(6.5 out of 10)
|Number of Jobs:||46,300|
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Business Jobs||#6|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#42|
Financial managers are good with money—they have to be, because they're charged with overseeing the finances of major companies, agencies, and everything in between. Along with their teams, they produce financial reports, cash-flow statements, profit projections, and a variety of other analysis related to tracking dollars. To comply with various laws and regulations, their work must be meticulous and timely. Alongside number-crunching and report-writing, financial managers must also help other members of their organization understand their complex reports, which requires significant communication skills. About 3 in 10 financial managers work in the finance and insurance industries.
Although financial managers face a competitive job market, it's also a growing one. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of job openings for financial managers will grow at a healthy 9 percent clip over the next 10 years, which means 46,300 new jobs. Those with specialized backgrounds (especially in accounting and finance) will have the easiest time landing jobs. Financial managers who can also handle international finance and the increasingly complicated world of financial instruments and securities, including derivatives, will be the most marketable.
Financial management jobs tend to be high-paying; median annual wages were $107,160 in 2011, with the lowest-paid 10 percent earning less than $58,120 and the highest-paid 10 percent earning more than $187,199. The highest-paid in the profession work in the metropolitan areas of New York City, San Francisco, and San Jose, Calif.
Financial managers usually start by earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration. Many also earn master’s degrees (in business administration, finance, or economics) and continue on to get more financial management training, both on the job and off. Certifications and licensures are also common in the field; financial managers who work as accountants become certified public accountants, for example. Because many financial managers are also charged with overseeing others, organizations often require management training as well.
Financial managers typically start out in entry-level positions at large organizations or banks, and those who excel move up the ladder and become managers, taking on more responsibility and financial oversight duties. Kyle Ryan, executive vice president and director of investment sales and service at Personal Capital, an online wealth-management firm, urges aspiring financial managers to build both people skills and analytical skills. "Academic courses in finance and accounting can help provide a good baseline. I would also encourage reading market-related periodicals like Barron's and the Wall Street Journal. In terms of work experience, a role in corporate finance or management consulting can provide a solid analytical framework," says Ryan.
Last updated by Kimberly Palmer.