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Financial Manager

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(6.5 out of 10)

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Median Salary


Unemployment Rate

3.0 percent

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Best Business Jobs #8
The 100 Best Jobs #46

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. Aside from 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 28 percent of 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 an 8.9 percent clip between 2012 and 2022, which means 47,100 new jobs. Those with specialized backgrounds (especially in accounting and finance) will have the easiest time landing a job. 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 pay well. The median salary for the profession was $109,740 in 2012, with the lowest-paid managers earning less than $59,630 and the highest-paid earning more than $187,199. The best-paid in the profession work in the metropolitan areas of New York City, San Francisco and Nassau, N.Y.

Salary Range

75th Percentile $149,410
Median $109,740
25th Percentile $79,930


Financial managers usually start by earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics or business administration. Many also earn a master’s degree (in business administration, finance or economics) and continue getting financial management training, both on the job and off. Certifications and licensures are 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.

Reviews & Advice

Financial managers typically start out in entry-level positions at large organizations or banks, and those who excel move up 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,” he says.

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility good High
Stress Level poor High
Flexibility poor Below Average
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Last updated by Casey Quinlan.

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