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Finance Salaries and Hiring Outlook

Earning a degree in finance can represent a significant investment of time and money, which makes it important to consider earning potential when evaluating degree and career tracks in this broad field. There are many factors that impact salaries in finance, including geographic location, the experience level of the applicant, the specialty area, and the highest level of education achieved. Earning professional credentials such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) can also impact earnings potential. Continue reading to learn more about factors that influence salaries in finance as well as a comparison of the best states for finance professionals.

How Much Do Finance Professionals Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage for all types of finance and insurance professionals is $75,280 per year.1 However, this category includes diverse occupations, so it is helpful to look at specific career paths as you plan your trajectory. The following table compares major occupations within the field of finance based on the typical education, anticipated annual job openings (including both new positions and replacements), and average salary.

OccupationTypical Highest Education Level Recommended2-9Number Employed in the US1,10Avg. Annual Job Openings11Avg. Annual Salary1,10
ActuaryBachelor’s (63%)22,2602,200$120,970
Budget AnalystBachelor’s (64%)2,0004,800$81,970
Claims Adjuster, Examiner, or Investigator287,96025,800$68,940
Credit AnalystBachelor’s (95%)51,4107,400$86,920
Financial Analyst / Other Financial SpecialistMaster’s (65%)184,24030,900$105,890
Financial ExaminerBachelor’s (87%)42,8605,200$89,940
Financial Manager654,79064,900$147,530
Insurance UnderwriterBachelor’s (70%)100,0508,400$77,640
Loan OfficerBachelor’s (69%)266,46029,900$75,330
Personal Financial AdvisorBachelor’s (52%)195,81023,200$120,830

Finance Salary and Outlook by State

The sortable table below includes data on finance salaries by state, using financial analysts as a proxy. Earnings potential may be higher or lower depending on the specific financial occupation. The table also considers the job growth rate for financial analysts as well as the cost of living as measured by the average salary for financial analysts and the median home list price within a state. The national average is set to a benchmark of 1.0, meaning that a score above 1.0 may indicate a relatively positive outlook and buying power for finance professionals in a given state.

