How Can I Become a Financial Examiner?

Explore the career requirements for financial examiners. Get the facts about job responsibilities, education requirements, credentials and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Financial Examiner?

The career of financial examiner is a rigorous one. Financial examiners hold institutions such as banks and insurance agencies to a high standard of honesty and integrity based on established regulatory standards. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), their degree curriculum should include courses in such areas as accounting, finance and economics. Financial examiners may work in the area of risk scoping, which entails the evaluation of the fiscal health of a financial institution or consumer compliance. Consumer compliance deals with monitoring the fair treatment of borrowers. Newly hired financial examiners usually undergo a period of supervised on-the-job training. Advancement to a senior position generally requires a master's degree.

The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as a financial examiner.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Accounting, business, finance or related field
Key Skills Analytical skills, detail oriented, math skills, writing skills
Certifications Required Vary depending on specialty
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10%*
Median Annual Salary (2015) $78,010*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What are the Responsibilities of a Financial Examiner?

The purpose of a financial examiner is to ensure that financial institutions operate in legal and regulatory compliance and on a sound financial basis. In this profession, your primary responsibility would involve visiting banks, insurance providers and securities firms to examine their financial statements, auditors' reports and other documents. If you encounter a questionable situation, you would investigate and take necessary actions, either to enforce the law or to recommend procedures that ensure compliance. Your job would involve use of a variety of software technologies, including spreadsheet, compliance, financial analysis and project management software.

Once you have completed your examination, you would prepare detailed reports that document an institution's financial bearing and legal compliance as well as the recommendations made for resolving uncertain financial situations. When new laws and regulations are established, you would analyze them and apply policies and procedures to ensure compliance. Other responsibilities may include managing and training other examiners.

What Credentials Would I Need?

The pathway to becoming a financial examiner would depend on the area of your specialization. Options include bank examiner, insurance examiner and financial compliance examiner. There are many specialties within these areas as well, such as mortgage examiner, information systems examiner or anti-money laundering specialist. Regardless of your chosen pathway, you would be expected to hold a bachelor's degree in accounting, business, finance or a related degree that includes substantial coursework in accounting, auditing and business law.

Once you have education and experience you can become certified through a professional organization. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) offers certifications in general and specialty occupations related to banking and securities. To work as an insurance examiner, you would apply at the Society of Financial Examiners (SOFE). The association for Certified Fraud Examiners could be another source for certification and professional advancement through continuing education.

What Skills and Abilities Would Contribute to my Success?

Logic and reasoning skills would benefit you in a number of situations. These could include detecting problems or inconsistent data, applying rules and regulations to specific problems and finding solutions to problems. The ability to write and speak clearly about complex issues would facilitate your interactions with accountants, attorneys and executives at the organizations where you would be conducting your examinations. The ability to make independent judgments and decisions and an aptitude for mathematics would contribute to your success as well.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You can qualify to become a loan officer by earning a bachelor's degree in an area such as business or finance and then completing several months of on-the-job training. Certification is not mandatory but can be advantageous to a loan officer's career. Mortgage loan officers are required to become licensed. In general all loan officers examine and evaluate the financial status of potential borrowers. They assess the ability of the loan applicant to repay the loan. Using underwriting software, they then recommend or not recommend the granting of the loan.

The job of financial analyst entails the examination of the status and capabilities of an individual and then making recommendations to that business or individual regarding potential investments. There are a number of types of financial analysts including portfolio managers, risk analysts, ratings analysts and fund managers. Though some advanced positions might call for an MBA, a bachelor's degree in finance, math, economics, accounting or statistics might prepare you to become a financial analyst. Some financial analyst positions require that you be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In addition, some employers require certification from the CFA Institute.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »