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Top 12 Best Paying Jobs in Finance

We all want a secure, high-paying job, and finance has traditionally been a field where people can earn a good living. But what are truly the best paying jobs in finance?

If you’re anything like Michael Scott (from the U.S. version of The Office), you might be unaware of how many options exist for careers in finance. (When his friend tells him to impress girls by saying he “works in finance,” Michael’s version of that is to say he’s a bank teller.) 

Unfortunately, while a full-time bank teller is a respectable job, you’ll only earn $31,230 a year doing it. There are areas of finance that produce a much higher rate of pay. 

If you’re looking for a career path that will make it easier to…

  • save aggressively for retirement,
  • give generously, and
  • live with greater financial freedom

…then check out this selection of some of the best-paying jobs in finance!

Related: Best Paying Part-Time Jobs (and How to Get Them!)

Potential of Careers in Finance

Finance and business-related careers can offer a lot of financial benefits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that jobs in “business and financial operations occupations” will likely grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029. That’s a faster rate of growth than the average of all occupations, so choosing a finance career is a great idea. 

Of course, a high salary is only part of the equation. So no matter how much you earn, you’ll reach financial goals faster with a high savings rate and a mindful lifestyle. 

Related: Wealth Comes From Where You Live…Not Your Salary

12 of the Best Paying Jobs in Finance and Their Salaries

Below are the best paying jobs in finance! Take a look and see if there’s something you like and wish to pursue!

  • Chief Compliance Officer: $128,380
  • Chief Financial Officer: $127,729
  • Actuary: $108,350
  • Private Equity Associate: $108,152
  • Financial Software Developer: $106,124
  • Hedge Fund Manager: $98,256
  • Personal Financial Advisor: $87,850
  • Financial Analyst: $81,590 (Indeed says $69,419)
  • Financial Examiner: $81,090
  • Budget Analyst: $76,540
  • Accountants and Auditors: $71,550
  • Insurance Underwriters: $70,020

Facts and figures come from Indeed.com and the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook

Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) 

Executive roles will always lead to higher salaries, so a Chief Compliance Officer of a company is one of the best paying jobs in finance. Average salaries nationally in this role are reportedly around $128K. Obviously, it can take quite a few years of experience to reach this point in your career.

best paying finance jobs

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 

The Chief Financial Officer of a company also brings in one of the highest salaries, with a national average of $127,729. Earning that level of pay requires fulfillment of a lot of duties including budget oversight and managing financial teams. 

Actuary 

An actuary needs to possess a robust knowledge of math, statistics, and business. Plus, the series of tests you need to pass in order to become fully certified as an actuary are fairly difficult. Many actuaries work for insurance companies, analyzing financial consequences of risk. 

The financial rewards for an actuarial career are terrific: the median annual salary in 2019 was $108,350. 

Private Equity Associate

At $108,000 for a national average salary, private equity associates have another of the best paying jobs in finance. You’ll work with investors to help them secure equity funding and maintain a diverse investment portfolio. 

Financial Software Developer

If you have a mind suited to computer software, you could work in developing the programs that financial institutions utilize. Financial software developers can also make above six figures on average, at $106,124 per year. 

Hedge Fund Manager

One of the best paying jobs in finance is one you probably have thought of: hedge fund manager. Working with groups of investors that combine their financial resources to purchase investments, a hedge fund manager takes on quite a bit of pressure. Plan on long hours to keep clients satisfied. 

business motivationPersonal Financial Advisor

If you have a bachelor’s degree and enjoy assisting others in mapping out their financial goals, becoming a financial advisor could be a fantastic career. Not only do advisors make an average of $87,850 per year, but they can actually make a difference in clients’ lives by impacting their financial future. 

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts often show up on lists of the best-paying finance jobs. While Indeed.com only gives an average salary of about $69,000, the median salary listed on the BLS site is $81,590 per year. (Of course, median and average aren’t quite the same thing, but either figure is a solid salary.)

People who have a talent for researching financial data and analyzing it to provide the best possible information to businesses or individuals can break into this career. 

Financial Examiner

Someone who’s a stickler for the rules might enjoy being a financial examiner, with an annual median salary of $81,090. You might work within the government or the finance/insurance industry, keeping organizations within compliance with laws that govern transactions and institutions. 

Budget Analyst

Similar to a financial analyst, a budget analyst will assist organizations in getting all of their finances in order. Passing courses in economics, statistics, and accounting is helpful, and a bachelor’s degree is usually required. It’s another of the best paying jobs in finance, with an annual median salary of $76,540 as of May 2019. 

Accountant or Auditor

Accountants often get a bad rap for being boring, but they do important work! That’s why it can be a fairly lucrative career, with a median annual salary of $71,550. As an accountant or auditor, you’ll need to be extremely organized and thoroughly examine financial records of your clients. 

To pull in a salary at the higher end of the range, you may need to study for your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or another specific field within accounting or auditing, such as Accounting Concentration.

This highly focused course is a springboard to becoming a leader in Accountancy and the business world in general. The good news is you can study it all online with an online accounting MBA which can easily be studied alongside your day job.

If you want the best jobs, you need to invest the time and effort.

Related: Highest Paying Remote Careers in 2021 (Top 12 Ideas!)

Insurance Underwriter

At just above $70K for an annual median salary, insurance underwriters have one of the best paying jobs in finance. Evaluating insurance applications is key to the job. Watch out, as this field is projected to decrease by 6% from 2019-2029, due to automation of more of the job’s tasks. 

Best Paying Jobs in Finance – Know Your Worth

If you’re training for a new career in finance, learn all you can to be the best possible candidate for your future job. Of course, as with any job or field, we all have to start at a lower salary, but with dedication and commitment, can attain the great levels of compensation shown here (and higher). You can do this!

What’s your dream finance job? Does it pay as much s you would have hoped?

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AUTHOR Kate Underwood

Kate Underwood loves reading, talking, and writing about all things in personal finance. She made the switch from her high-school teaching career a few years ago to become a full-time freelance writer and editor and can be found at kateunderwoodwriter.com.

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