Finance

51 minute read

27 Finance Roles to Know in 2019

Joseph Mapue

Joseph Mapue

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People and businesses obsess about money simply because it can make things happen. The more of it you have, the more you can accomplish. However, for people and organizations with very little of it, things can become very difficult.  A career in finance will enable you to help them.

Finance is a broad field that covers economics, accounting, business development, stock markets, investments, banking, and insurance. Career paths in finance are also diverse, making it very likely that you’ll find a perfect match if finance is really your thing.

A steady career in finance can be rewarding and fulfilling at the same time. That's why we want to break down some popular finance roles.

finance-roles

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Here are some finance roles that can get you started:

1. Accountant

A.K.A Accountants and auditors are sometimes interchanged. However, accountants refer mostly to professionals who prepare financial statements using accounting standards while auditors are professionals who review these statements for accuracy, veracity, fraud, and other purposes using auditing and investigative techniques.
Average Salary (US)

Certified Public Accountant (CPA): $63,651 [with average additional compensation of $3,894 (Bonus), $2,544 (profit sharing), and $5,087 (commission)]

Accountant: $51,457 [with average additional compensation of $2,059 (Bonus), $1,924 (profit sharing), and $2,903 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)

Role & Job Description Accountants prepare and evaluate financial documents, ensuring that records of all financial transactions — including taxes, balance sheets, cash flow documents, and income statements — are accurate and conform to federal and international accounting standards.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Professional accountants have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in the US need to pass a licensure exam, and have a minimum of 1 year accountancy experience and at least 150 semester units of college education.

Financial planning, bookkeeping, auditing, taxes, data analysis, and financial reporting are required skills for this role.

Work Environment Most accountants work full time according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a significant number rendering overtime work per week especially during tax season, quarterly reporting, or end of budget years. Accountants are employed in virtually all sectors and spend considerable time using computers and spreadsheet software.
Professional Advancement Accountants, especially those with CPA license can transition to Senior Accountant, Chief Accountant, Accounting Manager, and to top management.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme (Extremely Satisfied)

(Source: PayScale)

2. Accounts Assistant

A.K.A Accounting Assistant; Often used interchangeably with the more senior level role of Assistant Accountant
Average Salary (US)

$38,671 [with average additional compensation of $999 (bonus) and $575 (profit sharing)]

(Source: PayScale)

Role & Job Description Accounts assistants help facilitate and document their company’s financial transactions such as payments, utility bills, invoices, purchase orders, payroll, reimbursements, and other financial processes. They record all these transactions, balance associated accounts, and enter/verify/update information via a customer database or accounting software.  
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Math, basic accounting, records keeping, data entry, and financial software are crucial skills for accounts assistants.

Some form of post-secondary education or training are mandatory for most accounts assistant jobs but a diploma course, bachelor’s degree, or skill certification in a relevant field is preferred by employers.  

Work Environment Accounts assistants typically work in office-based teams that report to a senior accountant, controller, or a finance manager. The typical day for these professionals involve processing transactions, balancing books, managing documents, and preparing reports. 
Professional Advancement Accounts Assistants can focus on specific tasks (e.g., as Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable Specialists) or they can earn required credentials to become accountants and CPAs. 
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

3. Assistant Accountant

A.K.A Junior Accountant; also often used interchangeably with the lower level role of Accounts Assistant
Average Salary (US)

$41,232 [with average additional compensation of $1,030 (bonus) and $1,860 (profit sharing)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Assistant accountants perform administrative, bookkeeping, and clerical functions in support of the company’s Accounting or Finance department. These professionals analyze financial data, generate and present reports, manage documents, and engage customers.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

To work as an assistant accountant, you typically need prior bookkeeping experience or either a diploma certification or a bachelor’s degree in accounting. However, some assistant accountants are students with extensive accounting experience who are on their way to obtaining their degree or diploma.    

