6 Different Types of Careers in Finance (Career Opportunities) - CheddarDen (2022)

6 Different Types of Careers in Finance (Career Opportunities) - CheddarDen (1)

Working in finance takes brains, people skills, talent, and ambition. There are plenty of roles in the industry that are suited to people of various skill sets, but the big commonalities in every role are an aptitude for mathematics and good communications skills—a not-so-frequent combination. Careers in finance range from slow and static roles to fast-paced and dynamic.

They often involve calculating risk and using complex mathematical models. If you want to get into finance, the sensible place to start is with a bachelor’s degree in statistics, math, business, or economics. These are the skills that employers will be looking for, and while there are ways to work your way up to higher-level positions without a degree, like being a bank teller, you’ll fast-track your way up with a bachelor’s.

An MBA further expands your options and potential salary, although the prestige of the institution is a big and sometimes prohibitive factor here if you want to claw your way to the top.

MBA programs go further in-depth with the concepts you’ll find taught at the undergraduate level, but they also take an approach that makes it easier to apply what you learn to a career. They cover things like microeconomics, business analysis, advanced financial instruments, and financial computing.

These days, it doesn’t hurt to have at least a passing knowledge of computer science, since much of the financial industry has taken advantage of innovations that have come from Silicon Valley. Any major city in the world has a financial district with job opportunities aplenty. Everyone knows that New York is the financial center of the US and possibly the world, but Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington DC deserve a mention as financial giants.

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Frankly, the only place you need to be to have a career in finance is an urban environment. There are careers in finance, like accounting, that one can start in any city or town because they’re necessary for doing all kinds of business. Want to learn all there is to know about finance jobs and how to land one that fits your skillset, sounds fun and interesting, and meets your salary expectations?

Read on for an overview of the finance career landscape!

1. Actuary

6 Different Types of Careers in Finance (Career Opportunities) - CheddarDen (2)

An actuary is someone who tries to predict the future using math—statistics, to be exact. Companies often need to know the likelihood of a certain event, like injury, death, theft, or lightning strikes, and actuaries are there to provide as sound as possible an estimate of how likely these things are to happen. For example, an insurance company might adjust the cost of an individual’s coverage based on their risk profile.

Actuaries are there to judge, using statistics and probability, just how risky it is to insure someone with their particular characteristics, like age, family history, etc. There are tons of other cases where financial companies need to know how risky something is, like investing, and actuaries can specialize in any area.

Salary Prospects

The average entry-level salary for an actuary is $83,550 annually, the median is $111,030, and the highest-paid actuaries make $151,606 and up.

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Education Requirements

To become an actuary, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in either mathematics, actuarial sciences, statistics, business, or a business-related field. Getting a degree is only the first step to becoming a full-fledged actuary: to start putting your knowledge to use, you have to pass a series of exams from the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society. These are high-level math tests in probability and statisticsthat often take years of study and experience to pass.

2. Securities Trader

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The life of a securities trader is fast-paced and hectic. The job takes a knack for making decisions under pressure and the shrewdness to see a good trade for what it is. This work can involve huge amounts of money and risk, and the value of the securities that securities traders buy and sell is constantly changing.

They need to have strong analytical skills because a good deal of their work is trying to create the most profitable strategies for trading. Securities traders have to be comfortable as salesmen because they sell their services as traders to clients on behalf of their firms. To oversimplify, securities traders make living finding security they believe will increase in value and reselling them.

Security, in financial jargon, means any asset that can be traded and sold, but in practice, it usually means stocks or bonds. Securities traders typically work for firms, though some work independently and make a commission on their sales profits.


Gone are the olden days of traders working their way up the company ladder without a degree. Now, a four-year degree in accounting, banking, economics, or some finance-related field is necessary, and anMBA certainly won’thurt. Traders must also pass the Securities Trader Representative Exam before they can begin working for a company.

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The median annual income for securities traders is $101,510 annually, and the top 25% of earners make $118,570 or more. The bottom 25% make $74,560 annually or less.

3. Broker

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The classic image of the Wall Street trading floor full of people barking offers and struggling to be heard doesn’t match how things are done anymore—it’s all computerized—but the fast pace, thrill, and stress are still there. Brokers do their trading over the phone or online nowadays and work as efficiently as possible between 9:30 pm and 4:00 pm EST while the stock markets are open. Brokers, like traders, deal in securities, but there are some key differences in how being a broker works.

They’re closer to clients than traders, and being a broker requires more salesmanship. They let traders handle more of the actual trading and the role they play at their firm is to find as many clients as possible through advertising and cold-calling.


Brokers must obtain a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field and pass whatever licensing exams the state they want to work in requires.

