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Earning power is often a main driving factor when it comes to choosing a career. If you’re looking to amass your wealth, earning a finance degree and embarking on a career like financial analyst, advisor or manager can help you reach your economic goals. In addition to offering median salaries that far overshadow the wages for all occupations, finance careers may offer the opportunity to earn bonuses and commissions. They can also pave the way toward executive leadership roles. Of course, there are also high-paying opportunities in investment banking, particularly on Wall Street.
Salaries of Finance Careers
Financial specialists fit several job descriptions and roles. What position they hold, as well as the amount and quality of education and experience they have, can affect their salary potential.
Financial analysts earn a median salary of $80,310 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Personal financial advisors earn a median salary of $89,160 per year, according to the BLS. Financial managers bring home a median salary of $117,990 annually, the BLS reported.
In addition to a high salary, many finance professionals receive perks such as company bonuses and commissions. Some financial specialists, like fund managers, earn compensation based on a percentage of the money they manage, the return they achieve for their investors or both.
Wall Street Wages
Do you consider a $1 million annual salary “rich”? What about $2 million or $5 million? These sorts of salaries may sound extravagant, but they’re not unheard of on Wall Street, Business Insider reported.
Some of the highest-paying Wall Street careers include:
- CCO – Chief Compliance Officer, $1 million to $2 million
- CRO – Chief Risk Officer, $1 million to $3 million
- CTO – Chief Technology Officer, $2 million to $3 million
- Proprietary Trader, $2 million to $3 million
- Hedge Fund Research Head, $2 million to $3 million
- Top Partner, $2 million to $5 million
- Head of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), $2 million to $6 million
- Head of Investment Banking, $3 million to $8 million
- Chief Hedge Fund Traders, $1 million to $20 million (or more)
Factors That Increase Salaries for Finance Professionals
Which industry a finance professional works in can play a large role in determining earning potential.
For example, financial analysts who work in securities, commodity contracts and investments earn a median wage of $94,450 annually, while financial analysts in the insurance industry earn just $74,510. The difference between salaries of financial managers in different industries can also add up to tens of thousands of dollars per year. In professional and scientific services, financial managers make $140,160, compared to $107,120 among those working for the government.
For candidates who currently have only an undergraduate business degree, going on to earn a Master of Business Administration or Master of Finance degree can open new doors to more lucrative job opportunities. Attaining a certification like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA Institute can also boost a finance specialist’s career prospects.
Whether your idea of “rich” is $80,000 per year or $8 million, earning a finance degree can help you attain a job with a high earning potential. Choosing a prestigious school and pursuing an advanced degree can offer you even more – and better paying – job opportunities.