Math, attention to details, and accounting software are critical skills for this role.    
Work Environment Assistant accountants typically work full time in office-based departments, reporting to senior accountants, controllers, or the department (Accounting, Finance, Budget, etc.) head. In large corporations, this department may be further segmented into teams such as Accounts Payable and Employee Benefits and Compensation. 
Professional Advancement Assistant accountants can gain experience or acquire certifications and become senior accountants and CPAs later on.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

4. Auditor

start-your-free-trial

A.K.A Accountants and auditors are sometimes interchanged. However, accountants refer mostly to professionals who prepare financial statements using accounting standards while auditors are professionals who review these statements for accuracy, veracity, fraud, and other purposes using auditing and investigative techniques.
Average Salary (US)

$54,783 [with average additional compensation of $2,009 (Bonus), $1,413 (profit sharing), and $12,500 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Auditors verify the accuracy of financial statements and other business documents. These professionals often attest to the veracity of business records and are employed to investigate and identify accounting/ bookkeeping errors, misrepresentations, inadequacies, and fraud. Auditors also help maintain documentary compliance with relevant standards, regulations, or policies.  
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Auditors have a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Some become certified public accountants via a licensure exam.  

The most important technical skills for auditors include accounting, financial analysis, data analysis, and accounting software.

Relevant soft skills include patience, problem-solving, deductive reasoning, and focus. 
Work Environment Auditors can work as independent service providers or consultants, or they can be employed by organizations to join a team or department.
Professional Advancement Auditors can gain experience to become senior auditors, senior accountants, and corporate controller.
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

finance-roles-bank-clerk

5. Bank Cashier/Clerk

A.K.A Bank Teller, New Accounts Staff, Loans Staff, Credit Staff, etc. (See also Loan Officer)
Average Salary (US)

$36,381

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description

Bank staff/clerks help process transactions and perform administrative and bank-related tasks. They help organize documents and files, analyze financial reports, reconcile/balance all financial records, and ensure everything complies with relevant standards, policies, and regulations.

Frontline banking clerks provide customer service and in-person transactions. Like loan officers, bank cashiers are usually supervisor- or officer-level employees. 
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Some banks require a high school diploma or equivalent experience/training for this role.

Proficiency in operating cash registers and office equipment such as computers, productivity software, printers, calculators, and fax machines are mandatory. 

Relevant soft skills include time management, customer care, collaboration, and attention to detail. 
Work Environment Bank clerks and staff work in an office environment, with a good number working in a retail banking setup (i.e., customer-facing branch). Most work as part of a team. 
Professional Advancement With experience and training, bank clerks can become senior staff and junior bank officers. A college degree and postgraduate studies will equip them with the credentials they need to lead as bank managers.
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

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6. Bank Manager

A.K.A Retail Banking, Branch Manager
Average Salary (US)

$59,534 [with average additional compensation of $5,053 (Bonus), $1,510 (profit sharing), and $5,000 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Bank managers oversee the operations of a banking unit or team, usually a retail branch of a financial institution. For this unit, they often perform administrative, marketing, customer care, business development, and sales functions. Bank managers also ensure every aspect of their unit complies with all relevant internal policies as well as government and international standards and regulations. 
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

To be hired as a bank manager, candidates should possess at least a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, marketing, finance, or other related fields. They should also have significant banking experience and pass relevant FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) exams. 

In addition to being domain experts in financial products and services (such as loans, credit facilities, deposit accounts, and investment instruments), competent bank managers are knowledgeable about local, federal, and international policies and standards that govern banking and finance. 

Skills relevant to this profession include leadership, communications, motivation, sales, people management, and customer engagement. 

Given the nature of the field, employers actively seek honest and ethical candidates.

Work Environment Bank employees work in a team-based office environment. Bank managers ensure that every aspect of the team or unit they are leading conforms to standards of excellence.
Professional Advancement With good performance and additional training, bank managers can hope to advance their careers to become senior managers and top executives leading specific banking units.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

7. Bookkeeper

A.K.A Bookkeeper, Accounting, Auditing Clerk
Average Salary (US)

