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How to Become a Finance Manager

How to Become a Finance Manager

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Financial Managers: A Quick Look
Median Salary $109,740 per year or $52.76 per hour
Entry-level Education Bachelor’s degree
On-the-job training None
Primary employers Various industries such as insurance companies and banks.
Number of positions (U.S.) 532,100
Job Growth (2012-2022) 9% (Just below the national average)
New positions (2012-2022) 47,100

Financial ManagerFinance Manager Job Description:

Finance managers oversee the financial well-being within a business or company and they may work within a variety of employers in different industries. The Finance Manager job description requires them to be responsible for creating future financial goals for the company or business they work for. They also write summative reports and statements on the financial status of the company, create strategies pertaining to financial management, and direct or assist the activities relating to the company’s financial investments. Financial managers may have slightly different responsibilities based on the industry in which they work or based on the particular company they are employed by. Learn more about the typical Finance Manager job description here.

Finance Manager Salary:

The BLS estimates that the median annual Finance Manager salary was $109,740 or $52.67 per hour in 2012. Financial managers can work in a variety of industries, and salaries may vary slightly based on the industry in which they are employed. Read more

How to Become a Financial Manager:

You may be wondering about How to Become a Financial Manager. In regards to education, it is usually necessary to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (such as business, accounting, or finance) in order to become a financial manager. Additionally, 5 or more years of relevant work experience is usually necessary in order to procure a position as a financial manager. Many finance managers start out in entry-level positions and work their way up. It is important that financial managers have strong organizational and analytical skills. They must pay close attention to details and have strong mathematical skills. Learn about How to Become a Financial Manager here

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Finance Manager Job Outlook:

According to the BLS, the Finance Manager job outlook should grow by 9% between 2012 and 2022. This is approximately the same rate of growth as all other professions. However, this is a competitive field and it is likely there will be fewer vacant financial manager positions than there are job applicants. Job seekers who have specialized training, certificates, and/or advanced education should have a leg up on other applicants when they pursue vacant financial management positions. Read more

Finance Manager Salary:

Financial managers tend to earn quite handsome pay. The median wage of all employed financial managers was estimated by the BLS* to be $109,740 in May 2012. The finance manager salary is notably higher than the median annual wage for all occupations within the United States ($34,750). The lowest 10% of financial managers employed within the United States earned less than $59,630, and the top 10% of financial managers in the United States earned more than $187,200. Salary for financial managers tends to vary depending upon the industry in which they are employed. As of 2012, the median annual wage for financial managers who work in technical, scientific, or professional industries was $130,120. Financial managers who manage enterprises and companies had a median annual wage of $124,840. Financial managers who work in insurance firms or financial institutions earned a median annual wage of $108,690. The median annual wage for financial managers who work in the manufacturing industry was $107,730, and the median annual wage for financial managers who work in government settings was $102,270. Financial managers typically work full time and often work extra hours. They may work as many as 50 or 60 hours each week. The highest paid financial managers tend to live in areas such as San Francisco and New York City.
  • Top 10% Earn more than $187,200
  • Median Finance Manager salary is $109,740.
  • Lowest 10% Earn less than $59,630
Other factors contributing to an Finance Manager’s salary include geographical location and field.
  • Technical, scientific, or professional industries earn on average $130,120
  • Managers who manage enterprises and companies earn an average of $124,840
  • Insurance firms or financial institutions earn a median annual wage of $108,690
  • Those in government settings earn the lowest average at $102,270
  • The top earning U.S. cities for a manager’s median salary: San Francisco and New York City

How to Become a Finance Manager:

Finance manager education is extremely important when a person plans to pursue employment as a finance manager. To learn how to become a finance manager, an individual should first plan to attend a four year college. It is helpful for prospective financial managers to take higher level mathematics classes, economics classes, and other related classes while still in high school. This is not mandatory, but it is beneficial. In college, it is helpful for prospective financial managers to major in finance, economics, business, or accounting. An individual could choose to major in one particular area and minor in another. A bachelor’s degree is typically considered the basic mandatory education for financial managers. However, a master’s degree in a related field is quickly becoming the desired education level. Related fields include a master’s in finance or business administration.


There are no required professional licenses for a finance manager. However, certification is a possibility for financial managers who have a minimum of 4 years of relevant work experience and a bachelor’s degree (or higher). They must also pass 3 exams in order to become a certified Chartered Financial Analyst. Individuals who have 2 years of related work experience can take an exam to become a Certified Treasury Professional. Individuals who successfully procure financial management positions typically have prior work experience in relevant positions. Also, individuals with specific knowledge or training have an advantage over other job seekers. Additionally, job seekers tend to have an advantage if they have a license to sell insurance or other securities. It is not unusual for people to start out in related entry level positions and eventually advance to financial management positions. Due to the nature of financial management, it is crucial that job seekers are highly oriented to details, well organized, have strong mathematical and analytical skills, and are strong and effective communicators. Knowledge about and familiarity with computers is an important skill for prospective financial managers to have as they typically work with computers and other current technology. They must also be able to keep current with and follow rules and regulations pertaining to finance.

Finance Manager Job Description:

  • Create statements, business reports, and financial forecasts
  • Oversee fiscal details to ensure legal compliance
  • Manage employees who perform financial budgeting
  • Review fiscal statistics and create methods to reduce overhead
  • Analyze the market for opportunities for industry growth or to purchase another company
Financial managers can work within a variety of industries. As a result, the average Finance Manager job description may vary to some degree. There are also various types of financial managers including: cash managers, controllers, risk managers, finance officers, insurance managers, and so forth. Typical responsibilities of financial managers include overseeing accounting procedures and policies, the management of company funds, budget related tasks (such as creation and implementation of a budget), financial analysis, and overseeing employees who complete other financial reporting tasks. Some financial management tasks are more specific to the particular industry they work in. Financial managers must also be aware of policies and laws that pertain to their particular industry. For example, a financial manager who works in healthcare finance must be knowledgeable about problems and laws pertaining to healthcare finance. Financial managers typically work in fairly comfortable office settings in banks and other similar settings. It is crucial that financial managers be good communicators and work well with people. They tend to manage teams and oversee finance related projects. There is a high level of stress associated with financial management positions, so persons interested in becoming financial managers should be able to channel and cope with stress. Some financial managers have to travel for to meet with clients or other businesses. Meetings tend to be a large part of financial managers’ job as they often meet with co-workers, team members, and with executive managers. Financial managers often use computers, tablets, and other technology to assist with the completion of their work. Often, they use software to complete their reports, analyses, and other job related documents.

Finance Manager Job Outlook:

The finance manager job outlook is decent to sub par. The job market for financial managers is expected to grow by 9% between the years 2012 and 2022, which is the anticipated rate of growth for all other occupations. It is anticipated that demand for financial managers will vary from one industry to the next. It is also anticipated that there will be notably high levels of competition for employment as a finance manger. Most likely, more people will seek positions in financial management than there will be job openings for financial managers. This is where higher, specialized levels of education will set some individuals apart from the rest. Specifically, a master’s degree in a related field or a specialized certification will likely give one individual preference over job prospects. It may be possible for some job seekers to secure temporary positions as some companies will only need to employ a financial manager for a brief period of time. However, most financial managers can anticipate long-term, full time employment once they secure such a position. The trick here will be attaining such a position in the first place amidst all of the intense competition.

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