What Are the Highest-Paid Jobs in the Finance Industry?

Written By
G. Dautovic
July 14,2023

Unlike many other industries, the financial sector routinely pays higher-than-average salaries. That’s because no matter the crisis or condition of the economy, there will always be a demand for financial professionals, from entry-level positions to high-powered executive roles. 

If you’re a finance professional on a job-hunting mission, you are likely looking into the positions that pay the most, and with adequate education and experience, you should be all set to land one of the best-paying jobs in finance.

Job Position

The Average Annual Salary

Required Skills/Knowledge


Financial and Investment Analyst


Mathematical, computer, analytical, and statistical skills; familiarity with federal and state laws


Financial Manager


Leadership and decision-making skills; market research; financial data analysis; expense forecasting 




Mathematical and statistical skills; risk management; insurance expertise


Investment Banker


Market research and trends; portfolio management; entrepreneurship; analytics




Accounting; knowledge of federal and state laws; tax returns


Personal Financial Advisor


Accounting; SEC filings; corporate finance; analytics; financial modeling; insurance

Entry-level, high-ranking

Financial Systems Director


Information technology; financial information systems; databases; operating systems; web technologies; networking; information security 


Compliance Officer


Business administration; compliance policies; compliance management software; analytical skills


Loan Officer


Business administration; banking regulations; lending products; math; analytics; interpersonal communication


Budget Analyst


Accounting; math; knowledge of financial accounting software, financial reports


What Are the Top-Paying Finance Jobs in 2024?

If you are looking for an entry-level job or are simply looking to move laterally for better pay, some of the most lucrative positions include financial analyst, financial manager, and investment banker. 

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best choices on the job market, according to mean pay data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and statistics from other relevant sources. 

Financial and Investment Analyst

Average pay: $103,020

If you’re good with numbers and have an interest in the stock market, a career as an investment analyst could be for you. Investment and financial analysts research securities and provide recommendations to clients, which are typically banks, asset management firms, insurance companies, and private equity firms.

To qualify for a job as a financial and investment analyst, you’ll need at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as finance, economics, or accounting. Strong mathematical and computer abilities, analytical skills, knowledge of statistical methods, and familiarity with federal and state laws are all required for these jobs. 

Since an entry-level job pays a mean $103,020 (as of May 2021), this might not be one of the best-paying jobs in finance, but as you gain experience, your salary will likely increase.

Financial Manager

Average pay: $153,460

A financial manager is a high-ranking professional responsible for the financial health of an organization. The most senior financial manager in a company is the chief financial officer.

Financial managers oversee work on financial reports, direct investment activities, and establish strategies to maximize profits. A manager can deal with a small business’ finances, in which case they monitor the entire financial picture.

In a large corporation, they might specialize in one area, such as risk management or real estate investing.

A bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting is typically required for this role, and employers also value extensive experience in the field. Leadership and decision-making skills, along with market research, financial data analysis, and expense forecasting abilities, are also key.

According to statistics, this might be one of the best-paying jobs in finance/investor services, as financial managers can expect an average of $153,460 per year (as of May 2021).


Average pay: $125,300

An actuary is a professional who analyzes the financial impact of risk. They use their skills in mathematics and statistics to assess the probability of an event occurring and then calculate the consequences if it does happen. 

For example, an actuary working in the insurance industry might determine the amount of money that needs to be set aside to cover future claims. They also deal with insurance rates, design new insurance policies, and advise clients on risk management.

It is one of the highest-paying jobs for entry-level applicants, requiring at least a bachelor’s degree. You’ll also need to pass exams administered by the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries and earn the Associate or Fellow certification.

The mean pay for an actuary was $125,300 in May 2021, according to the BLS.

Investment Banker

Average pay: $162,715

An investment banker is a professional who helps companies raise money by issuing and selling securities. They also help clients buy and sell investments, such as stocks and bonds.

Investment bankers typically work for banks, but they can also be employed by securities firms, insurance companies, or corporate finance departments.

Not only is this one of the highest-paying finance jobs, but it has one of the biggest spans in terms of earnings potential. Investment bankers typically earn a base salary plus bonuses, which can vary greatly depending on their skills and experience, as well as the needs of the firm they work for. 

Those who manage to climb to the level of VP, SVP, or managing director can earn millions of dollars per year. In any case, the investment banker’s average salary is more than $150,000 per year

More precisely, the average base pay is $162,715, but the top-paid 10% get $276,000 annually, according to Zippia. To land this type of job, you’ll need at least a conventional bachelor’s degree or MBA and a proven track record in the financial industry, such as robust experience working in financial institutions. 


Average pay: $83,980

Let’s take a look at some of the less sought-after finance-degree jobs that are still vital to the industry. An accountant is a professional who tracks and reports on the financial activities of an individual or organization.