4. Accountant

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If you’re a detail-oriented person who doesn’t understand the word “monotony,” accounting is for you. Jokes aside, accounting is often more interesting than its reputation suggests because the principles that make it up are key to any financial career and are the core of all financial know-how. Accountants are there to keep track of all the inputs and outputs, expenditures and acquisitions, profits and losses, and any piece of financial information is for them to keep track of.

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Any business with some financial footprint needs them if it’s going to be viable.


Accounting is a fast-growing field among bachelor’s degree holders in mathematics, statistics, or any finance-related field. It’s not a super-exclusive or competitive career track, and most BA holders should be able to find accounting jobs.

Salary Prospects

Accountants have a median annual salary of $73,560. The bottom 25% of accountants make $57,110 per year, and the top 25% make $97,530 annually.

5. Financial Planner

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Financial planners are there to provide financial wisdom to average people who don’t have a high level of financial expertise. They often have a specific area of expertise like estate law or retirement planning, and they can work for insurance companies, other institutions, or as freelancers. This work requires good people skills and a certain degree of empathy.

Financial planners develop personal relationships with clients, providing sage advice on how to conduct one’s financial life and hopefully take advantage of the opportunities that a sound bank account can bring, like owning property and sending kids to college.


Financial planners are almost like financial social workers, and this is reflected in their qualifications. You can become a financial planner with a BA in a finance-related field or a field like psychology that deals with personal relationships. There are also corporate certifications available for financial planners that give them an edge in the job market.

Salary Prospects

The median annual income for a financial planner is $84,014. The highest earners make up to $154,000 annually and the lowest make $48,000 annually.

6. Investment Banker

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Investment banking is a high-powered career that’s notoriously hard to break into. If you want to be one, you’ve got to have steely resolve and work ethic, smooth persuasion skills, and a sharpanalytical mind. The sharp competition in this field means you’ll have to go to the best schools, get the highest grades, and have the richest and most well-connected parents (just kidding).

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This job has a well-deserved reputation for being stressful and requiring extreme competence. Institutions hire investment bankers to help them with things like mergers, acquisitions, initial public offerings, raising capital, and all financial concerns that a business might have. They’re essentially financial advisors for large companies.


If you want to be an investment banker, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field like math or business and an MBA (master’s of business administration). The MBA will likely have to be from a top school, and you’ll need to distinguish yourself at every step of your career and academic journey if you want to get into, say, NYU Stern School of Business.

Salary Prospects

While investment banking is one of the highest-paid careers in the world at the top of the field, at the entry-level it starts to seem like a double-edged sword if you consider it from the point of view of hourly pay. Entry-level investment bankers can expect to make up to $100,000 annually, but they work so many hours per week that they often make only $25 to $35 per hour when starting out. In other words, being a workaholic helps in this career.



What opportunities are in the finance industry? ›

Business and finance
  • Accounting technician. Accounting technicians handle day-to-day money and finance tasks for all types of business.
  • Actuary. Actuarial analyst. ...
  • Auditor. ...
  • Bank manager. ...
  • Banking customer service adviser. ...
  • Bookkeeper. ...
  • Business adviser. ...
  • Business development manager.

What are the 4 Career Pathways in finance? ›

The four career pathways in the finance cluster are banking and related services, business financial management, financial and investment planning, and insurance services.

What is the best career in finance? ›

Highest paying finance jobs
  • Investment banker.
  • Information technology auditor.
  • Compliance analyst.
  • Financial advisor.
  • Insurance advisor.
  • Financial analyst.
  • Senior accountant.
  • Hedge fund manager.

How many fields are there in finance? ›

The finance field includes three main subcategories: personal finance, corporate finance, and public (government) finance. Consumers and businesses use financial services to acquire financial goods and achieve financial goals.

What are the three main career opportunities in finance? ›

Three Different Types of Careers in Finance. The field of finance can be categorized into three classifications: personal finance, corporate finance, and public finance.

What are two career opportunities in finance? ›

Career Opportunities in Finance
  • Local, national and international corporations.
  • International organizations such as the World Bank.
  • Treasury department of local or state governments.
  • Pension and mutual fund sales and management.
  • Research departments of major brokerage houses.
  • Investment banking.
  • Commercial banks.

What are the 6 career paths? ›

All jobs are divided into six different Career Paths:
  • Arts & Communication.
  • Business Management & Technology.
  • Industrial & Engineering Technology.
  • Health Services.
  • Human Services.
  • Natural Resources Agriculture.
6 Apr 2021

What are the 6 phases of your career? ›

The 6 Stages Of Career Development, and Courses to Help Evolve Your Skill Set
  • Stage 1: Assessment. ...
  • Stage 2: Investigation. ...
  • Stage 3: Preparation. ...
  • Stage 4: Commitment. ...
  • Stage 5: Retention. ...
  • Stage 6: Transition. ...
  • Evolve Your Skill Set.
11 Oct 2021

What are five careers in finance? ›

  • Types of Careers in Finance.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Actuary.
  • Portfolio Manager.
  • Quantitative Analyst.
  • Securities Trader.
  • Financial Planner.
  • Financial Analyst.

