What Are My Career Options in Investment Management?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in investment management. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and education information. Schools offering Finance Investments & Securities degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Careers Are Available in Investment Management?

When people are financially secure enough, they usually find ways to invest some of their funds for such things as college or retirement. These investments need to be handled by experts in the field such as financial managers and investment bankers. Those with invested funds may need a risk manager to assess whether funds need to be moved to protect their profitability.

Investment managers use their trained knowledge of finance and investments to oversee mergers and acquisitions or manage financial risks. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Financial Manager Risk Manager Investment Banker
Degree Required Bachelor's degree at minimum, master's degree for advancement Bachelor's degree at minimum, master's degree for advancement Bachelor's degree at minimum, master's degree for advancement
Key Responsibilities Oversee mergers and acquisitions or advise firms that want to issue stocks and bonds Limit financial losses due to inflation or spikes in commodity prices Trade stocks and bonds for a company
Certification Optional Optional Optional
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7%* 12% (for all financial analysts)* 10% (for all securities, commodities and financial services sales agents)*
Median Salary (2015) $117,990* $80,310 (for all financial analysts)* $71,550 (for all securities, commodities and financial services sales agents)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Investment Management Job Options

If you are considering a career in investment management, you have a variety of options. For example, you could work as a financial manager, risk manager or investment banking sales agent. You can find these jobs in banks, brokerage firms, credit unions and insurance companies.

Working in finance as an investment banker, you may oversee mergers and acquisitions or advise firms that want to issue stocks and bonds. As a risk manager, you're responsible for limiting financial losses due to inflation or spikes in commodity prices. Investment banking sales agents trade stocks and bonds for their companies.

What Education and Training Will I Need?

A July 2014 search for investment management and banking positions at Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com indicated there are positions available in a variety of industries, including aerospace and defense; energy and public utilities; and information technology. Most positions at this level require at least a bachelor's degree and anywhere from 3-7 years of experience.

Earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration, a B.S. in Finance or a related degree can prepare you for an investment management career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a Master of Business Administration or a similar master's degree is generally required for career advancement and may be preferred by employers. Pursuing voluntary certification, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, may also increase your employment options. Although not required for all positions, brokers and investment bankers often need to obtain a license and register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

How Much Can I Earn?

Your salary potential can vary based on the type of investment management job you pursue. In May 2015, the BLS reported that financial managers earned a median salary of $117,990. In the same year, securities, commodities and financial services sales agents, including investment bankers, earned an average of $71,550. Financial analysts such as risk managers averaged $80,310 per year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related alternative careers in finance management require a bachelor's degree. One related career might be as a budget analyst which help companies and private clients in keeping their daily finances organized. Another career field could be in insurance underwriting to use your financial skills to write the best insurance policies for people and organizations. A third alternative could have you working as a budget analyst collecting and analyzing financial data and then writing reports making recommendations to executives.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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