Financial managers preside over financial reports and investment decisions, and develop the financial goals of the company, or companies, they work for. Experience is incredibly important in this field, and higher education, more experience, and certification can increase job opportunities.
Certified financial managers work for a variety of industries and are responsible for executing effective business decisions that maximize a company's financial options. A bachelor's degree in business management, accounting, finance or economics is typically required for entry-level positions. A master's degree coupled with professional certification increases career prospects.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in business management, finance, economics or accounting|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||16% (for financial managers)|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2018)*||$127,990 (for financial managers)|
Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Certified Financial Managers
Most organizations employ at least one financial manager to prepare financial reports, manage investments and develop financial goals. A formal education is indispensable for those building a career in financial management, although it is not always a requirement. Experience is highly valued, and many employers offer management training programs to promote individuals from within an organization. Professional certification can also increase a financial manager's marketability.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial managers held approximately 653,600 jobs in 2018. Employment options are expected to grow by 16 percent between 2018 and 2028. Career opportunities are better for financial managers who have a master's degree or professional certification. As of May 2018, financial managers earned a median annual wage of $127,990, excluding stock options and annual bonuses, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).
Financial managers may become certified through the Institute of Management Accountants. Individuals are required to have at least a bachelor's degree, pass a 4-part examination, complete two years of financial management or accounting management experience and comply with ethical standards. To become certified in financial management, it is helpful to be actively involved in making financial decisions, whether in a management role or not.
Other organizations also offer certification for financial managers with different job duties. For example, the Association for Financial Professionals certifies treasurers, and the CFA Institute certifies financial analysts.
Skills required include understanding financial statements, evaluating financial performance, managing financial systems and making wise investment decisions. Certified financial managers also handle acquisitions and mergers, raise capital, assess global transactions and manage investments. They must be proficient in both financial matters and business systems. In addition, communication is vital to success in this career because working with people is a key element.
Financial managers who become certified have increased responsibilities over their uncertified counterparts and may have an advantage in finding higher paying positions. Certification involves completing an undergraduate degree program, passing a certification exam, and having at least 2 years of experience in the position, as well as complying with ethical standards.