Finance can be an incredibly lucrative field in terms of both compensation and long-term growth. The job field is relatively stable with good future security, and it can provide opportunities for an astronomical career trajectory. In fact, nearly every field is being forced to develop their financial footprint and expertise due to the complexity of modern financial advancement. Today we’re sharing everything you need to know about financial professions for both personal and company information.

How Much Do Corporate Finance Professionals Make?

The structure of every organization is unique to its needs, age, location, industry, and a variety of other factors. For example, your company may not have a controller OR a CFO and instead rely on accountants and a Vice President of Finance to manage all finances. Similarly, the salaries of the financial professionals will vary depending on a multitude of factors. The following salary estimates are based on national averages and therefore may not apply to your situation, but can be helpful for general benchmarks. 

Financial Professional Salaries

Accountants
$55,000-95,000
Treasury Analyst
$60,000-90,000
Financial Planning Analyst
$85,000-120,000
Controller
$110,000-180,000
VP Finance
$90,000-200,000
CFO
$150,000-300,000

These numbers do not reflect total compensation packages, which often include benefits, bonuses, and other perks. Additional compensation can dramatically alter these numbers, so it’s important to look at a full picture rather than dismissing a job because of a salary report.

Salary Resources

Not only do financial professionals enjoy above-average salaries, but there are a variety of other benefits to a career in finance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial professionals can expect job growth that is much more rapid than the general job market—up to 16% growth annually due to the increasing complexity of the financial world. What does this mean for you? It means that now is a great time to break into finance, or to consider career advancement such as additional education and certifications. 

How does your salary and education stack up to other finance professionals? You can find information here about differing finance careers and the levels of education expected – as well as the salary ladder you can climb when you go deeper. 

Where should you begin your search? Try this tool to explore different finance careers and their salaries. You can find variance due to education, location, and other factors that could impact your current decisions regarding your career in the world of finance.

Finance Professional Job Descriptions

Accountants

The accounting staff is on the front lines of your financial team. Accountants manage the daily aspects of company finances, such as accounts payable and receivable, maintaining financial records, executing budgets, and more. If your company is small or just starting, you may only need a small accounting department to manage your financial needs. Some firms may have enormous teams of accountants managing various different parts of the business. 

There are also different qualifications for accountants that might meet the needs of your company, such as a managing accountant, forensic accountant, or auditor. Additional certifications, such as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, or Certified Management Accountant, can qualify accountants for different types of accounting work and promotions. 

Job Type Salary
Entry Level Accountant $40,000
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) $65,000
Financial Accountant (4-6 years experience) $80,000
Big Four Firm Accountant $90,000+
Senior Accountant (7+ years experience) $100,000
Average CPA Salary $119,000
Senior CPA $152,000

Learn more about accountant responsibilities and salary.

Treasury Analyst

A treasury analyst is a role that isn’t necessary at every company, but is an important position when there are large amounts of assets to be managed. A treasury analyst will direct the cash flow of a company, manage debts, evaluate loans and investments, and generally monitor the value of a business to maximize health and function. 

See the Treasury Analyst job information and salary breakdown.

Financial Planning Analyst

Financial planning & analysis is a critical piece of any business endeavor. Financial planning & analysis involves understanding markets, making predictions, strategizing, and creating detailed financial plans that involve various teams within a company. A more introductory role of Financial Analyst would include the most basic parts of market study. A financial planning analyst is charged with researching the market relative to their business and advising financial operations. 

Read more about Financial Planning & Analysis jobs

Controller

The role of controller is often the first step into a management role for finance professionals. Controllers generally oversee the accounting departments and report to high-level executives with financial reports and interpretation of data. A controller will need years of accounting experience and also strong, developed people skills for management. Sometimes this role could also be defined as Director of Finance, Director of Accounting, Managing Accountant, or other comparable titles. 

Learn about the salary and job description information for Controllers.

VP of Finance

The Vice President of Finance is an executive role that involves more decision-making and collaboration beyond the finance department. A VP of Finance will likely have to build relationships with other areas of the company, clients, shareholders, and other businesses. While a VP of Finance will manage the daily tasks of the company’s finance, they will also be responsible for long-term planning and reporting. 

Learn more about VP of Finance jobs and compensation.

CFO

The Chief Financial Officer is a role born of necessity when your company has grown in size and complexity. A CFO is primarily responsible for the financial future of a business. They are groomed and hired in particular for their vision. A CFO will make important decisions about capital, fundraising, investments, restructuring, leadership, and growth. 

Read up on CFO responsibilities and salary.

Other salary and job resources

How to make more as a finance professional

So you want to make more money? You’re not alone. Luckily, the field of finance offers opportunities for increased earning and career advancement. Depending on your current role, you may find multiple routes to a bigger paycheck. Here’s what we’ve found to be the major factors at play for increased salary and job titles.

Location: salaries are higher in larger cities and markets. Finance capitals such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other major cities will likely get you more money, but cost of living is another factor to consider. Compare financial professional salaries here

 

Public vs. private: Private companies generally pay more than public companies in order to attract and maintain talent. 

 

Company size: Larger companies tend to pay more than smaller companies, and usually have better established resources like benefits and perks. However, you may find that being a big fish in a smaller pond is more lucrative than being a small fish in a big pond for your particular situation. 

 

Education: Adding a degree or certification could bump your salary as much as $50,000 depending on your role. Consider adding CPA certification, getting an MBA, or other business, accounting, or management certifications to make yourself more competitive and worth more money. {Your company may even agree to cover tuition and fees for advanced certifications!}

 

Experience: There’s not much that can substitute for years of experience. Sticking with a company can display loyalty that will be rewarded. You can also gain experience by seeking out new and varied projects to work on within your role, or by working closely with a respected mentor. 

 

Promotion: Is there a management role available at your company? Could you step up by changing companies? Naturally taking on more responsibility will come with a raise. Ask around and keep your eye on job boards. 

 

Negotiate: You don’t need a promotion to get more money. Research how much comparable jobs are making, as well as cost of living and inflation adjustments. Document everything you do for the company and progress you’ve made, then schedule a meeting to address your compensation with your superior. 

 

Extras: Think outside the salary box. Your overall compensation package can bring significant value to your life, even if your paycheck doesn’t change. Options could range from bonuses, revenue sharing, additional PTO, work-from-home options, new work assets like a computer, a company car, parking space, or other cool perks. 

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