A finance manager, more commonly known as a financial manager, is like the family physician for a business -- he makes sure everything is going smoothly so the business's bank account stays healthy. Doing so includes tracking expenses, creating financial reports, looking for ways to economize, scanning the market for sound investments and forecasting for the future. Technology advances have lessened some of a financial manager's workload, but you still need the right education and years of experience to earn this job title. In exchange, financial managers are well paid for what they do.
To become a financial manager, you typically need at least a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, accounting, business administration or a related discipline. However, many employers look for candidates who have pressed on to earn their master's degrees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Postgraduate education provides more focused training that helps students develop analytical skills and better understand financial software. After graduation, you'll need to gain experience by working as an accountant, auditor, loan officer or other related finance occupation for around five years before you can usually qualify to become a financial manager.
The average annual salary for a financial manager was $126,660 as of May 2013, according to the BLS. Financial managers in the10th percentile reported salaries of $61,320 a year or less, while those in the 90th percentile reported income of $187,199 a year or more.
Industry plays a role in how much financial managers earn. The BLS reports that the highest-paid financial managers as of May 2013 worked for securities and commodities exchanges, where the average salary was $177,460 a year. However, this field only employed a small percentage of financial managers. The biggest single employers -- companies that provide depository credit intermediation services -- paid $105,470 a year on average. The second-biggest field for financial managers was management of companies and enterprises, where the average pay was $143,040 a year as of May 2013.
Salary by Location
What you earn is also affected by where you live. New York was the highest paying state for financial managers in 2013, with an average pay of $171,650 a year. West Virginia was the lowest, at $83,170 a year. Among metropolitan areas, the White Plains area of New York ranked first in pay at $182,960 a year. California's San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metro area came next at $167,960 a year. Among non-metro areas, east central New York ranked first in pay at an average of $128,990 a year.
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