Working in the financial sector certainly has its benefits. For most, the attraction will be the lucrative nature of the industry. But of course, it is not all Porsches and Penthouse flats in the city. To get to that level, you have to do well, and also be very lucky at times.
There are a lot of people vying for the best paying jobs in finance. But as with just about every field of work, some positions will pay more than others.
Seeking A Career Path
If you are going to enter the world of Finance, you might want to plan your career path. There are a number of turns you can take. Each of them might lead you down a different path and end result. And that is not only in salary but in position.
A Career In Finance
I use the word career, because to most people, that is what it is. You might change organizations; you might even change job functions. But most people stay somewhere within the industry.
Will It Be Good For You?
There is only one person that can decide that, and that is you. But there are some things to consider. You will no doubt be aware of some of the potential earnings that can be made. But if that is the only reason you are thinking about it, then maybe you need to think again.
Companies are not going to give you the cash for nothing. They expect results. That means time and stress and everything else that goes with it. And the higher up the scale, the more will be expected of you. Some people thrive on that, of course. If you are someone like that, then this could be a good career for you.
Are You A Numbers Person?
Some people just aren’t. But if you are thinking about a career in a Financial Institution, then it is a good start if you like playing with numbers. Each occupation has its own requirements as far as numbers are concerned. Some positions are more involved with analysis and planning. Therefore your appreciation of what it all means when you look at a column of numbers is vital.
Even at entry-level, financial institutions will probably not even consider you without a finance or finance-related degree. Some may even require a Master’s degree. In days gone by, this wasn’t the case. Banks, as an example, would accept graduates with open arms. But they would also consider a couple of appropriate English GCE ‘A’ levels or similar.
In today’s world, businesses have diversified, and there are companies now that hardly existed fifty years ago. But that has made the entry process cut-throat. And sometimes, who you know rather than what you are capable of is the order of the day.
Let’s Not Be Negative
However, let’s not paint too much of a negative picture. It’s good to be aware of the difficulties, but get a good degree, and it should get you an interview at least. You might be required to undertake further studies while at work. These might have to be undertaken in your own time in the evenings and weekends.
There are actually two paths you can follow. One of which we will pursue a little further here. The other route is through Accountancy.
In this discipline, the principal function is record keeping, tracking payments in and out, and report writing. It may involve the preparation of accounts for board members or the Tax Office.
In accountancy, the educational requirements might still be degree level. But there will also be a number of training opportunities or as a paid intern. Salaries in Accountancy at the lower levels will likely be less than in the financial sector we are going to look at.
A Finance Career
This will involve planning and creating, and implementing financial strategies. Different then to accountancy which is more record-keeping based. Don’t think, though, that you won’t have to keep records. You will have to make reports, create spreadsheets and use mathematics.
To undertake a role in planning financial strategies is a responsible position. These positions tend to be in banks and large corporations. To a certain extent, competing against each other. What makes the difference is the financial performance. That is where those working in Finance departments become important.
What skills will you need?
Besides a good degree, you will need certain other attributes. And some of those will be personality traits rather than skills that can be learned. Being able to think and plan strategically is a given.
You must also be able to pay attention to small details and have excellent analytical skills. These must extend to not only being able to interpret the figures in front of you, But also predicting the impact they may have on a range of associated areas.
Can You Communicate
Another critical skill you will need is to be able to communicate at all levels. That applies in many industries, of course, but is very relevant in finance. Let’s take a look at the potential earnings of some of these positions within this sector. Let me emphasize, though, that even for those considered entry-level positions, a good degree is essential.
Obviously, by the title, we can see this involves more on the analytical side. Examining relevant data and some financial records. These people are often employed by banks and other lending institutions to ascertain risk levels in offering credit.
Salary approx $70,000 and up.
This is a position that might be considered entry-level. It is something that you can learn as you go along to a certain extent within the company guidelines. It will involve the assessment of funding risks to individuals and businesses. Another position is found in banks and lenders.