Why finance is the best career? ›

With a finance career, you will never feel limited to one particular position. By studying finance or a finance-related degree, you will have the freedom to choose from a variety of career paths, whether it's Retail Banking, Investment, Financial Services, Law, and more. You may even end up in the gaming industry.

Why finance is a good career option? ›

Finance careers generally pay well, including attractive benefits and bonuses. In addition, a job in finance frequently offers diversity in your day-to-day duties. Pursuing a finance career path can give also someone a sense of accomplishment.

What are the main types of finance? ›

Finance is defined as the management of money and includes activities such as investing, borrowing, lending, budgeting, saving, and forecasting. There are three main types of finance: (1) personal, (2) corporate, and (3) public/government.

What is a career in finance like? ›

Finance is a broad career field with multiple career paths available. You might spend your days focused on the budget of an individual, a large corporation, or even a department of your local government. No matter which route you take, your career will be dedicated to helping others find financial success.

What are six careers that start with A? ›

Jobs Starting With A
  • Access Representative. Account Manager. Account Representative. Accountant. Accounting Analyst. Accounting Clerk. ...
  • Administrative Coordinator. Administrative Manager. Administrative Specialist. Advanced Practice Nurse. Aircraft Mechanic. Android Developer. ...
  • Archer. Architect. Art Director. Assembler. Athletic Trainer.

What are the six important career factors? ›

Factors that influence career choices
  • Personality.
  • Interest.
  • Values.
  • Perception of careers.
  • Skills abilities and talents.
  • Culture.
  • Socio-economic factors.
  • Other career related factors.

What are the 7 career pathways? ›

Career Pathways
  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources. Agribusiness Systems. ...
  • Architecture and Construction. Construction. ...
  • Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications. ...
  • Business, Management, and Administration. ...
  • Education and Training. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Government and Public Administration. ...
  • Health Science.

What are the types of career? ›

18 types of careers
  • Agriculture and natural resources careers. ...
  • Architecture and Construction careers. ...
  • Business management, finance, and administration careers. ...
  • Education careers. ...
  • Careers in health science. ...
  • Information technology careers. ...
  • Careers in law and public safety careers. ...
  • Science and engineering careers.
12 Oct 2021

What are the 8 components of a career? ›

8 Components of an Effective Job Description
  • Job Title. ...
  • Job Description. ...
  • Key Responsibilities. ...
  • Skills and Qualifications. ...
  • Supervisor & Department. ...
  • Employment Type & Benefits. ...
  • Company Overview. ...
  • Contact Information.
6 Sept 2017

What are the top 5 most chosen careers? ›

Here are the best jobs of 2022:
  • Information Security Analyst.
  • Nurse Practitioner.
  • Physician Assistant.
  • Medical and Health Services Manager.
  • Software Developer.
  • Data Scientist.
  • Financial Manager.

What are the 5 types of career stages? ›

The five career stages are:
  • Exploration. Typical age range: 21-25. Exploration refers to the stage before gaining permanent employment. ...
  • Establishment. Typical age range: 25-35 years old. ...
  • Mid-career. Typical age range: 35-45 years old. ...
  • Late-career. Typical age range: 45-55 years old. ...
  • Decline. Typical age range: 55-65 years old.

What is the 8 steps in career planning? ›

8 Steps to an Effective Career Plan
  • Identify Your Career Options. Develop a refined list of career options by examining your interests, skills, and values through self-assessment. ...
  • Prioritize. It's not enough to list options. ...
  • Make Comparisons. ...
  • Consider Other Factors. ...
  • Make a Choice. ...
  • Set “SMART” Goals.

What are the 5 stages of career planning? ›

The model in this paper describes five processes criti- cal to effective career planning: initiation, exploration, decision-making, preparation, and implementation (Magnusson, 1991, 1992). The processes are cyclical, al- though a few clients may begin at initiation and proceed sequentially through to implementation.

What finance means? ›

Finance, of financing, is the process of raising funds or capital for any kind of expenditure. It is the process of channeling various funds in the form of credit, loans, or invested capital to those economic entities that most need them or can put them to the most productive use.

Is finance a career for the future? ›

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that business and finance employment will grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030, matching the average projected growth for all U.S. occupations.

How can I grow my finance career? ›

Here are some crucial tips you need to consider to advance your financial career.
  1. Find a Mentor. Find someone you respect and admire within your organization and ask him to mentor you. ...
  2. Build Up Your Resume. A resume is a marketing document and not a record. ...
  3. Network. ...
  4. Go for More Certifications. ...
  5. Always Ask for Feedback.

What does a career in finance mean? ›

What is the field of finance? The field of finance involves the management of money and how an individual, company or government agency acquires and spends money. This field might include activities like investing, saving, borrowing, lending and budgeting money.