RankStateUS AverageFinancial Analyst Avg. Salary (2019)12$94,160Zillow Home Value Index (2020)13$263,351% of Zillow Home Value Avg. Salary Buys36%2018 Financial Analysts Employed11329,5002028 Financial Analysts Projected 11349,80010-Year Growth Rate (2018-
2028)116%
Best States for
Financial Analysts (Avg=1)1.00
1West Virginia$71,470$110,54465%41045010%1.78
2Alabama$85,240$156,26555%1,5401,6809%1.52
3Iowa$79,910$157,30851%2,2902,57012%1.50
4Oklahoma$73,050$139,40952%1,6801,7907%1.41
5Texas$87,750$220,03440%28,26033,64019%1.41
6Arkansas$63,610$140,98645%1,1301,28013%1.39
7Kansas$77,820$164,33647%1,7301,8909%1.35
8Georgia$85,630$218,60939%7,3808,55016%1.31
9Ohio$81,110$164,96849%9,57010,1206%1.31
10North Carolina$87,730$220,71040%9,58010,89014%1.27
11Kentucky$67,850$156,92643%1,8001,98010%1.27
12Mississippi$67,750$131,97351%5405502%1.27
13Missouri$86,500$176,60949%4,5004,6804%1.26
14South Carolina$76,070$203,32837%1,9902,28015%1.24
15Pennsylvania$91,150$211,28743%12,57013,5408%1.21
16North Dakota$88,270$236,01237%23026013%1.20
17Nebraska$75,720$189,13940%1,6501,81010%1.19
18Indiana$73,390$169,15643%3,2703,4706%1.18
19New York$132,290$343,16439%54,78060,08010%1.15
20Utah$73,250$386,72319%3,5904,64029%1.15
21New Mexico$84,540$224,37438%1,0701,18010%1.14
22Tennessee$68,070$203,13434%4,8705,56014%1.14
23Illinois$91,110$217,10542%15,26015,8404%1.09
24Michigan$81,500$187,74743%6,3406,4001%1.06
25Wyoming$88,590$258,28034%10011010%1.06
26Wisconsin$78,920$207,01838%4,5104,7706%1.05
27Virginia$99,000$302,36933%9,0609,9109%1.00
28Connecticut$103,250$281,92437%7,2007,5805%1.00
29Florida$73,500$264,14928%14,11016,06014%0.99
30Colorado$96,010$431,10022%4,0304,81019%0.99
31South Dakota$68,770$222,43531%47052011%0.99
32Nevada$76,220$327,71423%30035017%0.95
33Minnesota$89,770$277,27632%6,5707,0407%0.94
34Delaware$91,510$277,97933%3,5503,7606%0.93
35Oregon$84,340$393,71021%2,5703,00017%0.91
36Alaska$101,600$296,64634%2903003%0.90
37Montana$75,270$313,26124%17019012%0.85
38Maryland$86,780$335,26026%6,7407,3809%0.84
39New Hampshire$85,410$321,49627%7508108%0.82
40Louisiana$65,900$177,54837%1,000970-3%0.81
41Washington DC$106,490$666,76716%4,0304,74018%0.80
42Rhode Island$88,620$331,45827%1,1001,1706%0.79
43New Jersey$99,170$367,10327%11,17011,7705%0.77
44Idaho$73,360$331,12622%5505907%0.70
45Vermont$77,680$273,02428%2202200%0.68
46Maine$69,380$269,75326%5205302%0.66
47Washington$90,570$458,31320%8,1608,6666%0.62
48California$98,850$609,75716%42,50046,5009%0.61
49Massachusetts$102,610$464,27922%15,98016,4903%0.60
50Arizona$78,890$303,23026%360350-3%0.55
51Hawaii$97,490$667,00515%6306706%0.50

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do finance professionals make?

The salary ranges for finance professionals are as broad and varied as the roles and industries in which finance professionals can be found working. However, financial analyst is one of the commonly-known careers in this area that is representative of careers in finance with a bachelor’s or advanced degree. According to the BLS, the occupational category of Financial and Investment Analysts, Financial Risk Specialists, and Financial Specialists, All Other earn an average of $94,160 per year nationally.1

What are the highest-paying finance careers?

The highest-paying finance careers are typically found in the C-Suite, with top executives reporting an average salary of $163,410 per year, and chief executives reporting an average salary of $227,680 per year.1 General and operations managers, who frequently have a finance or related degree, earn an average of $156,420 per year.1 Most of those who reach this career level have a master’s or advanced degree in finance plus significant job experience.

How much do entry-level finance jobs pay?

While many jobs in finance require at least a bachelor’s degree, there are also entry-level careers that are typically attainable with an associate’s degree or the equivalent combination of education and experience. These include credit counselors, who earn an average of $52,730 per year; billing and posting clerks, who earn an average of $40,850 per year; and financial clerks, who earn an average of $47,310 per year.1

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Finance and Insurance, 2019: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_52.htm
2. O*NET OnLine, Actuaries, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2011.00
3. O*NET OnLine, Budget Analysts, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2031.00
4. O*NET OnLine, Credit Analysts, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2041.00
5. O*NET OnLine, Financial Quantitative Analysts, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2099.01
6. O*NET OnLine, Financial Examiners, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2061.00
7. O*NET OnLine, Insurance Underwriters, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2053.00
8. O*NET OnLine, Loan Officers, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2072.00
9. O*NET OnLine, Personal Financial Advisors, 2019: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2052.00
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, National, 2019: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
11. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections, 2018-2028: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
12. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial and Investment Analysts, Financial Risk Specialists, and Financial Specialists, All Other, 2019: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132098.htm
13. Zillow Home Values, November 2020: https://www.zillow.com/home-values/