Salary probably more modest to start with but increased to about $60,000.
Financial Risk Specialist
This is an important area for any business. Poor financial management and decisions can ruin a company. Risk Specialists are employed to ensure that doesn’t happen. They will assess the financial risk of decisions and proposed activity of the company in advance of decisions being made.
Salary anything from $80,000-$120,000.
These people are responsible for helping to organize the financial existence of the company. They assist and advise in making annual and future long-term financial plans. They ensure the targets are being met and report on that and other issues like spending. Progress analysis will be a part of ensuring the company is sticking to its budgetary commitments. As an entry-level position, this is very well paid.
Salary will be about $75,000 and up to approximately $110,000.
Management Analysts take on a slightly different role. Their focus should be on the efficiency of the company as a whole. Whilst that will include areas that are finance-related, it also involves other areas of efficiency. This could be anything from procedures to processes and even IT systems. Their role is to investigate, analyze and recommend areas where improvement can be made. These days a vital role is usually found in the larger companies.
Salary can be $85,000 up to about $150,000 for experienced analysts.
Private Equity Senior Associate
This is quite a specialized area and places this role in the upper levels of financial opportunities. You will find these positions at investment banks identifying investors and ensuring that objectives are met. They may even be involved in negotiating investment deals. Managing money and its uses is how they operate, so communications skills will be important there. It is usually very well paid with often a performance-related bonus.
Salary averages at about $120,000 to $150,000 but can go a lot higher.
A rather vague description in some ways as it covers a multitude of operations. It will involve some accounting work and information collecting. It may also require the presentation of historical information to allow accurate recommendations to be made. The Financial Analyst will act in an advisory capacity.
Salary depending on the size of the organization but about $75,000.
The Financial Manager will be an important part of any company. They will recommend investment opportunities, assist with financial planning and prepare strategies to assist the company in meeting its targets. They will usually have a team of people working with them that may include Financial Analysts.
Salary usually upward from $125,000 that could reach more than $200,000.
Financial law, perhaps?
There are, of course, other important positions we haven’t mentioned. If you have a leaning toward the Law as well as Finance, then there is a Financial Examiner. They ensure the company acts legally. That might be an option, as might a Tax Director.
A more advisory role would be Investment bankers whose job it is to bring investors and investment opportunities together. At the top of the tree would be the Chief Financial Officer, which would be something to work towards.
Are There Self-Employed Options?
There usually are, and the Personal Financial Advisor is one. In that role, you will work at every level and might be assisting companies or smaller businesses in their financial performance. Or you might be helping individual families construct budgets.
To take up your career in finance, you may need some of these to look the part, so take a look at the Tassia Luxury Leather Executive Case Attache Briefcase.
And you will certainly need some good analytical support, such as the Apple MacBook Pro 15″ or the Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional Financial Calculator.
Looking For More Financial Opportunities?
Well, you’re not getting any interviews without a great resume. So, check out what we found, the How to Write an Amazing IT Resume, the Resume Formats book, Optimize Your Resume: DOs and DON’Ts the SamNova Way, Land Your Dream Job: Join the 2% Who Make it Past Resumé Screening, Resume Writing: 10 Ridiculously Simple Tips, English for Academic CVs, Resumes, and Online Profiles, as well as the Resume Format Guide available online in 2022.
Next are some additional opportunities to look at with my Check Into Cash Application, TD Bank Application, and TD Bank Interview Questions, or my Fifth Third Bank Application, PLS Financial Application, Citibank Application, Capital One Application, the Check n GO Application, and lastly my Bank of America Job Application, and Bank of America Interview Questionnaire.
If you have a criminal record, you’ll want to take a look at Does Bank Of America Hire Felons before applying.
Getting started on the ladder will be a competitive process. So, make yourself as good as you can be. Once you have your foot in the door, the rest will follow in due time.
All you need to do now is decide on the best and most lucrative path for you, and I hope that my guide helped you with that.
All the very best with your job hunting!