How to Become a

Finance Director

The complete career guide to be a Finance Director: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $134,330
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 6.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Growing Industry
    Career Attribute

A Finance Director is in charge of various financial aspects of an organization’s strategy and is required to assess data for making sound recommendations on the basis of statistical analysis, aiming to maximize profits.

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What is a Finance Director?


As a finance director, you will have to perform several important job responsibilities like the following points:

  • Give inputs to improve and expand the company’s strategy in diverse areas of business operations, with a focus on critically challenging decisions when required, and provide guidance on long-term financial objectives.
  • Play the role of a leader towards implementing the Board’s accounting and financial goals, and enhance the organization’s overall financial accomplishments.
  • Collaborate closely with strategic networks to make sure that procedures and protocols are established for accurate reporting and forecasting towards profitable outcomes.
  • Take part in the finance industry community, by engaging in knowledge sharing efforts with others on best practices and peer-to-peer networks, for finding solutions to common challenges.
  • Find opportunities for continuous learning by actively expanding the scope provided by your role and designing a customized growth plan for personal development.

Day In The Life

The finance director spends most of his or her time taking the final call on issues related to business finances. To do this effectively, you will have to constantly stay updated on industry trends and future opportunities for profit improvement, along with budget spending and current company performance. In addition, you must also monitor that the budget is consistently met in different departments.

A successful finance director may sometimes have to provide supervision to employees, and oversee their performance on assigned work, along with other personnel duties. It is also upon the initiative of the finance director that training and personal development workshops are provided for employees to uphold their responsibilities efficiently and build their portfolio for future roles.

The type of workplace you join, will determine your specific job duties. If you are the finance director of a larger corporation, your role will involve resolving more strategic issues, and you may be in charge of a certain department versus the entire organization. In case of a smaller company, the finance director has to be more proactive and keep track of the general accounts.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

As a finance director, you can expect to typically work between 9 am to 5 pm, in a standard work week. However, once in a while, you have to put in extra hours if there are tight deadlines on large projects. It is very rare to find a part-time opportunity in this type of role, however you have the option of doing freelance work if you appreciate the autonomy and freedom to choose how much work you want to take on.

Growth Of The Job

The demand for highly talented financial and accounting executives is experiencing a steady growth in recent years. With the emergence of online software and digital technologies, the finance sector has plenty of potential for developing strategic networks and cloud computing. Further, the economic climate is also ripe for increasing job opportunities in senior roles such as finance director to lead a company forward in financial growth. Bigger organizations look to recruit many temporary consultants as well, so several employment options are available for interested candidates.

Typical Employers

Finance executives, including finance directors, find job opportunities with government agencies, finance and insurance companies, engineering and IT companies, science research organizations, and manufacturing.

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How To Become a Finance Director

To get a foot in the door for a promising career in finance, you need to at least have an undergraduate degree in economics, accounting, business studies, statistics or mathematics. It is always beneficial to gain early experience in this career path through informal work experience or internship programs run by certain companies for young professionals. Since many aspects of this role requires complex calculations, you need to cultivate a comprehensive understanding of using software tools such as spreadsheets, and forecasting.

The key is to gain valuable expertise on a finance team, then progress through the ranks to eventually become a director. In general, the majority of financial directors are usually qualified accountants by profession. A good way to build your credentials for such a senior position is to move to different companies for exciting job roles – holding roles such as CFO and Controller – to take on new challenges and expand your skillset.

Finance Director Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Finance Director salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Finance Director's can make an average annual salary of $134,330, or $65 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $84,600 or $41 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #24 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Finance Director. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Finance Directors

  • 2.5%   Doctorate
  • 18.8%   Masters
  • 40.8%   Bachelors
  • 7.1%   Associates
  • 19%   College
  • 10.7%   High School
  • 1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Finance Director job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 37,600 jobs for a total of 593,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #330 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Finance Directors

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Depository credit intermediation 80,100 5,100 5%
Management of companies and enterprises 64,700 3,200 3%
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services 24,700 1,300 1%

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