Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs in Finance | 2024 (2024)

Finance is a field that often offers lucrative opportunities, but only for those with the right skills and qualifications. When it comes to career choices, one of the key considerations for many individuals is earning potential. In this article, we will explore the top 5 highest paying jobs in finance, their responsibilities, and their average salaries.

5 highest paying jobs in finance

Chief financial officer (CFO)

CFOs play a pivotal role in a company’s financial management. They oversee financial planning, budgeting, and reporting, ensuring the company’s financial health. CFOs also provide strategic guidance to the CEO and board of directors, making critical decisions on investments, mergers, and acquisitions.

  • Career trajectory: To become a CFO, individuals typically start as accountants or financial analysts, gaining experience and expertise in financial management. They may progress through various positions, such as controller or finance director, before being appointed as CFO in a larger organization.
  • Average salary: CFOs are top executives responsible for a company’s financial strategies. Their average salary is $433,088 as of September 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $328,098 and $555,618 annually, depending on the size and industry of the company.

Investment banking

Investment bankers work closely with corporations, governments, and other organizations to help them raise capital by issuing stocks and bonds. They also provide strategic financial advice on mergers, acquisitions, and other financial transactions. This role involves long hours, intense analytical work, and high-pressure situations.

  • Career trajectory: The typical career trajectory in investment banking starts with an entry-level analyst position. Analysts often work for 2-3 years before pursuing higher positions like associates. With experience and proven performance, one can climb the ranks to become a vice president, director, or managing director, where the earnings potential significantly increases.
  • Average salary: Investment bankers are among the highest earners in the finance industry; their average salary is $265,972 as of September 25, 2023, with an average salary ranging from $56,256 to $475,687 per year, not including substantial bonuses.

Hedge fund manager

Hedge fund managers oversee investment funds that aim to generate high returns for their clients, often using sophisticated strategies. Their responsibilities include making investment decisions, risk management, and managing the overall portfolio. Success in this role is directly tied to the fund’s performance.

  • Career trajectory: To become a hedge fund manager, one usually starts as a junior analyst or trader, gaining experience and building a track record. Over time, successful individuals can launch their own hedge funds or be promoted to managing positions in established funds.
  • Average salary: Hedge fund managers on average earn $105,451 annually, depending on the performance of the fund they manage and their profit-sharing arrangements.

Private equity associate

Private equity associates work for investment firms that acquire and invest in private companies. Their role involves conducting due diligence on potential investments, structuring deals, and actively managing portfolio companies to enhance their value. It’s a demanding job that requires strong analytical skills and the ability to identify investment opportunities.

  • Career trajectory: Most private equity associates start their careers as analysts, and with experience, they can move up to become associates and then vice presidents. Some may eventually establish their own private equity firms or become partners in existing ones.
  • Average salary: Private equity associates earn competitive salaries; on average, they earn $118,844 as of September 25, 2023, and their salaries range from $100,050 to $133,078, but the real financial rewards come from performance-based bonuses and profit-sharing arrangements, which can significantly increase their total compensation.

Actuary

Actuaries specialize in risk management and use mathematical and statistical techniques to analyze financial and insurance-related risks. They work for insurance companies, pension funds, and other financial institutions, helping them make informed decisions about pricing, underwriting, and investment strategies.

  • Career trajectory: Aspiring actuaries typically start as entry-level analysts and work towards earning professional actuarial credentials. With experience and additional certifications, they can advance to higher-level positions like senior actuary, chief actuary, or even become consultants in their field.
  • Average salary: Actuaries enjoy a stable and well-paying career, with average salary of $114,075 per year, depending on experience, industry, and location.

Career path for highest paying jobs in finance

This career path requires a combination of education, experience, and specific skills. Here are some steps you can take to pursue this career path:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree: To be hired in this position, most companies require at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as finance, accounting, or business. A bachelor’s degree program will provide you with a strong foundation in finance, accounting, economics, and business principles.
  2. Get a master’s degree: While often considered optional, a master’s degree in finance or a related field can be helpful in advancing your career as a finance and reporting analyst. A master’s degree program will provide you with more advanced training in finance and accounting, as well as the opportunity to specialize in a specific area such as financial analysis or corporate finance.
  3. Develop specific skills: In addition to a strong foundation in finance and accounting, finance and reporting analysts should have strong data analysis skills and be proficient in spreadsheet software such as Excel. It is also important to have excellent communication skills in order to effectively present findings and recommendations to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  4. Gain experience: Many finance and reporting analyst positions require some level of relevant experience. This can be obtained through internships, co-op positions, or entry-level finance or accounting roles.
  5. Obtain professional certifications: While not required, obtaining professional certifications such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) can be helpful in advancing your career as a finance and reporting analyst. These certifications require passing exams and meeting certain education and experience requirements.

Duke Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Program

It is an extensive 8-month multi-modular program designed to shape visionary financial leaders into transformative agents who can steer their organizations towards success in an increasingly uncertain global business arena. This immersive program will offer a deep dive into the multifaceted world of modern finance, that will equip participants with the tools to navigate complex financial decisions and emerging trends. Under the guidance of world-class Fuqua faculty and through the cutting-edge curriculum, the program will empower finance leaders with the knowledge, skills, and insights necessary to drive transformative financial growth within their organizations.

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs in Finance | 2024 (1)

Conclusion

In the world of finance, earning potential is often directly related to the complexity and responsibility of the job. The top 5 highest paying jobs in finance, including investment banking, hedge fund management, CFO roles, private equity, and actuarial work, all offer substantial financial rewards for those who excel in their respective fields. However, it is essential to remember that these positions also come with significant demands, such as long hours, high-pressure situations, and a competitive landscape. Therefore, individuals considering a career in finance should carefully weigh the potential rewards against the challenges and align their career goals with their interests and strengths. With dedication, education, and experience, these finance careers can offer not only high salaries but also the satisfaction of contributing to the financial well-being of organizations and individuals alike.

