How to Become a Financial Manager

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a financial manager depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need at least a bachelors degree in finance. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree or an MBA along with internship experience can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a financial manager.

How Much Does a Finance Manager Make?
$109,740 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+47,100 additional people employed


(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Financial Managers page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Financial Manager

The state of California leads the nation in employment for financial managers, with 69,550 currently working statewide, and earning an annual mean wage of $139,810. New York is second in employment, with 36,370 occupying positions in various industries across the state, and making an average yearly salary of $171,650.

There are approximatly 500,000 financial management jobs today including roles at banks and insurance companies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The following industries employ the most financial managers:

  • Finance and insurance 29%
  • Management of companies and enterprises 9%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services 9%
  • Manufacturing 8%
  • Government 8%

Employment and Salary Information by State for Financial Managers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Financial Management. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Financial Management

Why Become a Financial Manager?

Financial management career growth is on the rise with a 9% increase in jobs through 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Almost everyone has been schooled about fiscal responsibility since their first coin dropped in the piggy bank as a youngster. However, life in the financial management space today is a bit trickier. After all, developing long-term financial planning and goals for an entire organization takes some serious strategy and training.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Financial Manager

  • Accounting
  • Business Analysis
  • Economics
  • Micro/Macro Economics
  • Principles of Finance
  • Risk Management
  • Banking and Financial Markets
  • Money Management
  • Advanced Financial Management
  • Investing
  • International Finance

Degrees for Financial Management Careers

The primary educational experiences of a financial analyst specialists fall under business, economics, accounting and math. However, a background in computer sciences, physics and engineering is also considered a valuable commodity.

There are typically two types of certificate programs for financial management. The first is designed for professionals already underway with their careers, who would like to increase skills and become more efficient in their current roles. The other certificate program is designed for those without any finance background interested in exploring professional opportunities in the industry.

Bachelor’s Degree
The great thing about bachelor’s degrees is they allow for a lot of experiment. They typical four-year program provides students with plenty of opportunity to see what type of courses and careers fit best.  Business, finance, accounting, or math among others can sample the types of lessons that are applicable to a financial management career. However, stick with a major that provides an analytical background (aforementioned majors) if you hope to land an entry level financial management job upon graduation.

The master’s degree of business administration is the gold standard business degree. Many students are early to mid-career professionals seeking more training and skills to advance careers. Many programs have MBA programs that focus on financial management.