Last Update: 21st August 2018
Reading time: 14 Min
Do you feel the pressure to find a job that fits with your degree?
As you near graduation, the search for entry level finance jobs heats up!
The job search can be daunting.
However, finding those perfect entry level finance jobs can open doors later on in your professional career.
So, where do you start?
A great first step is researching and learning about the various entry level positions in your field.
This will help you get an idea of what positions you want to apply for.
It will also help you to figure out what positions may be ideal for your skill set and interests.
You can then be better prepared to apply for the position you want as you’ll have a greater understanding of the role.
The key is to identify the most rewarding entry-level jobs, both in terms of salary and future career prospects.
We’ve prepared a complete list of brief job descriptions and the occasional salary expectation.
Disclaimer: Dollar amounts are in U.S Dollars and are derived from U.S incomes. Incomes can vary wildly depending on location, employer and skill level.
If you can’t be bothered reading, we prepared a video for you..
Number Crunching – Entry Level Finance Jobs
Junior Tax Associate – $50,000
Some financial services remain in constant demand.
This is particularly the case for those associated with taxation and the need to comply with changing legislation and IRS regulations.
With this in mind, the role of a junior tax associate is ideal for college graduates looking to develop valuable experience in the financial sector.
Although a salary of $50,000 isn’t the highest salary in this report, it allows for unprecedented exposure.
You’ll be working alongside CPAs, reviewing client internal fiscal reporting systems.
It is a job accessible to anyone with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and any additional accreditations.
Pre warning: You should like numbers and be a very fact driven person to accept this role.
The traditional bean counter has come a long way, but there is still a lot of time behind the desk in this role.
Financial Auditor – $54,000
The role of financial auditor is more relevant than ever.
The recent global recession was partly as a result of low financial scrutiny.
The aftermath of the recession has forced businesses to place their spending and fiscal reporting under more stringent scrutiny.
As an auditor, you review companies’ financial statements and ensure that their public records are kept accurately and in compliance with existing legislation.
It offers an annual median salary of $54,000 and requires a four-year bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement for employment.
To improve your prospects and compete in this well-populated sector, you should also consider completing an advanced degree course in accounting or business administration.
Budget Analyst – Varied
Budget analysts apply principles of finance to projects and proposals in the business, educational, governmental and not for profit sectors.
They analyze budgets and evaluate the financial impact of continuing with venture and starting new ventures.
Accountant – $50,000
Finance majors learn to construct, interpret and critique financial statements while completing the accounting component of their studies.
The knowledge of finance which majors develop places them in an ideal position to carry out complex accounting work within financially oriented industries.
Regulatory Reporting Accountant – $92,000
Any record of accounting pay tends to start at the freshly qualified level, but by this point most accountants have around three years’ work experience under their belt.
Accounting and professional services salaries across the board average at £29.5k ($49.5k) at entry level, according to High Fliers.
However, when a niche skill-set is added, accounting salaries can be decidedly higher.
Regulatory reporting salaries come in at $92k, according to Robert Walters, rising to $125k after two years.
Internal Auditor – $92,000
Internal audit is another area where financial services firms are struggling to attract talent currently.
Salaries for newly-qualified accountants in this area start at $92k, according to Robert Walters, rising to $110k after two years.
Financial Analyst – $62,000
As we write this, the recent turn in the economy has triggered a surge in business confidence.
With confidence, firms are again looking towards expanding the investment of their accrued capital.
In order to make wise and responsible decisions, organizations often turn to financial analysts for guidance and relevant market advice that help to maximize their potential returns.
A financial analyst researches macroeconomic and microeconomic conditions along with company fundamentals to make business, sector and industry recommendations.
They also often recommend a course of action, like buying or selling a stock.
Banking Style Entry Level Finance Jobs
Loan Officer – $40,000+
Banks need loan officers. It’s as simple as that. So long as banks are around, there will be loan officers.
A loan officer, as described at wisegeek.com, “functions as the liaison or intermediary between an institution that provides personal and business loans to consumers and the applicants for a loan.”
One website shows that the national median salary for loan officers is only roughly $40,000.
However, as your knowledge and experience grow, so do your potential for earnings.