$40,886 [with average additional compensation of $1,169 (Bonus), $1,523 (profit sharing), and $2,147 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks prepare, examine, validate, and record financial documents such as invoices, utility bills, financial statements, purchase orders, taxation forms, payroll, and sales reports. They work with top management, departmental heads, and other stakeholders to ensure financial decisions are cost-efficient and lead to better profitability for the organization. 
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed Most employers prefer candidates with college degrees (Finance, Accounting, Business, Math, or equivalent) but some may hire applicants who have completed a diploma course or learned relevant skills in the workplace. Auditing, accounting, and bookkeeping clerks must have basic computer skills and working knowledge of bookkeeping tools such as spreadsheets. 
Work Environment These professionals usually work as members of office-based teams but not always on a full-time basis.  
Professional Advancement Bookkeepers can move to advanced roles such as accountant, senior accountant, accounting manager, and financial controller.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

8. Budget Analyst

A.K.A See Cost Estimator
Average Salary (US)

$58,628 [with average additional compensation of $1,900 (Bonus) and $4,000 (profit sharing)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Budget analysts prepare budget reports aimed at helping organizations monitor spending, rationalize costs, and balance their finances. They review historical budget allocations, perform cost analyses, and offer insight on how to ensure that the organization achieves a better financial position compared to past review periods. 
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

To work as a budget analyst, you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, statistics, economics, or other related fields.

Budget analysts need to have a practical knowledge of accounting as well as business acumen. 
Work Environment These professionals generally render office-based, full-time work for private businesses, nonprofits, or government institutions.  
Professional Advancement Budget analysts can advance as senior financial analysts, budget managers, finance managers, and financial controllers.
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

9. Chief Finance Officer

A.K.A CFO, Finance Chief/Head
Average Salary (US)

$128,144 [with average additional compensation of $20,013 (Bonus), $8,714 (profit sharing), and $12,208 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description

Chief financial officers (CFO) play a strategic and top leadership role in the financial management and operations of an organization. They typically lead a company’s accounting, revenue, and finance departments, focusing on achieving and projecting excellent financial health for the company. They lead in the formulation of growth strategies, budget plans, and internal policies while also ensuring compliance to relevant industry standards and regulations. CFOs keep operations aligned with the organization’s short-term and long-term financial goals.  

With the exception of bank CEO or chairman of a financial institution, this is the highest possible position for a finance-focused professional.  
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Being the most valuable player in the field, CFOs need a very strong financial background, technical skills, and experience to be adequately competent in their role. Though a bachelor’s degree may sometimes suffice, many CFOs have at least an MBA or an equivalent post-graduate degree in addition to many years of experience as a finance officer. Advanced knowledge of accounting, finance, and budget management are essential qualifications.

Leadership, communications, data analysis, strategic thinking, accounting software, business planning, and public speaking are crucial skills for a CFO.    
Work Environment Chief financial officers work in many industries and companies of various sizes. They work full-time and lead diverse teams, with some reportedly working more than 40 hours a week.  
Professional Advancement Visionary CFOs who can make things done can become CEOs.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

finance-roles-controller

10. Controller

A.K.A Finance Controller, Credit Controller, Comptroller, Corporate Controller
Average Salary (US)

$80,139 [with average additional compensation of $5,972 (Bonus), $3,314 (profit sharing), and $6,000 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Financial controllers manage finance-related departments — such as audit, budget, accounting, and finance — of a company. These professionals perform financial audits and produce various reports and documents such as financial statements, revenue forecasts, risk assessments, tax compliance papers, and regulatory requirements for state and federal agencies. Controllers work with other finance leaders in the company to formulate and implement policy guidelines and internal controls.   
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Depending on the organization, controllers are typically mid- to high-level managers and should possess a broad array of technical and soft skills and many years (7+) of field experience. Most controllers have relevant certifications (e.g., CPA) or postgraduate units on top of a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business.

Math, data analysis, budget management, and accounting software are crucial skills for a controller.

Relevant soft skills include leadership, communication, public speaking, reporting, and problem-solving.
Work Environment Controllers typically work full-time, leading a team within an office environment.
Professional Advancement Controllers with adequate experience, training, or certifications can advance to become senior controllers, finance managers, and corporate controllers.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

11. Cost Estimator

A.K.A Assessor, Appraiser
Average Salary (US)

$53,353 [with average additional compensation of $1,522 (Bonus), $1,974 (profit sharing), and $4,906 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description

Cost estimators research, gather and analyze diverse datasets to calculate the total cost of production inputs (time, labor, tools, machinery/equipment, third-party services, materials, etc.) needed to construct a building, provide a service, or manufacture an item. Cost estimators typically specialize in a specific service, product, or industry.

