Why Work in Finance? 4 Reasons and 5 Engaging Careers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Top 10 Jobs in Finance

Are you interested in a career in finance, but are not sure which job is best for you, or how to start preparing for it? We have you covered!

If you work well with numbers and enjoy managing money, you might consider a career in finance. Professionals in this industry can work in a variety of fields, such as banking, financial planning, money management, insurance or real estate. Learning about the different aspects of the finance industry can help you decide if it's right for you. In this article, we explain why to work in finance and list five finance careers you can consider.

Why work in finance?

Here are four reasons professionals may choose to work in finance:

1. Pay packages

Below are some ways you could earn money in a finance career:

  • Salary: Finance professionals typically work a 40-hour workweek, and earn a biweekly paycheck. They may also be eligible for annual promotions.

  • Bonuses: To reward employees for their performance, employers may offer bonuses in addition to salaries. Bonuses can take the form of a one-time payment, a regular payment or stock options.

  • Commissions: Companies often offer commissions as either a percentage of the sales an employee makes or a flat payment based on meeting a sales quota. Commissions may b an entire paycheck or an addition to a staff member's salary.

  • Draws: Finance companies often have a system called a draw that ensures staff members receive a regular paycheck regardless of their sales performance.

Related: 12 of the Highest Paying Finance Jobs

2. Promotions

Rather than rewarding employees based on seniority, companies in the financial sector often promote professionals based on performance. This means that those who have just entered the field may be able to advance their careers quickly by performing effectively. For example, if you're interested in becoming a financial analyst, you might focus on developing long-lasting connections with clients and earning relevant certifications to gain a promotion and earn a higher salary.

Related: Your Guide to Careers in Finance

3. Accessible entry-level positions

While the level of accessibility for entry-level finance positions varies based on the organization to which you're applying, companies often offer aspiring finance professionals a variety of ways to start their careers. For example, you could create connections at your target company by applying for an internship and using it as a way to transition into a permanent role. You could also use your professional network to learn about entry-level job openings.

4. Opportunities for professionals with a variety of skill sets

Professionals in finance have opportunities to employ many skills, including:

  • Technology skills: Finance careers often require technical skills, such as the ability to use spreadsheet software to track and update financial data. Companies might also value candidates who understand how to use cloud computing and conduct transactions using cryptocurrency.

  • Analytical thinking: Since markets often change, companies often seek employees who can predict these changes, gather information about them and create actionable solutions. Professionals may use analytical thinking to identify all the parts of a problem, comparing actual financial results to predictions.

  • Communication: Finance professionals are often responsible for converting the data from market analyses and financial forecasts into easily understandable, persuasive presentations. Understanding the audience, reinforcing the main points of a presentation with careful word choice and actively listening can help professionals communicate clearly and effectively.

  • Relationship management: Finance professionals typically develop this skill to develop and maintain their relationships with clients, colleagues and managers. They may focus on building trust with clients to help them make informed financial decisions and with colleagues to promote effective collaboration and a positive work environment for the whole team.

Related: Finance Skills: Definitions and Examples

5 finance careers

There are a variety of careers you can consider in the finance industry. Depending on your skills, interests and background, you may consider different types of finance work environments and responsibilities engaging. Here are five examples of positions you can consider in the finance industry:

1. Accountant

National average salary: $55,940 per year

Primary duties: Accountants are responsible for recording transactions and making sure a company's financial statements are accurate. They may also focus on analyzing data to develop budgets and spending plans for companies. Additionally, they often file tax forms on a company's behalf. They also may make financial recommendations to businesses or individual clients to help them reduce costs.
Related: Learn About Being an Accountant

2. Financial analyst

National average salary: $67,533 per year

Primary duties: Financial analysts manage portfolios, oversee mutual funds and determine the risk associated with a client's investments. This can help them provide clients with accurate financial advice and manage investments on their behalf. Whether their clients are individuals or companies, financial analysts typically aim to support their clients in making effective financial decisions. These professionals also follow market trends and catalog relevant data.

Related: Learn About Being a Financial Analyst

3. Financial adviser

National average salary: $72,965 per year

Primary duties: Financial advisers typically help people manage their money more effectively, often working with their clients one-on-one. They can help clients invest to prepare for large financial commitments such as retirement or attending college. To support their clients during this process, a financial adviser might check in to ensure their clients are saving funds at the right rate. Some financial advisors also help clients identify what financial goals are right for them to pursue, review their insurance needs and help them with taxes.

Related: Learn About Being a Financial Advisor

4. Financial manager

National average salary: $96,185 per year

Primary duties: Financial managers take care of a business' or organization's finances. They may work closely with the executives of a company, analyzing data, preparing reports and making recommendations based on that data. Some of these professionals specialize in a certain area, such as insurance or credit.

Related: Learn About Being a Financial Manager

5. Loan officer

National average salary: $179,167 per year

Primary duties: Loan officers review loan applications and decide whether a candidate or business is eligible to receive funds for a large investment. These professionals sometimes meet with candidates to review their financial information and make a recommendation on an appropriate loan. Loan officers may specialize in certain areas like mortgages, commercial loans or consumer loans.

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