FAQ: How Much Do Finance Majors Make? (Plus 8 Jobs To Explore)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2021

A professional with a major in finance has many career options in various industries where they can help businesses budget and manage their finances and accounts. These professionals often have advanced knowledge regarding financial management and financial risks. If you're considering a finance major, it's important to understand how much you can make in the career path you pursue. In this article, we answer frequently asked questions about finance majors, including how much they make and which types of jobs they can pursue.

What is a finance major?

Finance majors are students who learn how to optimize business operations with financial planning, forecasting and investments. This area of study relies on mathematical and statistical abilities. Majoring in finance takes a minimum of four years of study, but students may choose advanced degrees that take longer to complete. A finance major takes courses such as:

  • Asset markets

  • Economics

  • Financial management

  • Risk management

  • Venture capital

  • Behavioral finance

  • Accounting

After studying a wide range of topics, finance majors can pursue many jobs in industries such as insurance, health care and business development.

How much do finance majors make?

The salary of a finance major depends on several factors, including career path, location, employer, years of experience and education. Finance majors who pursue advanced degrees in finance, such as a master's or doctorate, may earn more depending on their level of education. Since finance majors may work in a variety of industries, their earnings can fluctuate greatly from each career. Senior-level roles, such as financial planner who earns an average salary of $70,357 per year, may earn more in most companies than an accountant, whose average salary is $56,020 per year.

What types of jobs can finance majors can pursue?

There are many jobs that a finance major can pursue, including:

1. Business teacher

National average salary: $40,234 per year

Primary duties: Business teachers are education professionals who provide instruction for business management and administration courses. They teach students about accounting practices, finance and human resources. Business teachers also prepare materials for exams and evaluate the students. They lead discussions about topics relating to business operations and management and assign coursework for students to apply their knowledge to and demonstrate that they understand.

2. Financial management specialist

National average salary: $49,686 per year

Primary duties: Financial management specialists gather and analyze data that relates to the monetary assets and financial position of an organization. They create reports to present to other professionals and shareholders and plan for the budget of the organization. Financial management specialists consider possible financial risks for the organization and predict future market trends to plan an effective budget for the fiscal year.

3. Credit analyst

National average salary: $53,038 per year

Primary duties: A credit analyst is a professional who works with banks, credit card companies and mortgage providers to evaluate applicants' credit history and approve them for loans and other accounts. A credit analyst also performs audits and enters data into software programs to create financial records. Depending on their employer, a credit analyst may also handle customer concerns and answer questions for lenders.

Read more: Learn About Being a Credit Analyst

4. Accountant

National average salary: $56,020 per year

Primary duties: Accountants are finance professionals who manage accounts and financial records. They may work for clients or businesses to analyze financial data for budgets, expenses and investments. Accountants also help prepare and file taxes. They may also make recommendations for financial activity based on the records they analyze.

Read more: Learn About Being an Accountant

5. Insurance manager

National average salary: $63,190 per year

Primary duties: An insurance manager oversees the insurance department of a company. They ensure employees follow all corporate and legal policies when working. Insurance managers create new procedures relating to filing client claims and sometimes help oversee training programs for new employees. Insurance managers also assist other finance professionals, such as brokers and loan officers, in their work.

6. Financial analyst

National average salary: $67,786 per year

Primary duties: Financial analysts analyze stocks, monetary assets and market trends to make recommendations to their clients regarding financial decisions. They research the financial information of the client or company for which they're working and compare it to current and predicted market data so they can evaluate and consider certain financial decisions. Financial analysts create portfolios for clients, recommend investments and analyze an individual's or organization's financial status.

Read more: Learn About Being a Financial Analyst

7. Financial planner

National average salary: $70,357 per year

Primary duties: Financial planners work directly with clients to create financial strategies. They help plan for significant financial matters, such as retirement, savings, mortgages and investments. Financial planners stay up to date with taxation laws, market trends and regulations to provide effective advice for their clients. Sometimes, they may refer their clients to other financial professionals for more specific services.

Read more: Learn About Being a Financial Planner

8. Financial adviser

National average salary: $71,606 per year

Primary duties: Financial advisers create detailed plans for their clients, including actionable steps to help an individual or company reach financial goals. They can help others resolve unexpected financial issues or plan for significant changes in their life or business operations. Financial advisers create plans that consider market trends, risk management and specific areas of concern that their client suggests.

Read more: Learn About Being a Financial Advisor

Where do finance majors work?

Finance majors typically have careers that allow them to work indoors in an office setting. Most jobs in finance are also full time and require little to no travel. However, if you're an adviser or consultant, you may travel to meet clients and assess their businesses. There are finance opportunities in nearly every industry because businesses require these professionals for their finance operations.

What certifications can finance majors earn?

After earning an undergraduate degree in a finance-related field, finance majors can earn several certifications. These certifications may help professionals earn a higher salary and increase their job opportunities. If you plan to work in finance here are useful certifications to consider:

  • Financial Risk Manager

  • Chartered Financial Analyst

  • Certified Financial Planner

  • Certified Public Accountant

  • Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst

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

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