In addition to estimating costs, these professionals provide insight into the feasibility, schedule, profitability, and other aspects of a process or project. Cost estimators create and present comprehensive reports to relevant stakeholders.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Some cost estimators who have many years (10+) of field experience do not have either a diploma certificate or college degree. However, most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as accounting, business, economics, or finance. Prior experience in a cost assessment role is a big plus.

Math skills, attention to details, information gathering, and basic accounting are crucial skills for cost estimators.   
Work Environment Cost estimators are found in various industries, especially in construction and manufacturing. They usually work in offices but some may need to travel or perform on-site cost (manufacturing plant, construction site, etc.) assessments. Most work full-time. 
Professional Advancement With experience and training, cost estimators can become senior estimators and project managers.
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

12. Finance Administrator

A.K.A Financial Administrator, Finance Project Administrator
Average Salary (US)

$46,900 [with average additional compensation of $1,750 (Bonus) and $1,800 (profit sharing)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Finance administrators help plan, perform, and manage a broad range of accounting, financial, and budgetary functions. They verify the completeness and accuracy of financial documents and transactions, create budget plans, rationalize expenditures and investments, and manage cash flow (accounts receivable/accounts payable). Finance administrators regularly generate and present reports to keep management and other corporate leaders updated about the company’s financial health and strategies.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

To find work as a finance administrator, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or other related fields. Employers naturally prefer candidates with postgraduate education or training such as MBAs or a CPA license. Field experience of at least seven years is also a big plus. 

Mandatory technical skills for this role include accounting, financial analysis, budget planning, payroll management, and accounting software such as spreadsheet apps. Soft skills such as communication, presentation, and critical thinking are important for the role.
Work Environment Finance administrators typically work full-time in an office environment. Their work is aligned with their organization’s fiscal cycle (monthly/quarterly reports, tax season, yearend forecasts, etc.)
Professional Advancement Finance administrators can advance to senior bookkeepers, senior accountants, and accounting managers.
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

13. Finance Associate

A.K.A NA
Average Salary (US)

$58,952 [with average additional compensation of $5,218 (bonus), $3,750 (profit sharing) and $3,500 (commissions)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Finance associates collect, process, analyze, and record financial data to help companies facilitate transactions, formulate smarter business decisions, and improve their financial health. These professional help ensure accounting and financial processes comply with internal policies and industry standards. They provide assistance during budget planning generate reports and forecasts for strategy formulation and help streamline and optimize finance-related workflows.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Finance associates typically have a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, statistics, or other related fields. They are well-versed and experienced in accounting, financial modeling, and data analysis; and can use spreadsheets, accounting software, and other productivity tools with ease.

Relevant soft skills for this role include communication, presentation, reporting, collaboration, problem-solving, and time management.
Work Environment Finance associates typically work full-time as members of office-based teams led by a finance manager.
Professional Advancement Finance associates can move up the ranks to become senior financial analysts, finance manager, and other roles. 
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

14. Finance Lawyer

A.K.A Financial Attorney, Banking and Finance Solicitor
Average Salary (US)

$81,843 [with average additional compensation of $5,135 (bonus), $10,186 (profit sharing), and $62,500 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Finance lawyers focus on the legal aspects of finance, banking, taxation, lending, investments, private equity, real estate finance, insurance, and other related fields. These legal practitioners help clients navigate the regulatory climate and other compliance requirements for doing business and conducting financial transactions. Providing counsel on contract development especially for unique situations, finance lawyers also represent their clients during court proceedings.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed Lawyers in the US have passed several years of postgraduate education at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). During this period, they can specialize in a specific field. For finance lawyers that could be corporate finance, credit and lending, commercial taxation, or the legal frameworks governing the trading of bonds and securities.
Work Environment Finance lawyers may be part of a company’s legal department or may be hired via a retainer-based consulting contract. While these professionals commonly work in an office setting, they also often travel elsewhere to engage clients.
Professional Advancement Finance lawyers can become senior members or heads of corporate legal teams. 
Job Satisfaction

(High, for lawyers in general)

(Source: PayScale)

finance-roles-finance-manager

15. Finance Manager

A.K.A Financial Manager
Average Salary (US)

$88,511 [with average additional compensation of $9,882 (Bonus), $3,989 (profit sharing), and $30,167 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description

Finance Managers play a key role in formulating corporate and departmental budgets, developing long-term strategies, making investment decisions, and directing the daily financial operations of their companies. In performing these functions, finance managers always aim to keep their company’s financial position as healthy and expansive as possible.