They prepare financial statements, ensure compliance with tax laws, and advise clients on financial planning.

Aside from a bachelor’s degree in accounting, top-rated finance certifications, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA), can also be helpful in landing a job. 

According to the BLS, the mean pay for accountants stood at $83,980 in 2021. Aside from accounting, job applicants should also be familiar with federal and state laws, tax returns, and auditing procedures.

Personal Financial Advisor

Average pay: $119,960

Finance can be a good career path, even if your overarching goal is simply helping others. Having a personal financial advisor is not only for the wealthy. These experts provide personalized advice on how to manage money and save for the future.

They can help with investment decisions, retirement planning, and estate planning. The BLS reports that personal financial advisors earned a mean salary of $119,960 in 2021. 

If this career sounds enticing, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to apply. However, many of these jobs also require certification, such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Financial advisors must know the ropes of accounting, SEC filings, corporate finance, analytics, financial modeling, insurance, and more.

Financial Systems Director

Average pay: $118,427

Yet another on our list of the best-paying jobs in finance companies is that of a financial systems director. This position is responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of an organization’s financial information system. 

They also oversee the staff who work on the system and ensure that it meets the needs of the organization. Financial systems directors typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. 

They also have experience working with financial information systems and staff and are familiar with databases, operating systems, web technologies, networking, and information security.

Oracle-Certified Professionals (OCP) can get better job prospects. The ZipRecruiter reports that financial systems directors earned an average salary of $118,427 as of October 2022.

Compliance Officer

Average pay: $75,810

Another of the banking finance jobs on our list, a compliance officer is a professional who helps organizations comply with laws and regulations. They develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that the organization is in compliance with all applicable rules. 

Compliance analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, law, or a related field. They should also be accredited with compliance management certification and be proficient in compliance management software. 

They need to possess advanced analytical abilities and have a vast knowledge of compliance policies and procedures. The mean pay for this profession is $75,810 per year, according to the BLS.

Loan Officer

Average pay: $80,570

The next on our list of the best-paying jobs in finance is that of a loan officer. Loan officers work in banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions and help people get loans. 

They evaluate loan applications, recommend approval or denial, and negotiate terms and conditions with borrowers. To become a loan officer, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. You should also be familiar with credit reports

Loan officers typically have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or a related field. They should be familiar with banking rules, regulations, and lending products and be proficient in math and analytics.

Interpersonal communication is important in this role as loan officers need to develop relationships with customers. On the flip side, for this type of finance job, the salary is on the lower scale, as loan officers earn $80,570 on average.

Budget Analyst

Average pay: $84,240

A budget analyst is a professional who helps organizations plan and manage their finances. They develop budgets, track spending, and provide advice on ways to save money. 

If companies need plans for future spending, budget analysts are the ones who create them. To become a budget analyst, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, or a related field.

You should also be familiar with financial accounting software and have experience working with numbers and financial reports. Budget analysts typically work in government agencies, universities, and healthcare organizations, but some work in private companies as well. 

With an annual mean wage of $84,240 in 2021, a budget analyst is certainly not among the best-paying jobs in finance consumer services; however, considering that it’s intended for entry-level applicants, it might be a great option to start climbing the ladder. 

Final Thoughts

The financial sector can provide a rewarding career path with great job prospects and earning potential.

The roles and responsibilities of the jobs in this field vary greatly, but all of them require at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field and a set of skills that are essential for success in the field. 

If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, consider a job in finance, as you’ll get a perfect dose of both.


What is the best finance job that pays the most if you’re good at it?


If you’re ready to put in the hard work, a job as an investment banker may be one of the best-paying jobs in finance and accounting for you. This high-ranking role requires long hours and a lot of dedication, as well as skills in market research and trends, portfolio management, entrepreneurship, and analytics.

As for education, you’ll be required to have at least a conventional bachelor’s degree or MBA. However, with an average annual salary of $162,715 and much more, if you’re at the top of your game, it’s certainly a job that pays well.

Which kind of finance job is right for you?


The best finance job for you will depend on your skills, interests, and experience. Do you have a head for numbers? Then a role as an accountant or budget analyst may be the perfect fit. Are you good with people and have a knack for sales? Then a job as a loan officer or financial analyst could be the right choice.

Is finance a competitive field?


Some of the best-paying jobs in finance are also some of the most competitive. Investment banking, for example, is a field that requires long hours and a lot of dedication.  Most high-ranking finance jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree, and many also require an MBA or other advanced degree. 

Having experience in the field is also a major advantage. Candidates with certifications like CFP, CPA, or CMA would have the edge over the others. So if you’re looking for a job in finance, be prepared to compete with other talented and ambitious candidates.

About author

I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.

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