Financial professionals remain a necessity for all types of organizations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes how factors like globalization, a growing economy and the application of data and market research will keep business and financial occupations in demand. They are projected to grow 9 percent by 2026, and business and financial occupations have a median annual wage of $66,530.
Careers in Finance (with Salaries)
All occupational data is from the BLS.
- Accountants and Auditors: Accountants and auditors organize and maintain financial records; ensure financial statements are accurate and comply with laws and regulations; determine taxes owed and prepare tax returns appropriately; assess financial operations and make suggestions to reduce costs; enhance revenues and improve profits. Many accountants and auditors specialize in a particular role (e.g., risk management) or industry (e.g., health care). The median annual wage for accountants and auditors is $68,150, and employment is projected to increase 10 percent by 2026.
- Budget Analysts: Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances by developing the organization’s budget; reviewing funding requests; helping top managers analyze proposed plans; monitoring institutional spending; informing program managers of the status and availability of funds; and estimating future financial needs. The median annual wage for budget analysts is $73,840, and employment is projected to increase 7 percent by 2026.
- Financial Analysts: Financial analysts help businesses and individuals make investment decisions by recommending specific investments and collections of investments; evaluating financial data; studying economic and business trends; examining a company’s financial statements; and preparing written reports. Some financial analysts specialize as portfolio managers, fund managers, ratings analysts and risk analysts. The median annual wage for financial analysts is $81,760, and employment is projected to increase 11 percent by 2026.
- Financial Managers: Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. Tasks include preparing financial statements; monitoring financial details to ensure legal requirements are met; reviewing company financial reports; supervising employees who perform reporting and budgeting tasks; analyzing market trends; and helping management make financial decisions. Some financial managers work in roles as controllers, treasurers, credit managers, cash managers, risk managers and insurance managers. The median annual wage for financial managers is $121,750, and employment is projected to increase 19 percent by 2026.
- Financial Examiners: Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions. They review balance sheets; prepare reports detailing an institution’s safety and soundness; examine the minutes of managers and directors; train other examiners; review and analyze new regulations and policies; and establish guidelines for procedures and policies that comply with regulations. Financial examiners typically work in one of two main areas: risk assessment or consumer compliance. The median annual wage for financial examiners is $79,280, and employment is projected to increase 10 percent by 2026.
- Market Research Analysts: Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a particular product or service. They measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies; gather data on consumers, competitors and market conditions; devise and evaluate data for collecting data; analyze data using statistical software; transfer complex data into understandable reports and graphical figures; and prepare reports and present results to clients and management. The median annual wage for market research analysts is $62,560, and employment is projected to increase 10 percent by 2026.
Pursuing a Career in Finance
The University of West Alabama’s online MBA with an emphasis in finance can help you pursue advanced careers in the industry. If you do not have your bachelor’s degree, you can earn an online bachelor’s in business administration, which offers optional concentrations in accounting, business administration, management, marketing and computer information systems.
Develop the skills and knowledge needed for management and specialty roles in finance, all in a convenient online format from one of Alabama’s oldest and most prestigious universities.