Finance managers lead a team of other finance professionals to whom they delegate a wide range of tasks — from making revenue forecasts and tracking expenses to processing, recording, and verifying transactions. Finance managers regularly create and present financial reports to various stakeholders.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or other related fields has become a minimum requirement for this role. An increasing number of employers require higher qualifications such as a CPA license or an MBA, in addition to field experience of several years. 

Given their responsibilities, finance managers should possess decent accounting, analytical, budget management, and financial modeling skills as well as strong business acumen. They should be familiar with common productivity tools and various financial and reporting software.

Relevant soft skills for a good financial manager include leadership, time management, collaboration, communication, and presentation. 
Work Environment Finance managers commonly lead an office-based team and render full-time work. Tight deadlines often necessitate extra hours especially during report-intensive seasons. These professionals regularly interact with other corporate leaders and departments for budgetary and strategic conversations.
Professional Advancement Finance managers can rack up experience to become senior managers, finance directors, and VP of Finance.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

16. Financial Analyst

A.K.A Risk Analyst, Ratings Analyst, Portfolio Manager, Fund Manager, Finance Analyst
Average Salary (US)

$58,935 [with average additional compensation of $3,936 (Bonus), $2,010 (profit sharing), and $9,250 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Financial analysts evaluate economic, financial, and historical data for the purpose of helping organizations or clients discover and optimize opportunities for profitable investment, risk mitigation, asset growth, or value acquisition. Whether they work for an organization or serve a client, financial analysts focus on reducing risks, building wealth, and achieving sustainable long-term growth.

Financial analysts use a wide range of data sets (market trends, microeconomic factors, financial statements, demographics, and other information) to formulate sound guidance and recommendations. They often prepare risk assessments and earnings forecasts to help businesses, individuals, or clients make the right investment decision.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed Financial analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, statistics, or other related field. Years of field experience and postgraduate training or education such as MBAs and relevant certifications (e.g., CFA-Chartered Financial Analyst) are highly valued and aptly rewarded. Finance-focused employers, especially those that provide financial services, prefer candidates with such certifications.

Crucial skills for a financial analyst include math, familiarity with financial software, communication, data analysis, investment instruments, and attention to detail. 
Work Environment Financial analysts usually work full time in an office environment. Depending on their role or industry, some of these professionals may be required to travel and meet clients, stakeholders, or other contacts.  
Professional Advancement Financial analysts can gain experience and training to advance as senior finance analysts, senior controllers, and finance manages.
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

17. Insurance Underwriter

A.K.A NA
Average Salary (US)

$54,397 [with average additional compensation of $3,912 (Bonus), $3,052 (profit sharing), and $6,068 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Insurance underwriters assess risks related to insurance coverage, making recommendations on whether to insure an entity and under what terms if the risks are acceptable to the insurance company. These professionals use statistical analysis, financial software, and actuarial methods to determine the best pricing, payment schedule, premiums, and other terms of coverage. In addition, underwriters also actively seek potential revenue opportunities for their employers.   
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

To land a job as insurance underwriter, you need prior field training or experience and at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, statistics, or other related courses.

Required technical skills for this position include underwriting, financial analysis, and accounting. Strong statistical and actuarial skills are also highly sought after by insurance companies.
Work Environment Insurance underwriters typically work full time in an office environment.
Professional Advancement These professionals can gain experience and relevant training to become senior underwriters, or underwriting managers and directors.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

18. Investment Banker

A.K.A Securities Analyst, Investment Analyst
Average Salary (US)

$96,718 [with average additional compensation of $24,691 (bonus), $9.967 (profit sharing), and $62,500 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description

Investment bankers serve as the bridge between entities that need funds and entities that are willing to provide credit or to make capital investments. These professionals help business organizations, governments, and individuals to raise money through different channels such as private lending, public stock offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. 

