Entry-Level Career Options in Finance
Even though the field is highly competitive, there are many career opportunities for those with degrees in finance. This article is going to take a look at some of the best entry-level job options available in the field of finance, whether you are looking to make your mark on Wall Street or prefer to begin your finance career in a smaller city.
|Job Title||Median Annual Salary||Job Growth (2016 - 2026)*|
|Auditor||$69,350* (accountants and auditors)||10% (accountants and auditors)|
|Personal Financial Advisor||$90,640*||15%|
|Trading Assistant||$62,005**||6% (securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS - 2017); **Payscale.com (2018)
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Career Information for Entry-Level Finance Jobs
Financial analysts are employed in a myriad of institutions including investment banking firms, insurance companies, and private equity funds. One of their main responsibilities is to analyze investment options in order to provide advice to their clients or their companies. They do this by compiling and researching a variety of financial data, including the finances of companies and stock market data. A bachelor's degree is required, preferably in finance, statistics, accounting, or economics.
As the name implies, loan officers are responsible for determining the acceptability of loan applications submitted by both individuals and companies. Not only does this require financial skills such as basic accounting, it also requires customer service skills as loan officers work closely with clients. In addition, some loan officers are required to bring in new customers, so some skills in sales may also be helpful. A bachelor's degree is required, and mortgage loan officers will need to attain a license, which requires passing an exam, completing additional coursework and passing a credit and background check.
Auditors examine financial statements and other financial records of companies to ensure that the statements have been prepared correctly and data has been reported accurately. Although a bachelor's degree, typically in accounting, is required, auditors are not responsible for creating financial statements. Internal auditors may be found working for large corporations and are responsible for ensuring that their company's funds are being properly reported and managed. External auditors perform the same duties as internal auditors but they work for companies that provide auditing services to other companies.
Personal Financial Advisor
If you like sales, then being a financial advisor may be just the job for you, especially when you are starting out since you need to build your client base. Financial advisors work with their clients to help them figure out what their long-term and short-term goals are and then advise them on what financial instruments and investments they feel are the best options to help meet those goals. Financial advisors build long-term relationships with their clients, working with them as their needs change, and they usually meet with clients at least once a year to review the current investment portfolio. A bachelor's degree is required with concentrations in finance, business and economics being most relevant.
If you ultimately want to be a stockbroker, working as a trading assistant is the best way to begin your climb up the ladder. As the job title states, trading assistants support the head traders, performing a variety of administrative tasks including performing research, maintaining various security files and commission spreadsheets, acting as a backup trader when needed, as well as executing trades and opening accounts, to name a few. A bachelor's degree in a finance-related field or math is required.