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Published
Sep 2, 2022
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Updated
Sep 19, 2022

10 Best Paying Jobs in Finance

Melanie Lockert

If you're considering a career in finance, here are ten high-paying roles to look into.

Whether you have a degree in finance or economics or are self-taught and like math and numbers, the world of finance may be a good field for you to break into. There are many job roles on the market and it’s possible to work directly in finance or in a financial role supporting another sector.

Not all finance jobs are created equal — that applies to the salaries offered, job responsibilities, and experience required. The position you choose ultimately comes down to more than pay — your fulfillment and happiness matters too. If you’re looking to use compensation as one of the criteria to narrow down your job search, here's a list of ten high-paying jobs in finance. 

1. Hedge Fund Manager

Average salary: According to Salary.com, the average salary for a hedge fund manager is $136,723 as of July 2022. Many hedge fund managers receive a bonus in addition to their salary, dependent on the profits they bring in for the firm.

What the job entails: A hedge fund manager, as you might have guessed from the name, manages a hedge fund. You might think of the movie The Wolf of Wall Street or other movies in this genre and have an idea of how the job works. In general, the job of a hedge fund manager is to make important investment decisions that have an impact and adjust the strategy as needed. Additionally, a hedge fund manager must communicate with prospects and investors and meet compliance standards. While this is at the top of the best paying jobs in finance list, it may also come with a lot of stress during certain periods (stock market tanking, anyone?). 

Education and experience requirements: Generally requires a Bachelor’s degree, though a Master’s degree may be preferred. 

2. Financial Manager

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2021 median pay for a financial manager is $131,710 annually.

What the job entails: Financial managers may have a more specific job title such as controller or treasurer. In general, this type of job requires you to produce financial statements, review market activity, keep the company on a budget, and adjust strategy as needed. This person is the go-to money person on the team and helps see the big picture. 

Education and experience requirements: Typically requires a Bachelor’s degree and five years of experience. 

3. Actuary

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for an actuary is $105,900 annually.

What the job entails: Actuaries play an important role in the insurance industry. In this role, an actuary assesses various risk factors such as illness and death, organizes statistical probabilities, helps bolster profits and creates necessary reports. Insurance is all about premiums, payouts, and risk so this role is quite important and pays accordingly. 

Education and experience requirements:  This is one of the best paying jobs in finance and only requires a Bachelor’s degree. However, you must receive extensive training and pass exams to perform this job and become certified. 

4. Private Equity Associate

Average salary: According to Salary.com, the average salary for a private equity associate is $102,884 as of July 2022.

What the job entails: A private equity associate is employed in the field of investment banking. In this role, a private equity associate connects with prospective investors, manages current investments, performs market research, and more. 

Education and experience requirements: This job typically requires a Bachelor’s degree. Additional training and analytical skills are helpful.  

5. Personal Financial Advisor

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median salary for a personal financial advisor is $94,170 annually. 

What the job entails: Financial advisors tasks include working with clients directly to address their unique financial needs and goals. For example, a client may want to start a business but another one wants to retire in the next five years. Another client may need to focus on debt repayment or becoming more secure with the appropriate insurance. As part of this job, financial advisors work on creating a customized financial plan that covers budgets, investments, credit, and insurance. 

Education and experience requirements: Requires a Bachelor’s degree and training. A Master’s degree or specific certification such as the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) may be helpful or required based on the company and can mean rigorous education and training. 

6. Management Analyst

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for a management analyst is $93,000 annually. 

What the job entails: Management analysts typically review the finances of an organization or company. In this role, a management analyst will review the structure and output of a company and recommend any changes. The goal is to increase profits, while being cost-effective and productive. This is a finance-related job that may be available in different sectors. 

Education and experience requirements:  This job requires a Bachelor’s degree and additional related experience. 

7. Financial Examiner

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for a financial examiner is $81,410 annually. 

What the job entails: Financial examiners review important financial statements and documents to assess the current fiscal health of a company. As needed, a financial examiner may recommend a course of action or strategy. This position may be focused in the risk and compliance spaces. 

Education and experience requirements:  This position requires a Bachelor’s degree and you may need extensive training. 

8. Financial Analyst

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for a financial analyst is $81,410 annually. 

What the job entails: A financial analyst reviews financial data and makes decisions and recommendations to help increase profits. This may include writing reports, reviewing financial statements, predicting trends, and making changes as needed. 

Education and experience requirements: This position generally requires a Bachelor’s degree but no additional training or experience, though that may be helpful. Because of that, this is one of the best paying jobs in finance with minimal education and training requirements. 

9. Budget Analyst

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for a budget analyst is $79,940 annually. 

What the job entails: You might be familiar with creating an individual budget, but companies and organizations need a budget too. A budget analyst may create a budget for a company, review proposals, maintain compliance, track spending, and make recommendations as needed. 

Education and experience requirements: This position requires a Bachelor’s degree but no additional training or experience. However, taking classes relevant to the job such as statistics or economics can be useful. 

10. Accountant

Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for an accountant is $77,250 annually. 

What the job entails: Accountants may be the last in the best paying jobs in finance list, but they provide a much-needed service. Accountants help clients with taxes, review financial documents, assess tax liability, complete tax returns, and more. This job can be high-stress and include long hours during tax season. 

Education and experience requirements: This job requires a Bachelor’s degree. Getting a specific certification such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) may help you gain more prospects and be useful.

Final Thoughts 

The world of finance is expansive and unique. You can work directly with individuals or companies. You may work directly in the finance space or in a financial-based role in a different sector. So if you have a degree in finance or business or have related experience, this is a field you can break into and have a lot of options. If you want to focus on the highest return on your investment and get a high salary in exchange for your time and skills, you can focus your job search on these ten best paying jobs in finance. Be sure to consider your fulfillment, happiness, and ultimate goals when making a career decision.

While looking for a job can mean juggling lots of prospects and steps, you can make it even easier with Teal’s free and easy-to-use Job Tracker. Keep tabs on the applications you’ve submitted, understand where they’re at in the process, and what next steps you need to take. Get started and start tracking your jobs with ease and clarity. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do careers in finance pay well? 

Finance careers can be competitive and pay higher than average, especially based on the role. In finance, there are many different positions available. The higher the position, the more likely you’ll make a higher salary. Working in investment banking, as a financial advisor and more can score you a good salary. 

Do finance majors make good money? 

Finance majors can earn good money, especially as their career goes on and depending on the industry. If you work for a financial institution or investment firm with a large operating budget, you may be able to have a high salary and utilize your finance degree. How much you earn as a finance major can depend on where you live, what role you have, and the company you work for or if you’re self-employed.

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Melanie Lockert

Melanie Lockert is the founder of the blog and author of the book, Dear Debt. Through her blog, she chronicled her journey out of $81,000 in student loan debt. Her work has appeared on Business Insider, VICE, Allure, and more.

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