What Is the Average Salary for Entry Level Finance Jobs?

Some careers in finance include budget analyst, investment specialist and financial manager; however, as with many jobs, you might have to start at a lower-level position before reaching your goal. Read on to find out more about salaries in the finance industry. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Average Salaries by Career

Finance is a wide-ranging field that offers a variety of career choices and opportunities for advancement. You might, for example, enter the field as a bank teller, securities and commodities sales agent, business finance analyst or financial manager. Salaries for these careers vary and depend on your employer and location.

Important Facts About Entry-Level Finance Jobs

On-the-Job Training Learning the products, services and software; rotations between departments
Licensure Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (employers sponsor licensing for financial analysts)
Work Environment Full time; nights and weekends; telephone calls and meetings
Similar Occupations Cashiers, bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting clerks, customer service representatives, insurance sales agent, insurance underwriters, real estate broker, budget analysts

Bank Teller

To become a bank teller, you generally must have a high school diploma and pass a background check. You'll then complete on-the-job training to learn the occupational functions, such as processing transactions, cashing checks and completing withdrawals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of bank tellers was expected to experience little to no change between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov).

In May 2014, the BLS reported that these professionals earned an average salary of $26,650. The depository credit intermediation industry was the largest employer for bank tellers and paid an average wage of $26,720. State government paid the highest average wage of $42,470. The five states with the highest pay for these professionals had average salaries ranging from $29,270-$30,720. These states included Alaska, the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Washington.

Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agent

Securities, commodities and financial services sales agents arrange securities transactions for companies, investors and the public. You may specialize in one aspect of the field, such as stock brokerage or investment banking. Entrance to this profession typically entails a bachelor's degree in finance or another related major. The BLS reports that employment of these sales agents was expected to increase 11% during the period spanning 2012-2022, though entry-level agents may see better job prospects in commodities brokerage and trading.

While some sales agents are paid salaries, many earn commissions based on the securities and commodities they sell. According to the BLS, these professionals earned an average salary of $103,260 in May 2014; however, earnings often vary according to the number of clients that agents have, so entry-level agents who haven't developed clientele may bring in lower wages. While the securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage industry paid an average wage of $136,920, the depository credit intermediation industry paid a much lower average wage of $62,600. Average salaries in the five states with the highest pay were between $113,050 and $152,860. These states were New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and Kansas.

Financial Analyst

As a financial analyst, you'll help determine the value of a business by studying the marketplace and calculating financial statements, sales, expenses and other factors. You'll need to have at least a bachelor's degree to enter this profession; however, advancement may entail a master's degree and certification. Though highly competitive, this career field is expected to grow quickly in the coming years, and the BLS reports that jobs for financial analysts were projected to increase 16% from 2012-2022.

According to the BLS, financial analysts earned an average salary of $92,250 in May 2014. Other financial investment activities and company and enterprise management were the top industries for this occupation, and they paid average wages of $115,420 and $84,280, respectively. The five states with the highest pay had average wages between $101,890 and $119,230. These included New York, the District of Columbia, California, Alaska and Massachusetts.

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee companies' budgets and investments, prepare fiscal reports and develop financial plans. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for entrance into this profession, though employers may prefer financial managers with master's degrees and sales experience. Employment of financial managers was projected to increase nine percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS.

In May 2014, financial managers earned on average $130,230 per year, reported the BLS. The depository credit intermediation industry had an average wage of $105,720, while the company and enterprise management industry had a higher average wage of $149,380. Five states with the highest pay included New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Colorado and California. Average salaries ranged from $144,670-$175,020 in these locations.

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