Master’s in Finance DegreeIMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay, public domain.

A master’s in finance degree could be your ticket to a lucrative career. Find out what salaries correspond to which finance careers so you can plan your career path. You can also take steps to improve your salary potential now – even before you have chosen a school.

Finance Job Titles and Median Salaries

The first job you’re likely to get once you graduate with your master’s in finance degree is financial analysts. These professionals earn a median salary of $80,310 per year, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. The highest paid financial analysts work in financial investments, including commodity contracts and securities. They earn a median wage of $94,450. The role of a financial analyst is to study and evaluate potential investments so that companies can make smart (and profitable) investment decisions.

You could also find a position working as a personal financial advisor. Unlike the typical financial analyst, personal financial advisors work with individuals rather than corporations. Assessing investment options is only one part of a personal financial advisor’s role. Personal financial advisors work with clients on a number of different financial decisions, from choosing how and how much money to save for certain financial goals to planning their estates, making sound decisions about taxes and even buying insurance. The median salary for personal financial advisors is $89,160 the BLS reported.

The highest paid position in the field of finance is financial manager. Financial managers earn a median annual wage of $117,990, the BLS reported. Financial managers working in company management or professional and scientific services earn even more – $136,490 and $140,160, respectively. Finance officer, treasurer, controller and chief financial officers are all types of financial managers, and they all work to maintain the big-picture financial health of their company or organization.

How to Maximize Your Earning Potential With a Finance Degree

The graduate school you choose is one of the factors that can influence your salary. Not all colleges are equally well respected, and not all programs offer the same wealth of opportunities. If you’ve got your eyes on a six-figure annual salary, earning your graduate degree from one of the top master’s in finance degree programs can help. To know which program is right for you, check out authoritative rankings lists.

You should also explore the school’s master’s of finance curriculum to make sure it matches your goals and interests, according to U.S. News & World Report. While you may be eager to earn your degree and get your career started, remember that the shortest program might not be best program. Sometimes accelerated programs give students less time to complete internships that could serve as valuable work experience and networking opportunities, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Once you get out into the business world, how you use your master’s in finance degree also affects your income potential. An employer who is just as impressed with a general master of business administration (MBA) degree as a master of finance degree might not reward the specialized skills you have worked so hard to cultivate. For the best chance at earning the most money, you should look for employers and opportunities where your targeted education will be appreciated. Often, master’s in finance graduates find analyst roles in environments like commercial banks, investment banks and accounting firms, according to U.S. News & World Report.

With a master’s in finance degree, you can earn salaries well above the median wage for all occupations. Strategically planning your education and career moves can help you boost your salary even more.