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The Top Paying Entry-Level Finance Jobs in 2020

By Ashley Eneriz
April 23, 2019

Are you great with math and numbers but aren’t sure which degree or career path to pursue? A career in finance or accounting can match your strengths and passion with a useful degree and a steady job outlook.

Finance and accounting careers have low unemployment rates and open roles are expected to increase at a rate faster than the average occupation. In fact, business and financial careers are projected to grow 10 percent by 2026, adding 773,800 new jobs to the field. 

The best way to secure an entry-level finance job is with a related bachelor’s degree, such as BS in Finance and Accounting Management. There are entry-level accounting jobs that don’t require a degree, but earning a bachelor’s gives you a competitive edge—and a higher paycheck. Read on to learn more about the skills employers are looking for in their applicants, and the high-paying jobs you may be qualified for. 

Skills Needed for Finance and Accounting Jobs

Success in finance positions requires a mix of specific talents. Candidates must understand accounting principles as well as the foundations of financial management. Professionals must also demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning in order to keep their skills relevant and remain aware of ever-changing banking technology trends. The most qualified candidates also have strong interpersonal and communications skills. Many financial positions require professionals to be flexible in their communication—to make hard-to-understand jargon accessible to clients while also being able to discuss complex financial reports with others.

Top Entry-Level Finance Jobs for 2020

A degree in finance or accounting can unlock many promising career options after graduation. In fact, Kiplinger named a Bachelor of Science in Finance one of the top 25 degrees for a lucrative career in 2019. Here are eight of the highest-paying entry-level finance jobs.

Financial Analyst

Average Salary: $85,660

Typical Job Requirements: Financial analysts stay abreast of economic trends to advise clients and businesses on how to best invest and diversify their money. Financial analysts also determine a company’s value and assess financial risks and prospects.

Job Outlook: 11 percent growth


Accountant

Average Salary: $70,500

Typical Job Requirements: An accountant is responsible for ensuring an individual or company’s tax information is accurate and done properly. Accountants are typically busiest during the tax season, and it is typical for individuals in this field to work many overtime hours closer to the April 15 deadline.

Job Outlook: 10 percent growth


Budget Analyst

Average Salary: $76,220

Typical Job Requirements: Budget analysts help public and private institutions, such as government agencies and universities, organize their finances. Budget analysts are responsible for ensuring that budget proposals are accurate and compliant with laws and regulations.

Job Outlook: 7 percent growth


Financial Examiner

Average Salary: $80,180

Typical Job Requirements: Financial examiners keep financial institutions, such as banks, legally compliant. They ensure that financial institutions are compliant in all of their operations and transactions. They also are responsible for risk management, ensuring financial institutions offer safe loans, and that banks have enough cash on hand to manage unexpected losses.

Job Outlook: 10 percent growth


Management Analyst

Average Salary: $83,610

Typical Job Requirements: Sometimes called management consultants, a management analyst’s main role is to increase a company’s efficiency. Individuals in this role examine a company’s problems or ineffective procedures and develop solutions for improvement. A bachelor’s in finance is required, but a CMC certification can also make an individual more competitive and job-ready.

Job Outlook: 14 percent growth


Financial Manager

Average Salary: $127,990

Typical Job Requirements: A financial manager is responsible for a company’s financial health. Individuals in this career create financial reports and strategies for the long-term goals and growth for an organization. Those who want to become financial managers will have the greatest chance at finding a job. The career is in high demand, with over 23,000 people hired from the candidate pool each month.

Job Outlook: 19 percent growth


Loan Officer

Average Salary: $63,040

Typical Job Requirements: Using a process called underwriting, loan officers evaluate and authorize loan approval for individuals or businesses. This is one job where pay can vary dramatically depending on the division of work—i.e. a commercial loan officer versus a consumer loan officer. Many who become loan officers can earn several thousand more each year from bonuses or commission.

Job Outlook: 11 percent growth


Personal Finance Advisor

Average Salary: $88,890

Typical Job Requirements: Personal financial advisors work in a wide variety of specialties, from investments, life insurance, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to personal budgeting help. To secure an entry-level position, a bachelor’s in finance or accounting is ideal. To move up the ranks, a master’s in finance or an MBA can help.

Job Outlook: 15 percent growth


Finance Jobs Continue to Grow

Finance and accounting jobs have been a popular choice for many years, and they continue to grow. As globalization and finance technology increase and change, the need for expert financial professionals will remain steady. While most finance companies, such as banks and investment firms, hire individuals with the above job titles, companies across all industries need qualified financial employees. Earning a finance and accounting degree can be your ticket to a satisfying and stable career in the world of finance, investing, and business.

Unlike other online degrees, Northeastern University’s signature experiential learning model allows students to graduate with real-world experience along with a diploma. To learn more, explore our program page or connect with an enrollment coach to get your questions answered. 

About Ashley Eneriz
Ashley Eneriz is a contributing writer for Northeastern University.