USA Career Guide-Financial Managers

Education of Financial Managers

A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration is often the minimum education needed for financial managers. However, many employers now seek candidates with a master's degree, preferably in business administration, finance, or economics. These academic programs help students develop analytical skills and learn financial analysis methods and software.


For the better job prospects many financial managers attain professional certification. The CFA Institute confers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification to investment professionals who have at least a bachelor's degree, have 4 years of work experience, and pass three exams. The Association for Financial Professionals confers the Certified Treasury Professional credential to those who pass a computer-based exam and have a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience.

Work Experience

Financial managers usually have experience in another business or financial occupation, such as loan officer, accountant or auditor, securities sales agent, or financial analyst.
In some cases, companies provide formal management training programs to help prepare highly motivated and skilled financial workers to become financial managers.

Pay of Financial Managers

As reported by BLS the median annual wage of financial managers was $103,910 in 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $56,120, and the top 10 percent earned more than $166,400.

Job Prospects of Financial Managers

Employment among financial managers is expected to grow 9 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. However, growth will vary by industry.
Services provided by financial managers, such as planning, directing, and coordinating investments, will continue to be in demand as the economy grows. The United States remains an international financial center, meaning that the economic growth of countries around the world will likely contribute to employment growth in the U.S. financial industry.

Candidates with expertise in accounting and finance—particularly those with a master's degree or certification—should enjoy the best job prospects. An understanding of international finance and complex financial documents is important.

Industrial Overview of Financial Managers

Financial managers held about 527,100 jobs in 2010. They work in many places, including banks and insurance companies. They work closely with top executives and with departments that develop the data that financial managers need.
The following industries employed the most financial managers in 2010:
Finance and insurance    29%
Management of companies and enterprises    9
Professional, scientific, and technical services    9
Manufacturing    8
Government    8
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

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