Entry-Level Finance Career Options
There are several entry-level jobs in different areas of finance for those just beginning their careers. These jobs vary in the amount of on-the-job training needed, though prior work experience is not typically required. Compare and contrast some of the available entry-level finance careers below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Accountants and Auditors||$68,150||10%|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$90,530||14%|
|Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents||$52,060||-1% (decline)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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Career Information for Entry-Level Finance Jobs
Budget analysts do not need any previous work experience in a related occupation or on-the-job training to organize finances for their organization. They help create the organization's budget and ensure that it is accurate and complies with all regulations. These analysts also monitor spending, try to predict future financial needs and update managers about available funds. Budget analysts usually need a bachelor's degree.
Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors are not required to have previous work experience to study and prepare financial records, such as taxes. They make sure these records are accurate and organized and that accounting systems are efficient. Through their examination of financial records, accountants and auditors may make suggestions to management about best practices and ways to reduce costs. These professionals typically have at least a bachelor's degree and may need certification, like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential.
Financial analysts help advise their clients concerning investment decisions and do not need previous work experience in the field. They may work with individuals or businesses to help them choose the best bonds, stocks or other investments for their needs based on current business trends. These analysts may also help businesses evaluate the strength of their management team and determine the company's value. Financial analysts need a bachelor's degree.
Personal Financial Advisors
Personal financial advisors do not need prior work experience in a related job, but they do undergo long-term on-the-job training. These advisors are responsible for meeting with clients to determine their short- and long-term financial goals and then offering advice about different mortgages, investments, savings accounts and other financial options to meet those goals. They must clearly explain the different options to their clients based on their own research and then carefully monitor their clients' accounts and make adjustments as needed. Personal financial advisors need a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions, but they may need a master's degree and certification to advance.
Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents
Tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents complete moderate on-the-job training, but they do not need previous work experience in a related occupation as long as they hold a bachelor's degree. These professionals specialize in calculating and collecting taxes for the government based on tax returns and audits. They also keep careful records as they contact individuals or businesses to address problems, collect overdue taxes or issue refunds. Although entry-level positions don't require work experience in the field, advancement, such as working at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may require additional work experience.
Similar to personal financial advisors, financial examiners complete long-term on-the-job training , but they do not need prior experience in the field. They are responsible for monitoring banks and other financial institutions to ensure they are complying with current laws. They do this by examining balance sheets, checking loans, reviewing the work of managers and establishing new guidelines and policies as needed. Entry-level financial examiners need a bachelor's degree and are usually trained by a senior examiner.