How To Become a Finance Professor (With Steps and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 2, 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.

If you have a passion for numbers and for educating others, then you might consider becoming a finance professor. Many universities offer programs in finance, which means they may have a need for finance professors. Understanding more about this profession, including the duties, skills and benefits of the role, can help you decide if this is the right path for you. In this article, we define this teaching profession, list the duties, explore the benefits and explain how to become a finance professor.

What is a finance professor?

A finance professor is an educator whose goal is to inform students about financial concepts. They conduct accounting or finance classes at universities to help students understand and use financial concepts. Some common courses finance professors teach include:

  • Intermediate accounting

  • Money and banking

  • Corporate finance

  • Multinational corporate finance

  • Fundamental of investments

  • Risk management and insurance

  • Principles of finance

  • Wealth management

  • Financial plan development

  • Financial modeling

Related: 39 Finance and Business Terms You Should Know

What does a finance professor do?

Finance professors have a variety of duties and expectations they perform on a recurring basis. While many responsibilities vary between institutions, some common duties include:

  • Providing career advice to student

  • Preparing educational lectures

  • Collaborating with colleagues

  • Creating course materials

  • Maintaining office hours

  • Conducting established lesson plans

  • Evaluating student papers

  • Mentoring new faculty members

  • Conducting research in the specialty

Reasons to become a finance professor

Many professionals pursue educational careers to help teach students. There are many other reasons and benefits to pursuing a finance professor position with a university , including:

  • Help others

  • Flexible work hours

  • Travel opportunities

  • Pursue your interests

  • Autonomous

  • Tenure potential

  • Long-term effect

Educators also pursue finance professor roles for the variety of employment benefits many institutions offer , which may include:

  • Medical insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Paid time off

  • 403(b) retirement plans

  • Loan forgiveness

  • Tuition reimbursement

  • Parental leave

  • Disability insurance

  • Stock ownership plans

How to become a finance professor

Review this list of steps, which can help you become a financial professor:

1. Complete undergraduate and advanced degree programs

Completing a bachelor's and master's degree can help you expand your knowledge regarding financial principles. It's a good idea to consider your specialty before selecting your bachelor's and master's programs because it can help you select classes or programs that apply to your future specialty Some programs for you to consider when pursuing your bachelor's or master's degree include:

  • Finance

  • Accounting

  • Financial planning

  • Business administration

  • Auditing

  • Management accounting

  • Taxation

  • Corporate finance

  • Investments

Related: Fi**nance Degrees: What Are Your Options?**

2. Get a Doctor of Philosophy ( Ph.D.)

Many universities hire professionals with an advanced degree or higher. Pursuing a postdoctoral or Ph.D. program can help universities understand more about your expertise within a particulate financial field. It's important to pursue a program that aligns with the finance professor position you want to pursue. Some programs to consider when applying and completing your degree include:

  • Business administration-finance management

  • Finance

  • Accounting

  • Economics

  • Personal financial planning

  • Banking

  • Financial services management

3. Publish research papers

Publishing research papers can help universities understand more about you, your knowledge and your skills in the financial field. Research papers are also useful tools to reinforce your expertise in the field. Publishing your research papers can also help you form connections with individuals within the financial and education communities.

4. Gain experience

Pursuing carers in the financial career field before pursuing an educational career can provide you with unique experiences. This can also help you show employers your technical skills surrounding financial or accounting concepts. Experience can also enhance your lesson plans because you can offer real-world insights to students, rather than only providing textbook answers. Some professions you might consider before pursuing an educational career include:

  • Financial adviser: Financial advisers examine an individual's or company's financial information and advise how to achieve their financial goals. They advise about investment, tax laws and insurance.

  • Financial analyst: Financial analysts perform financial planning and analysis duties for a company. They help predict company profits, which can help an organization adjust its sales and expenditure strategies.

  • Financial manager: Financial managers analyze a company's financial data to provide recommendations about increasing profits. They generate financial reports and financing strategies for their organization.

  • Insurance agent: Insurance agents sell or manage a customer's insurance policies. They also advise customers regarding insurance plan information to ensure full coverage while optimizing costs.

  • Investment banker: Investment bankers issue debt or sell credit in a company to increase a customer's financial capital. They also help companies experiencing a merger or acquisition.

  • Stock market trader: Stock market traders place buy and sell orders in specific stock with the goal of generating profits. They also review and analyze a company's financial performance to predict stock market trends.

  • Accountant: Accountants maintain and review a company's financial records and statements. They verify the accuracy of recorded transactions and certify all records are in accordance with state and federal regulations.

Related: 10 Popular Finance Jobs and Salaries

5. Examine finance professor positions

Reviewing finance professor positions can help you identify beneficial skills or qualifications to develop. This can also help you understand more about what universities want in an ideal candidate. Some common skills many job descriptions include are:

  • Critical thinking

  • Verbal and written communication

  • Time management

  • Organization

  • Leadership

Some certifications you might obtain to highlight your expertise in specific financial areas include:

  • Certified Finance Planner (CFA)

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

  • Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)

  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Please note that none of the certifications mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Related: 14 Finance Certificates To Help You Advance in Your Career

6. Review university information

Researching the company you want to apply to can help you understand more about their values and mission. This can also help you determine fields of study the university focuses on, which can help you identify topics to discuss in your research papers. Considering reviewing the universities' published research papers to help you understand more about the financial concepts the university values. Researching companies can also help you develop questions to ask during interview opportunities with an organization.


While there's no specific salary information reported for finance professors, the national average salary for professors is $54,782 per year. This amount can vary based on an individual's location, experience, company and specialty. For example, professors located in Boston earn an average salary of $125,421 per year.

Job outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they expect the job outlook for postsecondary teachers to grow by 12%. The cause of this growth from 2020 to 2030 is likely due to the existing workforce transitioning into retirement or other roles. This increase is greater than the expected growth for all occupations, which is beneficial for those professionals entering the educational career field.

Tips for becoming a finance professor

Review these tips to help you become a finance professor:

  • Identify your specialty early: Reviewing your professional goals before pursuing your undergraduate degree can help you select the right finance program. This can also help you select specific courses or take elective classes that correlate with your future specialty.

  • Collaborate with finance professionals: Speaking with existing finance professors can help you understand more about what employers want in ideal candidates. They can also recommend certifications to complete and skills to develop to help you distinguish yourself from other candidates.

  • Form professional networks: Forming connections with other professors or faculty members at the university you're applying to can help potential employers recognize you. Networking can also help generate referrals for finance faculty positions.

Explore more articles