

The average salary for a chief risk officer is $172,000.

This is another role where experience and company size can have a big impact on pay.

The median base salary for a CRO at a small company is $145,000, while the median base salary for a CRO at a large company is $200,000.

#28 Information Technology Auditor (IT Auditor)

An IT auditor will work with businesses or governments to ensure that their information technology (IT) processes and infrastructure are secure and compliant with best practices.

An IT auditor typically has a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation.

What is the average salary for an IT auditor?

The average salary for an IT auditor is $122,000.

This is another role where experience and company size can have a big impact on pay.

#29 Private Wealth Manager

Private wealth management (PWM) is often a division within investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan (along with many smaller and independent wealth managers).

Private wealth management is about putting in place a strategically advantageous tax, wealth management, and asset protection plan.

Private wealth managers can also help individuals or families with litigation concerns, philanthropy, and other issues.

What is the average salary for a private wealth manager?

The average salary for a private wealth manager is $140,000.

However, this number can vary greatly depending on the size of the firm and the geographical location.

For example, a junior private wealth manager at a small firm in a small town may only make $50,000 per year, while a senior private wealth manager at a large firm in New York City may make millions of dollars per year.

#30 Compliance Analyst

A compliance analyst is responsible for ensuring that a company or organization is following all applicable laws and regulations.

They may conduct audits, develop policies and procedures, and provide training on compliance issues.

Compliance analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, economics, finance, or a related field.

Many also have professional certification, such as the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation.

What is the average salary for a compliance analyst?

The average salary for a compliance analyst is $75,000.

5 Finance Jobs Explained (and what they pay)

What are the best companies to work for in finance?

The best companies to work for in finance vary depending on your specific goals and preferences.

Some of the best companies to work for in finance include major investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, as well as asset management firms like BlackRock and Fidelity Investments.

If you’re interested in working for a smaller firm, there are many reputable private wealth management firms and hedge funds.

If you’re interested in working for a non-profit or government organization, there are many great options as well.

 

What are the best industries to work in finance?

The best industries to work in finance vary depending on your specific goals and preferences.

Some of the best industries to work in finance include:

  • banking
  • asset management
  • private wealth management, and
  • hedge funds

Each of these industries has its own unique culture and compensation structure.

 

What is the future of finance?

The future of finance is difficult to predict, but it is likely that technology will play an increasingly important role.

Many experts believe that “fintech” (financial technology) will drastically change the way that financial services are delivered and consumed.

For example, mobile apps and digital currencies could make it possible for people to conduct financial transactions without ever having to visit a bank branch.

 

What are the best skills to have in finance?

Some of the best skills to have in finance include analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail.

Of course, specific job roles will require different skill sets. For example, investment bankers must be excellent at sales and marketing, while private wealth managers must be great at relationship building.

Financial jobs can be very lucrative, but they often require long hours and can be very stressful.

If you’re considering a career in finance, make sure you do your research and understand what you’re getting into.

The best way to learn about finance is to get experience working in the industry. internships are a great way to get your foot in the door.

You can also consider pursuing a degree or certification in finance, such as a Master’s in Finance or the CFA designation.

 

What is the job outlook for jobs in finance?

Finance has traditionally had one of the lowest unemployment rates of any industry.

However, the job outlook for specific finance jobs can vary depending on economic conditions.

For example, jobs in investment banking are very sensitive to economic downturns, as banks tend to lay off employees when deal flow slows down.

In contrast, private wealth management jobs are much less sensitive to economic fluctuations, as wealthy individuals and families still need financial planning and advice regardless of the stock market.

Overall, the job outlook for finance is good, but it is important to research specific job roles before making any career decisions.

 

Is the CFA required in finance?

For some roles, such as asset management (e.g., mutual fund managers), it is valued as it shows a strong academic understanding of finance.

In other roles, such as investment banking, it is not valued much, due to i-banking being primarily a sales job that requires more of a focus on relationships and deal-making than knowing the particulars of academic finance.

There is a range of other finance certifications that can be more relevant in certain roles, including the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

These designations are typically more focused on financial analysis and accounting, respectively.

The CFA is globally recognized and therefore may be more valuable for those looking to work in finance internationally.

The CFA is a three-level exam, with Level I being the entry-level.

The CFA curriculum covers topics such as ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, portfolio management, and equity investments.

Upon passing the CFA exam, there are annual membership fees to be part of the CFA Institute.

The CPA may be more relevant for those working in accounting-related fields.

 

Best Paying Jobs in Finance – FAQs

What Is a Portfolio Manager?

A portfolio manager is a professional who oversees the investments of individuals or organizations.

Portfolio managers are responsible for making decisions about which assets to buy and sell, as well as monitoring the performance of those investments.

What Is a Financial Analyst?

A financial analyst is a professional who provides guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions.

Financial analysts research economic trends, read company financial statements, and make recommendations about whether to buy or sell specific stocks.

What Does a Hedge Fund Manager Do?

A hedge fund manager is a professional who manages a hedge fund, which is an investment fund that makes higher-risk, high-reward bets on behalf of its investors with the aim of making better returns on a risk-adjusted basis than can achieved with normal investment strategies.

Hedge fund managers typically have a lot of discretion over how they invest their clients’ money, and they often use complex financial instruments to make their bets, such as swaps and options.

Strategies might include versions of alpha, beta, and smart beta.

What Is a Wealth Manager?

A wealth manager is a professional who provides financial planning and investment advice to high-net-worth individuals and families.

Wealth managers help their clients manage their finances, plan for retirement, and save for major life goals such as buying a home or funding a child’s education.

What Is an Investment Banker?

An investment banker is a professional who helps companies raise capital by issuing and selling securities.

Investment bankers typically work for banks or other financial institutions, and they are often involved in complex financial transactions such as mergers and acquisitions.

What Is a Quantitative Analyst?

A quantitative analyst is a professional who uses mathematical and statistical methods to analyze data and make investment decisions.

Quantitative analysts typically work for hedge funds, investment banks, or other financial institutions, and they often have degrees in mathematics, physics, or engineering.

How Do I Get a Job in Finance?

There are a few different ways to get a job in finance.

One option is to pursue a degree or certification in finance, such as a Master’s in Finance or the CFA designation.

Another option is to get experience working in the industry through internships or entry-level jobs.

You can also consider taking a job in a related field, such as accounting or financial planning.

 

Summary – Best Paying Jobs in Finance

There are many different types of jobs in finance, and salaries can vary widely depending on the role and the company.

However, there are some general trends that can be observed in terms of which jobs tend to pay the most.

Investment banking, asset management, corporate finance, financial planning, accounting, and financial examiner roles are all among the best-paying jobs in finance.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in finance, research different job roles to find one that best suits your skills and interests.

 

 

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