What's the Average Salary for a Finance Major? (2024)

What is the average salary that a finance major can expect? People who have a bachelor's degree in finance take in $124,000 a year on average, according to data collected by Comparably. However, and it becomes apparent just how many finance-related careers pay well above average. Here’s a look at how you can expect to fare in some of the field's more common occupations.

Key Takeaways

  • Graduates with a finance degree can work for a wide range of employers, from Wall Street banks and insurance companies to financial-planning firms.
  • Some finance graduates pursue a CPA license, although it will likely require additional accounting coursework.
  • Financial analysts are among the better-paid professionals in the field.
  • The types of jobs finance majors can choose from vary greatly, including investing banking, equity research, financial planning, budget analysis, and Treasury analysis.

Financial Planner

Some people feel less comfortable making financial decisions, such as buying life insurance and investing for retirement, than others do. That's why there’s considerable demand for financial planners, who can help these individuals strategize.

Financial planners often work for insurance companies or brokerage houses, often as representatives who make commissions based on the products they sell. An independent advisory representative (IAR), on the other hand, works for fee-based (i.e. non-commissioned) advisory firms or sets up their own planning business. Often, IARs provide a broader range of services, such as budgeting and tax guidance, in addition to offering investment advice.

A personal financial advisor's median annual compensation in 2022 (the latest data available) was $95,390, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). What's more, employment within the field is expected to increase by 13% between 2022 and 2032.

Corporate Finance Professional

Major corporations often have entire departments tasked with helping the company raise and manage the capital that fuels their operations. Finance majors can pursue a number of different paths in corporate finance, most of which tend to pay very respectably.

Those who work on the treasury team, for example, help the company manage its cash, develop a strategy for short-term investments, and analyze foreign exchange (forex) transactions. A job as an entry-level treasury analyst in New York City pays a median of $105,570 a year; however, senior treasury analysts make a median salary of $127,995, according to data from Robert Half, a specialized staffing firm.

Wealth Manager

People who work in wealth management roles help high-net-worth individuals manage their assets, with an eye toward maximizing returns and mitigating financial risks.

Junior-level associates may find themselves handling an array of tasks, including helping to research different investment options and preparing presentations. Later in their career, however, they may take on management roles and shoulder greater responsibility for investment strategies.

To work in the financial sector, you don't necessarily need a finance degree, but it helps. Individuals with various majors work in finance and have high-paying and well-respected positions.

Individuals who develop this expertise typically make a good living, with the average wealth management professional enjoying an average base salary of $91,091, according to the job-search website Indeed.

Financial Analyst

While the responsibilities of financial analysts can vary based on where they work, their basic role is to help large organizations make prudent investment decisions. They may examine economic trends, meet with a company’s management team, and pore over financial statements in order to develop an appropriate investment plan.

Typically, they use that information to develop financial models that help predict the potential outcome of different strategies.

The work of financial analysts breaks down into two basic categories: Buy-side analysts often work on behalf of insurance companies, foundations, and other institutional investors, providing advice to the money managers responsible for those clients.

Sell-side analysts, on the other hand, are employed by brokerage firms and provide their clients with recommendations on whether to buy or sell certain securities.

The median pay for analysts in 2022 was $96,220 per year, according to the BLS.

Investment Banker

Major investment banks such as J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs need people who can advise companies on how to raise capital as well as how to go about acquiring or merging with other businesses.

It’s a fast-paced career that can involve some very long hours—especially at top Wall Street firms—but it certainly pays well for those who are successful.

Entry-level analysts start with salaries from about $100,000 to $120,000, according to Wall Street Oasis data. Once you become an associate, you could earn between $150,000 and $200,000 a year (and those who make it to “vice president” earn even more).

Management Consultant

The role of a management analyst—sometimes known as a management consultant—is another well-paid career you can seek out with a finance degree. According to BLS data, the median pay in 2022 was $95,920.

Management consultants help businesses identify ways to cut costs and boost revenue. To do that, they have to possess strong financial analysis skills as well as an understanding of the competitive landscape in which a firm operates.

They may, for example, help a company focus its resources on markets where the firm can achieve greater profitability.


The most obvious path to becoming an accountant is to get a bachelor’s degree in—you guessed it—accounting. But an undergraduate finance degree lets you cast a wider net when it’s time to get a job. And with some extra coursework, you can still sit for the CPA exam, an accreditation that leads to higher pay than non-CPA accounting roles.

Most states require students to obtain 150 semester hours of coursework in order to obtain a CPA license. Strictly speaking, you don’t need a master’s degree to take the exam. But if you’re a finance major, getting there may require a graduate degree in accounting or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for CPAs is $96,000.

Loan Officer

Before lending money to businesses or individuals, banks need to have a reasonable expectation that the borrower will pay them back. One of the main responsibilities of loan officers is to assess that risk.