Which skill is best for finance? ›

7 Finance Skills That Will Have A Strong Impact On Your Career
  1. Accounting skills. ...
  2. Data management. ...
  3. Cash flow management. ...
  4. Mathematics. ...
  5. Business intelligence. ...
  6. Analytical thinking. ...
  7. Financial management.
14 Jul 2022

What skills do you need for a career in finance? ›

The top skills you need to work in financial services
  • Commercial awareness. This is a fundamental skill that all banks look for when they're recruiting. ...
  • Leadership and influencing. ...
  • Teamworking. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Numeracy. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Networking. ...
  • Personal impact.
21 Nov 2019

What are the 10 types of accounting? ›

Take a look at 10 types of accountants who focus on more than taxes.
  • Staff Accountant. ...
  • Certified Public Accountant. ...
  • Investment Accountant. ...
  • Project Accountants. ...
  • Cost Accountant. ...
  • Management Accountant. ...
  • Forensic Accountant. ...
  • Auditor.
7 Nov 2019

What are the 6 major accounts in accounting? ›

The chart of accounts organizes your finances into five major account types, called accounts: assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, and expenses.

What are the 6 sources of finance? ›

  • Sources of finance.
  • Retained profit.
  • Bank loan.
  • Bank overdraft.
  • Trade credit.
22 Mar 2021

What are the 7 types of financial services? ›

These financial services are explained below:
  • Banking.
  • Professional Advisory.
  • Wealth Management.
  • Mutual Funds.
  • Insurance.
  • Stock Market.
  • Treasury/Debt Instruments.
  • Tax/Audit Consulting.
25 Jun 2019

What is the opportunity in the financial services market? ›

The main areas of career are trading and broking in capital markets, equity and other security analyst, mutual funds, credit rating, investment and merchant banking, research and advisory services like mergers and acquisitions, commodity trading, risk management in financial markets, and portfolio management.

What are the opportunities of financial management? ›

Many of the occupations on the National List of Occupations in High Demand are finance-related. Some of these occupations include finance managers, payroll clerks, and accountants. Typically, these professionals earn salaries that are well above the national average.

Is there a future in the finance industry? ›

AI and machine learning are the future of finance

In the digital age, cutting-edge trends like artificial intelligence and machine learning are impacting all areas of the finance industry—from banking to fintech startups.

What are the 5 main areas in the financial services industry? ›

Learn more about the different sectors in the financial services industry.
Retail Banking
  • looking after current accounts.
  • processing payments such as debit cards and cheques.
  • offering short-term unsecured loans such as credit cards.
  • providing money management and savings accounts.
  • offering loans, mortgages and insurance.

What are the opportunities for banks? ›

What Are The Career Opportunities In Banking And Finance?
  • Bank Manager: One reaches this level of authority after gaining sufficient experience in the banking field or by working regularly in the same bank. ...
  • Probationary officer: ...
  • Financial Accountant: ...
  • Financial Risk Manager: ...
  • Investment Banker: ...
  • Financial Examiner. ...
  • Broker.
27 Aug 2022

What are the 5 types of financial management? ›

Financial Management also developed as corporate finance, business finance, financial economics, financial mathematics and financial engineering.

What are the six steps in the financial management process? ›

The Financial Planning Process
  1. Step 1: Set Goals. While this seems pretty basic, this step often gets overlooked. ...
  2. Step 2: Gather facts. ...
  3. Step 3: Identify challenges and opportunities. ...
  4. Step 4: Develop your plan. ...
  5. Step 5: Implement your plan. ...
  6. Step 6: Follow up and review yearly.

Is financial a good career? ›

Great compensation is one reason finance careers can be so attractive. The median annual wage for all business and financial occupations was $76,570 in May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's significantly higher than the median annual wage of $45,760 for all occupations.

What do people in finance do? ›

You'll create investment plans to help increase the wealth of your clients, and study a company's current and past financial performance to determine its overall worth and risk.

What are the 6 areas of financial planning? ›

Six Areas of Financial Planning
  • Cash reserve levels.
  • Cash reserve strategies.
  • Debt management.
  • Cash flow management.
  • Net worth.
  • Discretionary income.
  • Expected large inflow/outflow.
  • Lines of credit.

Which of the following are the 6 parts of the financial system? ›

1.1Six Parts of the Financial System. The financial system can be broken down into six main parts: money, financial instruments, financial markets, financial institutions, regulatory agencies, and central banks.

What are the 4 main types of financial institutions? ›

Banks, Thrifts, and Credit Unions - What's the Difference?
  • Commercial Banks. Commercial banks are generally stock corporations whose principal obligation is to make a profit for their shareholders. ...
  • Savings and Loans/Savings Banks. ...
  • Credit Unions.

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