Investment bankers conduct industry research, craft detailed financial plans and assessments, perform valuation analyses, and provide risk-benefit recommendations.    
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Investment bankers are highly skilled professionals who use financial analyses, statistics and modeling techniques to provide guidance and advice on investment-related decisions. To find work as an investment banker, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or other related course. Postgraduate training and education such as MBAs and industry certifications will make you a very valuable candidate in the eyes of employers.  

Soft skills that are crucial to this position include detail-orientedness, sales, presentation, communication, and customer engagement.  
Work Environment Investment bankers can find work in different types of financial institutions. They typically work full time in an office environment but extended hours — up to 50 per week — are reportedly common.
Professional Advancement With adequate experience and postgraduate degrees, these professionals can advance as finance directors and top executives.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

19. Loan Officer

A.K.A Consumer Loan Officers, Mortgage Loan Officers, Commercial Loan Officers
Average Salary (US)

$45,283 [with average additional compensation of $3,000 (Bonus), $1,541 (profit sharing), and $8,753 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Loan officers evaluate loan applications, recommend loan releases, monitor loan accounts, and market loan products. They gather and examine applicant information including financial background, credit score, and the purpose for which credit is being requested. Once an application is approved, loan officers monitor the client’s loan account.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Loan officers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or other related field. Postgraduate credentials such as MBAs and relevant certifications serve as stepping stone towards higher positions.

Soft skills relevant to this role include customer service, communication, and problem solving.
Work Environment Loan officers typically work full time at financial institutions such as banks and credit unions.
Professional Advancement These finance professionals can gain more experience and training to become bank managers and senior leaders of the company. 
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

finance-roles-mortgage-advisor

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20. Mortgage Advisor

A.K.A Mortgage Specialist, Mortgage Consultant, Mortgage Loan Officer
Average Salary (US)

$46,965 [with average additional compensation of $4,500 (Bonus), $1,237 (profit sharing), and $51,500(commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Mortgage advisors evaluate, endorse, document, and process the requests of mortgage loan applicants. Primarily tasked to provide technical advice to potential and existing borrowers, mortgage advisors help determine applicants’ actual funding needs, creating proposals based on each applicant’s debt servicing capabilities, cash flow, collateral, and other factors. Sometimes, mortgage advisors are also tasked to keep the company’s lending pipeline full and flowing.  
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Employers hiring for this position prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or other related fields. Applicants with years of field experience and postgraduate training (e.g., MBAs) possess significant advantage over those without. Holders of relevant industry certifications naturally command higher positions and pay grades.

Mortgage advisors should be passionate about using finance to help people solve problems and to create value for their employers. They should have strong competencies in accounting, mortgage loans, productivity, and finance software, communication, and customer service.
Work Environment Mortgage advisors typically serve at lending institutions such as banks and credit unions, rendering full-time work in an office or retail banking environment. They sometimes travel to different locations to meet clients and conduct visual inspections.
Professional Advancement Mortgage advisors can advance to become branch heads, relationship managers, and other corporate leaders.
Job Satisfaction

No data

(Source: PayScale)

21. Payroll Administrator

A.K.A Compensation and Benefits Coordinator
Average Salary (US)

$48,324 [with average additional compensation of $1,960 (bonus), $2,024 (profit sharing), and $2,400 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Payroll administrators process the computation, taxation, documentation, and delivery of salaries, commissions, applicable benefits, and other forms of compensation to employees. They ensure that all workers in an organization always receive their compensation accurately and on time. In some companies, these professionals also participate in policy formulation and perform other accounting, reporting, or HR tasks.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Payroll administrators typically have a post-secondary education such as an associate diploma on accounting, business administration, or other related fields. A bachelor’s degree and postgraduate certifications will help holders move up to higher positions or bigger roles.  

Technical skills that are critical for this job include basic accounting, taxation, benefits and compensation, automatic data processing (ATD) tools for HR/payments, and common office productivity software.

