Over the next ten years, the U.S. economy is expected to add an estimated 8.4 million jobs. This amounts to job growth of approximately 0.5% per year, or 5 to 6% over the decade. During that same time frame, jobs in the financial and business services field are projected to outpace the overall average, increasing by about 7%.
Some jobs in this industry, however, will experience explosive growth of 10% or more. And, in a market with unemployment rates hovering near ten-year lows, the climate is even more desirable for top candidates with the right qualifications.
So what are the best finance jobs to apply for right now? We combed through data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the fastest-growing jobs in finance and accounting for the next decade.
Top 6 Finance & Accounting Positions
1. Financial manager
A financial manager steers the financial ship of an organization. They’re responsible for every aspect of their company’s monetary health; keeping a close watch on key metrics, preparing and analyzing reports, and advising senior leadership on finance-related decisions.
A financial manager analyzes a company’s activities and makes recommendations to maximize profits, reduce costs, and stay competitive in the marketplace. They oversee the staff responsible for financial activities like budgeting, payroll, and taxes. With technology advancing more rapidly than ever before, an effective financial manager in today’s market must also be able to adopt the latest technology for the company’s benefit and anticipate future trends.
A financial manager role is one of the best finance jobs around when it comes to career prospects, with an expected growth of 16% by 2028. It’s a lucrative career path, too, with a median pay of $128,000 or $61.53 an hour. Financial managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in a subject like finance, accounting, economics, or business administration and at least five years of experience in an occupation like accounting or financial analysis.
To be successful as a financial manager, you must be analytical and assertive, able to draw big-picture conclusions from an amalgamation of data and turn that data into actionable recommendations.
2. Management analyst
A management analyst works in a consulting role to help companies improve their efficiency, solve operational challenges, and control costs. They bring a fresh, unbiased perspective that’s useful in uncovering problems that members of company leadership may be unable to diagnose from within the organization.
A management analyst may either work for a consulting firm or be self-employed, so it’s a great role for self-starters and independent workers. Since analysts typically work on a temporary contract basis, the nature of the job and the people you work with in this role will change frequently.
Management analysts are one of the fastest-growing jobs in the field; expected to grow by 14% over the next ten years as companies strive to trim their margins and deliver increasingly better products at competitive prices. The median management analyst salary is $83,600, which equates to $40.20 an hour.
Professionals in this role typically have a bachelor’s degree in a subject like finance or business management. Many choose to pursue a master’s degree or a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation to further advance their credentials. There are many career paths that dovetail nicely with this job; people with experience in management, accounting, and business analysis are all good candidates to transfer their skills into a role as a management analyst.
In order to excel at this job, flexibility is key. You’ll likely need to travel frequently to meet with clients, work with a variety of individuals across different departments, and may work more than 40 hours a week during busy times. Critical thinking and strong communication skills are also necessary for success.
3. Cost estimator
Whether it’s planning a vacation or renovating your kitchen, what’s the first thing you do before undertaking a big new project? Chances are you sit down and crunch the numbers to figure out how much it will cost. It’s no different for businesses when taking on a new endeavor. Cost estimators help accurately predict and plan for those expenses.
A cost estimator collects and carefully scrutinizes the anticipated costs associated with the materials, time, and labor necessary to complete a project or produce a product. They might work in an office, a factory, on a construction site, or assembly line—essentially any place where productivity happens. The bulk of their work is done at the beginning of a project, but a cost estimator may also make routine checks along the way to monitor for variances from the original estimate.
The job market for cost estimators is expected to grow at an above-average pace of 9% over the next decade. The median cost estimator salary is $64,000, or around $30.79 per hour. While most cost estimators typically have a bachelor’s degree, a vocational certificate or on-the-job training can be sufficient education to secure this role. Previous experience in a specialized industry like construction or manufacturing is also a plus.
4. Loan officer
Before a bank or credit union gives someone a loan, that person must be vetted and approved. If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage, you understand the process that goes along with this. A loan officer works for the bank, credit union, or other financial institution and oversees this process.
A loan officer is responsible for gathering the information necessary to analyze the eligibility of a loan candidate. Then, they evaluate the information and make a recommendation to their company based on their findings. They may work to approve loans for individuals, like a mortgage loan, or companies, like for a business loan.
The number of loan officer jobs is expected to increase by about 8% by 2028, with a current median salary of $63,00 per year or about $30.31 per hour. Loan officer jobs usually call for a bachelor’s degree and some level of on-the-job training. Mortgage officers must also be licensed.
If you want to work as a loan officer, you should be highly organized and adept at juggling multiple projects at once. For many types of loan officer jobs, you should be prepared to spend a lot of time on the road traveling between meetings with different applicants, which may also call for non-standard work hours.
5. Personal financial advisor
Have a knack for budgeting and investing? Are you the go-to person your friends come to for financial advice? Then you might be well suited to become a personal financial advisor, a job that’s expected to grow by 7% over the next ten years.
A personal financial advisor helps individuals and families manage their finances and plan for the future, making recommendations on things like insurance, retirement investments, and taxes. A good financial advisor tailors their advice to their client’s unique situation and adjusts their strategy over time in keeping with shifting goals and life circumstances.
The median annual salary for a personal financial advisor is just under $89,000, or about $42.73 an hour. A professional in this role typically needs a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, while many pursue a master’s degree or advanced certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). Financial advisors in the U.S. should hold the FINRA series 7 and 65 or 66 licenses, which enable them to sell securities and provide investment advice to clients.
Most financial advisors work for a financial or insurance firm or are self-employed. While they generally work full-time, their hours may be atypical as many clients want to meet in the evenings after work or on weekends.
6. Financial examiner
Financial institutions such as banks and credit unions must adhere to a complex web of compliance laws and requirements. Financial examiners are the people tasked with making sure they maintain compliance with these laws. Financial examiners might work internally within the finance industry, or for the state or federal government.
The median salary for financial examiners is $80,180 per year, which equates to $38.55 per hour. Job growth in the role is projected at 7% within the next decade. To obtain a job as a financial examiner, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree and some experience in accounting, as well as on-the-job training.
To excel as a financial examiner, possessing meticulous attention to detail is key. Your job will require poring over documents to analyze compliance and interpreting the various government guidelines, so strong reading comprehension abilities are also necessary.