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs in Finance | 2024 (2024)

FAQs

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs in Finance | 2024? ›

The top 5 highest paying jobs in finance are investment banking, hedge fund management, CFO roles, private equity, and actuarial positions. These careers typically offer substantial salaries and the potential for significant bonuses.

What is the highest paid job in finance? ›

Highest-paying finance jobs
  • Investment banker. ...
  • Hedge fund manager. ...
  • Financial analyst. ...
  • Information technology auditor. ...
  • Financial software developer. ...
  • Private equity associate. ...
  • Chief compliance officer. ...
  • Chief financial officer.
Apr 18, 2024

What is the highest paying job in business and finance? ›

This blog lists the 15 highest-paying jobs in finance to help aspiring professionals understand industry trends better.
  1. Chief Financial Officer. ...
  2. Investment Banker. ...
  3. Budget Analyst. ...
  4. Budget Director. ...
  5. Tax Director. ...
  6. Tax Director. ...
  7. Hedge Fund Manager. ...
  8. Investment Portfolio Manager.

What is the most prestigious job in finance? ›

Portfolio management is a prestigious role in the finance industry. Portfolio managers, also known as money managers, directly oversee institutional and retail client investments in their daily work. They have a great responsibility.

What is the highest paid job in accounting or finance? ›

Top 15 Highest Paying Accounting Jobs (Inc Salaries)
  • Chartered Accountant. ...
  • Investment Consultant. ...
  • Portfolio Manager. ...
  • Forensic Accountant. ...
  • Financial Controller. ...
  • Financial Director. ...
  • Chief Financial Officer. ...
  • Vice President of Finance.

What is the number 1 highest paying job? ›

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Average Annual Salary of CEOs in Different Countries*
USA$ 8,50,000
UK£ 3,20,000
Canada$240,000
Australia$3,50,000
2 more rows

What is the highest monthly paid job? ›

Therefore, here is a list of the 10 best-paying jobs with the highest salaries:
  • Management Consultants.
  • Civil Servants.
  • Commercial Pilots.
  • Doctors and Surgeons.
  • Data Scientists.
  • Blockchain Developers.
  • Full Stack Developers.
  • Investment Bankers.
Apr 25, 2024

Who makes the most money in banks? ›

Macro sales and trading jobs pay an average of $485k

It's macro sales and trading jobs that pay the most in banks, with average salaries of $263k and average bonuses (in 2023) of $222k.

What is the highest paying job in 2024? ›

With that said, here are the average annual salary of the highest-paying specialties:
  • Anesthesiologists: USD 317,900.
  • General Internal Medicine Doctors: USD 266,200.
  • Obstetricians and Gynecologist: USD 214,300.
  • Emergency Medicine Physicians: USD 248,800.

What is the highest paying business in the world? ›

Which is the highest paying company in the world? The highest-paying company in the world can vary from year to year, but some of the consistently high-paying companies include tech giants like Apple, Google (Alphabet Inc.), and Microsoft, as well as financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase.

What is the toughest course in finance? ›

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program is widely regarded as one of the toughest courses in finance. It requires an immense amount of dedication to successfully complete and the pass rate is notoriously low, making it a highly sought-after certification in the finance world.

Can finance majors make 6 figures? ›

Finance can be a fiercely competitive field. It's a famously high-paying industry known to deal out six or seven figures in salaries and bonuses for those at the top. Even those on the bottom rung can expect to start at a good wage compared with other fields.

What pays more than investment banking? ›

On an hourly basis, most sales & trading professionals earned a lot more than bankers in 2023. Credit sales & trading professionals earned $147 per hour on average, for instance. Commodities and macro professionals earned $170 and $180 per hour, respectively.

Why do people in finance make so much money? ›

Why do senior investment bankers make so much money? Directors, principals, and partners lead teams that work with high-priced items and make big commissions since the bank's fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the transaction involved.

Can accountants make six figures? ›

A CPA salary usually reaches the high five figures, and senior CPAs in management can earn a six-figure salary.

Which pays more accounting or economics? ›

economics salary. According to Indeed Salaries, accountants make a national average salary of $62,364 per year in the United States while economists make a national average salary of $113,334 per year .

What is the hardest finance job to get? ›

1. Investment Banker. Roles in investing banking are highly sought after. For investment bankers, it's often a higher competition to land a role in one of the largest firms.

What type of bankers make the most money? ›

High Paying Banker Jobs
  • Commercial Banker. Salary range: $110,000-$179,000 per year. ...
  • Banking Consultant. Salary range: $154,000-$171,500 per year. ...
  • Investment Banker. Salary range: $107,500-$123,500 per year. ...
  • Banking Services Advisor. ...
  • Bank Secrecy Act Officer. ...
  • Bank Examiner. ...
  • Business Banker. ...
  • Merchant Banker.

Who is the highest paid CEO in financial industry? ›

Blackstone Inc. CEO Stephen Schwarzman was the highest-paid chief executive in the US financial services industry in 2022, with total adjusted compensation of $253.1 million.

How much do top finance majors make? ›

High-paying jobs for finance majors
  • Equity analyst: $102,684 per year.
  • Financial risk manager: $102,940 per year.
  • Financial manager: $103,512 per year.
  • Equity partner: $103,638 per year.
  • Hedge fund manager: $110,761 per year.
  • Chief financial officer: $148,754 per year.
  • Tax director: $164,873 per year.

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