How to Become a

Finance Manager

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

Why We Love It

  • $118,050
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 29.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • High Income Potential
    Career Attribute

Finance managers oversee all financial operations for a company. They monitor company finances, weigh in on financial decisions, seek cost-cutting or revenue-generating opportunities, and manage a team of individuals in finance roles. They also produce financial reports for company leadership.

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What is a Finance Manager?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in finance manager roles:

  • Collect data and prepare a variety of reports to be shared with company leadership, stakeholders, and shareholders
  • Monitor financial operations to ensure activities comply with legal regulations
  • Review company finances to seek ways of reducing costs or maximizing revenues
  • Consult with company leaders on financial decisions
  • Manage a team of individuals in finance positions

A Day in the Life

Finance managers are senior-level employees that are responsible for overseeing all of the financial operations and decisions for an organization. Finance managers have a variety of responsibilities that range from reporting, to management, to consulting. First, finance managers often manage a team of individuals in finance roles. They may oversee the work of accountants, economists, controllers, bookkeepers, and payroll clerks to ensure that all finances are being handles appropriately and legally.

Next, finance managers are responsible for reviewing all finances and financial transactions. There are multiple reasons for these reviews. Most companies have specific legal regulations they must adhere to, so the finance manager is in charge of the overall review to ensure the company stays compliant. The finance manager also reviews finances to reduce operating and other costs. Finally, the finance manager seeks ways to maximize revenue, and may analyze market trends to identify opportunities for growth.

Finally, the finance manager produces a variety of reports for senior leaders, stakeholders, and shareholders, including financial statements, business activity reports, and forecasts. These reports are used in two ways. First, they illustrate the current financial health of the company. Second, these reports are used in future business decisions. The finance manager uses data in his/her reports to make recommendations, influence financial decisions, and suggest expansion opportunities.

Typical Work Schedule

Most finance managers work full-time schedules during normal business hours. Some work 40-hour work weeks, while others regularly work overtime.

Projected Job Growth

Global economic growth in recent years is expected to increase demand for finance managers in the coming decade as companies need an increasing amount of insight into and management of finances.

Finance Manager Specializations

  • Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are company executives that oversee all financial operations within an organization and manage budgets, objectives, and financial goals.
  • Controllers are finance managers that focus on the preparation of financial documentation that’s used for audit, budgeting, and legal purposes.
  • Finance Officers oversee investments, mergers, and acquisitions. They manage invested company funds and oversee tasks that need to take place when their company merges with or purchases another company.
  • Risk Managers perform market trends analysis to determine the risk of financial transactions on overall company financial health. He/she may recommend or discourage decisions based on risks.

Career Progression

  • Early Career: Accountant, Auditor, Economist
  • Mid-Career: Finance Manager, Controller, Finance Officer
  • Late Career: Finance Director, Chief Financial Officer, Risk Manager

Typical Employers

Finance managers can be employed by companies in any industry, as all industries have a demand for individuals to manage company finances and financial decisions. However, the industries that employ the largest number of finance managers include finance, insurance, consulting, manufacturing, research, and government.

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How To Become a Finance Manager

Many years of education and professional experience are required before you’ll qualify for open finance manager roles. The starting point for aspiring finance managers is earning a bachelor’s degree. Degrees in finance, economics, accounting, or business are common. The degree you pursue as undergraduate student should consider what role you want to be in when you start earning professional experience in a finance-related career. If you want to start as an accountant, for example, pursue a major in accounting.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field, you can make one of two decisions: find work in your field to begin accruing experience, or move into a master’s degree program. The advantage of finding work first is that you can start accruing experience sooner, and many employers will offer tuition reimbursement programs that allow employees to pursue degrees that enable them to be promoted later. However, if you don’t think you can manage full-time work and school, you may be better suited to earn a master’s degree before finding a job.

While a master’s degree isn’t absolutely required for finance managers, it’s become a more common requirement in recent years. The master’s degree you pursue can be in business administration, finance, economics, or a related field. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree, the process of becoming a finance manager is a simple matter of earning professional experience in financial roles, and working your way up the ladder through promotions until you qualify for open finance manager positions.

Finance Manager 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

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High Range


How do Finance Manager salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Finance Manager's can make an average annual salary of $118,050, or $57 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $57,190 or $27 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #33 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

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

Highest Education Among Finance Managers

  • 5.4%   Doctorate
  • 22%   Masters
  • 52.7%   Bachelors
  • 4.7%   Associates
  • 11.5%   College
  • 3.4%   High School
  • 0.3%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Finance Manager job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 73,800 jobs for a total of 323,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 29.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #14 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Finance Managers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other financial investment activities 72,700 46,200 46%
Securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage 56,400 14,700 15%
Self-employed workers 50,300 8,900 9%

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