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How Much Do Finance Majors Make Right Out of College?

how much do finance majors make

Finance majors make their money by knowing how to handle it.

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Majoring in finance at a college or university takes at least four years of full-time study and offers graduates access to careers in banking, investing and insurance, among other financial fields. Graduates may find jobs as portfolio managers, securities brokers, security analysts or insurance agents. Because these professions often deal with handling large amounts of money, finance graduates can earn a relatively high salary right out of school.

Range of Starting Finance Salaries

Finance majors received the highest salaries of any business discipline, averaging $57,300 per year to start, according to the January 2013 salary survey produced by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The lowest-earning quartile of finance majors made less than $44,000 annually, while the highest-paid received over $66,800. Their starting salary was greater than the mean annual $53,900 per year earned by the average business graduate, and more than the mean $44,482 yearly made by all college graduates.

Industry Variations

A factor in determining the employment level or starting salaries of finance majors is the hiring industry. The largest hiring sector for 2012 was

professional, scientific and technical services, which provide financial consulting. Annual starting salaries in this sector averaged $57,900. The highest-paying employers were organizations that took over the management of other companies, either through consulting or hostile stock takeovers. These employers offered a mean starting salary of $59,900 per year. The second highest salaries were recorded in wholesale trade, averaging $59,300 yearly, followed by manufacturing at a mean annual $59,200.

Pay Variations by Job Title

The highest-paying position for finance majors belongs to financial managers, who are in charge of the finances of companies. They develop financial goals and strategies, handle investments, ensure compliance with government regulations and produce reports. Financial managers can expect a starting salary of $75,700 per year in the finance and insurance industries. Miscellaneous managers could also perform these same tasks in federal, state and local governments to earn an average of $64,600 yearly. The lowest-paying position is that of credit analyst. They examine the financial statements of individuals or businesses to determine whether they are worthy of loans or credit extensions. Credit analysts can expect a starting salary of $41,200 in professional, scientific and technical services.

Graduating with a Master's Degree

Category: Personal Finance

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