Finance Majors: Job Options and Salary Information

Finance is generally a program that gives undergraduates an understanding of money and business. Continue reading for an overview of the program options, as well as career possibilities and salary information for finance majors.

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A degree in finance shows businesses that a job applicant understands how to handle money over the long term - an important skill when trying to sustain business. Finance majors hold important positions in all sorts of companies and organizations, including real estate and insurance agencies and brokers, banks, dealerships, and residential construction industries. Most finance majors earn upwards of $50,000 a year.

Essential Information

Finance majors have many diverse job opportunities open to them. They may handle money matters for companies that deal in commercial products or they may work directly with the financial industry in real estate or in banking, for instance. A Bachelor of Science in Finance program also usually covers capital markets, which includes the study of securities. Students complete general business courses, then select electives that will help them meet their goals.

While a bachelor's degree is sufficient for entry-level positions in the field of finance, a master's degree may be necessary for career advancement. Average salaries in the industry run above $50,000 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with some occupations paying much more.

Career Option Real Estate Broker Securities Sales Agent Financial Manager
Required Education College degree preferred; training programs Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements State licensing; real estate sales experience License and certification usually required N/A
Projected Job Growth (2014-24)* 2% 10% 7%
Median Salary (2015)* $56,860 $71,550 $117,990

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Career Options

According to California State University - Northridge (CSUN), the most common career path to the position of chief executive officer (CEO) is through studies in finance. Finance workers handle all matters related to money, the key element to any business. CSUN divides career options for finance majors into two categories: money management in the consumer products industry and financial products or services.

Consumer Products

Former finance majors who focus on consumer products work for businesses that deal in the selling or trading of merchandise in the commercial marketplace. They may manage customer credit accounts, a company's cash flow or its financial outlook. They may handle employee benefits or pension plans. They may oversee the property holdings of a major company. In short, they manage all financial assets of commercial companies.

Financial Products

Employees who deal in financial products work directly in the finance industry creating and selling financial services. Those who majored in finance may take up positions in the insurance industry, acting as a broker to customers or an advisor to an insurance company. They may work in the banking industry, perhaps dealing in loans, customer portfolio management or overseeing a branch. They may work with securities, or stocks and bonds. Finally, they may take up employment in the real estate industry, perhaps as an appraiser or mortgage officer.

Salary Information

Salaries in the financial industry vary significantly based on career choice. However, in general finance employees can expect to earn above $50,000 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following mean annual salaries for finance jobs as of May 2015:

  • Real estate sales agent: $43,370
  • Insurance sales agent: $48,200
  • Loan officer: $63,430
  • Financial analyst: $80,310
  • Financial advisor: $89,160

Finance majors are likely to secure positions in which they either manage financial services or cashflow in exchange for consumer products. Occupations which require a degree in finance generally offer good financial compensation.

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