They’ll often talk to loan applicants and evaluate their borrowing history before making a recommendation to the bank or mortgage company for which they work.

According to the BLS, the median pay for loan officers in 2022 was $65,740 per year. It appears that the job market for these professionals will remain fairly steady over the next few years, with the BLS estimating just 10,400 new loan officer jobs added between 2022 and 2032.

What Careers Can You Choose With a Finance Degree?

There are many careers those with finance degrees could pursue. Careers suitable for finance degrees include insurance agents, financial analysts, investment banking, commercial banking, real estate agent, accountant, risk management, and equity research.

Can You Make a Lot of Money With a Finance Major?

Yes, you can make a lot of money with a finance major. The ability to make a lot of money with a finance major comes down to the job an individual chooses. There are a variety of jobs in finance and not all pay equally. Investment banking is one of the highest paying jobs in finance, with recent graduates making between $100,000 to $120,000. As an investment banking career progresses, so does the salary.

Is Finance a Hard Major?

Finance is a somewhat difficult major. The difficulty with finance comes down to its concepts that students would not have experienced before in their lives, the financial lingo in the field, and the concentration of math in the subject.

The Bottom Line

While finance degrees overall may not pay more than other educational tracks, there are plenty of finance-related jobs that are lucrative. Some of the careers that pay the most, such as investment banking, involve long hours, so if you are concerned about work-life balance you might want to consider another career.

What's the Average Salary for a Finance Major? (2024)


What's the Average Salary for a Finance Major? ›

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS), careers in finance pay a median salary of $76,850 — 66% higher than the median salary for all occupations in the nation ($46,310).

Is finance a high paying major? ›

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS), careers in finance pay a median salary of $76,850 — 66% higher than the median salary for all occupations in the nation ($46,310).

Can you make 6 figures with a finance degree? ›

Yes, sure you can make around six figures at some of these fortune 500 corporate finance role or be an investment banking analyst making close to $200K a year just a year out of undergrad, but that's not where the real money is made in finance.

Are finance majors worth it? ›

High earning potential: Many jobs in finance offer high salaries and growth potential, making it a lucrative career choice. Diverse career opportunities: With a finance degree, you can work in various roles and industries, from investment banking to risk management to financial planning.

Is finance a hard major? ›

Is Finance a Hard Major? Finance is a somewhat difficult major. The difficulty with finance comes down to its concepts that students would not have experienced before in their lives, the financial lingo in the field, and the concentration of math in the subject.

How much is 6 figures? ›

6 figures is what we say to refer to a number which is between 100,000 and 999,000. We say "6 figures" because there is 6 individual numbers within the number. Usually this term is used for describing a salary! If someone earns over $100,000 per year, we say "they earn 6 figures".

What pays more accounting or finance? ›

Location: Living in a higher cost-of-living area will affect your income and earning potential. Career path: While the average salary for a finance major is higher than that of an accountant, individual jobs in accounting may pay much more than specific jobs in finance.

Is finance math heavy? ›

One thing that's for sure is the high amount of math you will need to study. Finance is a mathematical discipline, so if you aren't as comfortable with math as with other ways of thinking, you may find it more challenging. Additionally, finance also makes use of a vast, highly specific vocabulary.

What are the cons of a finance degree? ›

They can include high stress, big responsibility, long working hours, continuing education requirements, and, in some cases, a lack of job security—the finance industry is generally quite cyclical.

Is it hard to get a job as a finance major? ›

Getting your foot in the door of a finance job isn't always easy. Start by getting part-time or full-time finance internships, ideally while you're still studying, to gain a competitive edge. As you rack up years of experience, your options will improve.

What pays more finance or marketing? ›

Compared to marketing roles, finance professionals often enjoy higher starting salaries, significant bonuses, and robust compensation packages, especially in high-stakes areas like investment banking and asset management.

What is the hardest job in finance? ›

One of the most difficult jobs in Finance is to be the CFO of a PE firm or a PE-backed company. According to a Big 4 firm's survey, turnover of CFOs in PE and PE-backed companies is notoriously high, reaching 80% in less than five years; half of whom are gone within three years.

Are finance majors in demand? ›

Careers in finance may also offer flexibility for employees by allowing them to work remotely or in hybrid environments. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that business and finance jobs will be in demand from 2022 to 2032, with 911,400 openings on average each year.

Is finance a better major than economics? ›

A finance degree might be more suitable if you are interested in managing investments, financial planning, or business finance. An economics degree might be more appropriate if you are engaged in economic research, policy analysis, or public service. Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Do finance or business majors make more money? ›

The highest-paying business master's degrees are general business ($112,198), finance ($101,649), and business economics ($100,021).

Is finance harder than accounting? ›

Is finance harder than accounting? Accounting relies on precise arithmetic principles, making it more complex, whereas finance requires a grasp of economics and accounting without as much mathematical detail.

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