Payroll administrators also need to develop soft skills such as time management, attention to detail, and problem-solving. 
Work Environment Payroll administrators typically work full-time in an office environment. They closely coordinate with accounting, human resources, benefits, finance, and other departments or teams. Depending on their workload, some payroll administrators need to render extra hours. 
Professional Advancement To advance to higher level positions such as payroll specialists, supervisors, and managers, these professionals should gain experience and acquire further training. 
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

22. Personal Banker

A.K.A Personal Financial Advisor (higher-level variant)
Average Salary (US)

$36,958 [with average additional compensation of $2,550 (bonus), $1,214 (profit sharing), and $3,892 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Personal bankers may perform a range of banking functions but their primary focus is to expand a satisfied customer base by helping individual clients manage their financial risks and benefits. These professionals monitor the activities of select accounts and coordinate with specific clients when money market opportunities or disruptions arise.    
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

If you want to land a job as a personal banker, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, accounting, economics, or other related fields. Senior personal financial advisors typically have postgraduate degrees or certifications in addition to many years of field experience.

Technical skills that are highly relevant to this role include mathematics, investing, risk management, wealth management, and financial tools/software such as spreadsheets and CRMs. Soft skills that can make a difference include customer service, sales, and effective communication.
Work Environment Personal bankers commonly work full-time in an office environment but they may be required to travel or meet clients in different locations or during special events. 
Professional Advancement By delivering high performance and gaining more experience, personal bankers can transition to relationship bankers and bank managers.
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

23. Personal Relationship Manager

A.K.A Relationship Manager, Relationship Banker
Average Salary (US)

$82,656 [with average additional compensation of $14,512 (bonus), $1,965 (profit sharing), and $9.826 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description As their role designation implies, personal relationship managers build and nurture long-term and value-laden relationships with select bank clients through hyper-customization and personalization of the products and services these clients use. For this purpose, relationship managers monitor and evaluate clients’ accounts and recommend new services, products, or techniques that will help clients improve their returns or minimize risks. When not servicing existing customers, relationship managers market bank products to potential clients by evaluating their funding or investment goals and linking these with the right banking solutions.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Relationship managers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, banking, business, or other related fields. Most have years of field experience, having served as loans staff, credit officers, or other similar roles. Postgraduate training, education (MBAs), or certifications will become valuable as you seek higher positions.  

Required technical skills for this position include financial analysis, investment planning, and customer relationship management. 

Soft skills such as marketing, communication, presentation, and customer care are indispensable.  
Work Environment Although commonly working full-time in office-based environments, relationship managers may sometimes need to travel to meet valued clients.
Professional Advancement Relationship managers can advance to become business development managers, portfolio managers, and business development directors. 
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

24. Procurement Manager

A.K.A Sourcing Manager
Average Salary (US)

$79,824 [with average additional compensation of $7,782 (bonus), $3,898 (profit sharing), and $6,250 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)

Role & Job Description Procurement managers lead a team of professionals tasked to find and maintain good relationships with the best sources and vendors for their company’s supply, administrative, production, and operational requirements. Procurement managers correspond with vendors and negotiate the best possible purchase, delivery, and support terms. They facilitate and document purchase orders or service agreements, and play a key role in forming and implementing procurement policies. 
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Procurement managers need to have a strong background in the supply chain ecosystem and market dynamics associated with their employers’ industry or line of business. Most procurement managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, engineering, IT, or other relevant fields. Moreover, many employers require years of experience as well as industry certifications such as CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) or CPM (Certified Purchasing Manager).  

Other skills that are crucial to a procurement manager’s career include negotiation, basic accounting, critical thinking, budget management, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, procurement software, and research.
Work Environment Procurement managers typically work full-time in an office environment but they sometimes need to render extra hours and visit offsite locations to meet vendors or other stakeholders. They regularly meet with managers from other units and departments to discuss their procurement needs and goals.
Professional Advancement With additional experience and good performance, these professionals can move on to become senior sourcing managers, supply chain managers, and procurement directors. 
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

finance-roles-stockbroker

25. Stockbroker

A.K.A Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents; Brokerage Clerks
Average Salary (US)

$50,146 [with average additional compensation of $3,915 (bonus), $4,400 (profit sharing), and $7,500 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Stockbrokers serve as the bridge between buyers and sellers of stocks and other securities in financial markets. On behalf of the financial companies that employ them, these professionals advise individuals and institutions about investment opportunities and risks, facilitate trade in securities, and manage portfolios. To maintain a healthy and loyal client portfolio, stockbrokers provide hyper-personalized consulting services and assist clients in managing risks and in formulating effective strategies for value generation.    
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Entry-level applicants for a stockbroker role need a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or other related fields. Higher positions require postgraduate training and certifications such as MBAs or CFAs.

Required technical skills for this position include financial analysis, portfolio management, and stock market trading. Soft skills that will make you an excellent stockbroker include sales, financial software, customer service, communication, and business acumen.
Work Environment Stockbrokers typically work in high-stress environments, servicing individual and institutional clients on behalf of their employer — which almost always is a financial services company. They usually work full-time and in sync with the particular stock market they focus on.
Professional Advancement With more experience, stockbrokers can transition to senior roles and even assume top leadership roles in the company.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

26. Tax Examiner

A.K.A Tax Collector, Revenue Agent
Average Salary (US)

$46,714 [with average additional compensation of $983 (bonus) and $950 (profit sharing).

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Tax examiners review documents, provide advice, and conduct audits for purposes of taxation. These professionals identify whether individuals or companies owe taxes to the government, compute how much is owed if there are, and collect the appropriate amount. They also advise taxpayers when overpayments have been made and when the appropriate refunds are available.  
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

Tax examiners typically have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, math, finance or other related fields. To become senior examiners, tax accountants, or tax managers, these professionals need to earn additional credentials such as CPA licenses or MBAs.

Required technical skills for this position include auditing, data analysis, accounting, financial and spreadsheet software, investigation, and taxation. Relevant soft skills include attention to detail, critical thinking, collaboration, and business acumen. 
Work Environment Tax examiners work for the local, state, or national government. They typically work full time in a team-based office environment, though some may be required to perform audits in business establishments or taxpayers’ residences. 
Professional Advancement These professionals can acquire relevant certifications and training to become senior tax accountants, tax managers, and tax compliance managers.  
Job Satisfaction

High

(Source: PayScale)

27. Treasury Analyst

A.K.A Treasury Associate
Average Salary (US)

$55,898 [with average additional compensation of $3,857 (bonus), $1,946 (profit sharing), and $2,000 (commission)]

(Source: PayScale)
Role & Job Description Treasury analysts focus on optimizing financial assets, transactions, and decisions for their employers. They evaluate fees, expenses, and charges to recommend effective ways by which their organizations can reduce costs. These professionals monitor and manage their employer’s transactions, accounts, and investments with financial institutions to balance risks and benefits. They analyze income streams, cash flow, and return on investments to determine the best strategy for optimizing value.
Experience/ Qualifications/ Skills Needed

To land a job as a treasury analyst, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, accounting, or other related fields. To advance professionally, postgraduate education (MBA), training (years of field experience), or certification (CFA, CTP, etc) will improve your chances.

Technical skills required for this role include financial analysis, forecasting and modeling; basic accounting; cash flow and budget management; spreadsheet and other financial software; productivity tools; and investment management. Meanwhile, communications, collaboration, attention to detail, and presentation are soft skills that are crucial to the success and career advancement of a treasury analyst.
Work Environment Treasury analysts focus on corporate finance, rendering full-time work in an office environment. They collaborate with various departments on finance-related issues.
Professional Advancement With further training and experience, treasury analysts can advance to become senior financial analysts, senior accountants, and finance/accounting managers.
Job Satisfaction

Extreme

(Source: PayScale)

Boost your knowledge with GoSkills finance courses, including financial modeling, finance for operations managers, and for project managers. Do you have an interview for your ideal finance role? Study these helpful interview questions to increase your chances of success!

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Joseph Mapue

Joseph Mapue

Joseph Mapue wears his writer's hat wherever he goes, crafting top-notch content on business, technology, creativity, and innovation. He is also a dreamer, builder, father, and gamer.

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