High-level commercial real estate loan officers have a median salary of $125,000. This means that there could be some loan officers out there earning high 6 figures!
Some independent loan officers (not employed by the bank) have been known to earn 7 figures.
The bureau of labor statistics reports that employment in this occupation should grow 14% between 2010 and 2020, which is comparable with most other jobs.
Valuation Analysts – (High Pay)
These individuals are responsible for determining the value of a business enterprise or the ownership’s interest.
A valuation analyst should posses’ comprehensive understanding of accounting, taxes, finance and economics.
In order to become a certified valuation analyst one must have a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) certification.
Having a strong mathematical background is one of the biggest requirements.
Although there are a good number of entry-level opportunities applicants might have to remain patient for long-term growth.
The salaries paid are in the range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, and therefore companies cautiously assess the candidates on scale of talent and skills.
Investor Relations Associate – Unknown
Finance majors with strong writing, organizational and communication skills can thrive in this role.
The role of an investor relations professional is to prepare and present financial information. This information will be prepared for their company or corporate clients and then presented to investors, analysts, and the business media.
Investment Banking Analyst – $69,204
If you money is the motivation, then maybe becoming an investment banking analyst is the answer.
An Investment banking analyst is a specific financial sector analyst.
Commanding an average salary of $69,204, this job requires you to interpret financial data and economic trends while offering actionable investment advice.
This sort of analyst often plays a role in determining whether or not certain activities or deals are feasible based on the fundamentals of the companies.
Clients can vary from venture capital firms to companies looking to issue stocks and bonds to corporations seeking to merge, so you must display diverse communication skills alongside your bachelor’s or master’s degree.
This role is the ideal starting point for college graduates who are looking to forge a career in investment banking, which means that competition for positions is usually intense and extremely challenging.
Credit Analyst – Unknown
Credit analysts evaluate the financial standing of loan prospects and assess the risks involved with offering them financing.
Finance majors learn to appraise the financial viability of entities and interpret their financial records and data.
The investigative mindset of finance major would enable the credit analyst to scrutinize the legitimacy of financial information furnished by clients.
Hedge Fund, Entry Level – $80,000+
Hedge funds are now all about developing talent in-house and this means an increasing number of large funds are rolling out graduate programs. Man Group, CQS, Point72 Asset Management, Bridgewater Associates and Brevan Howard now all hire graduates.
This is in part a reaction to investment banks shuttering their prop trading businesses, leading to a dearth of talent coming out of the sell-side.
Figures from headhunters Glocap suggest that entry level salaries come in at $90-125k, with a potential bonus of $90-170k. It’s unclear whether this means junior hires from investment banks or graduates, however. Figures on Glassdoor suggest that Bridgewater Associates pays its analysts salaries of $80k.
Private Equity Analyst – Varied
Again, private equity firms are adding to their junior ranks increasingly through formal graduate programs.
The route from investment banking associate to private equity is still a common career path, but the likes of Blackstone, Terra Firma and KKR all hire graduates directly from university.
Figures from Preqin suggest that total compensation for a private equity analyst in the U.S. is $114.1k, falling to an average of $82k in Europe and $62.5k in Asia.
Investment Banking Division (IBD) Analyst – $125,000
Traditionally, investment banking has been by some distance the highest paying entry level role in the UK. If you work in IBD, you certainly earn it.
Despite efforts to curtail working hours for juniors in investment banking, it’s rare to get out of the office before midnight.
Figures from recruiters Dartmouth Partners suggest that total compensation comes in at £78k ($98k) at the upper end in
London. However, the weak pound currently distorts this figure when converted to dollars – our sources in New York suggest that average compensation is closer to $125k for first year analysts in IBD.
Sales and Trading Investment Bank – $125,000
Entry level front office jobs in investment banks tend to pay the same regardless of which division you end up in.
If you choose markets instead of IBD, compensation for first and second year analysts on Wall Street comes in at $125-135k, according to figures from recruiters Selby Jennings.
Quantitative Risk Analyst – $80,000
Risk management salaries within investment banking and the broader financial services market have been on the up in recent years, with firms battling over a limited supply of senior staff who have reportedly named their own salary on switching positions.
At the junior end, however, salaries have also been on the up and the pick of the bunch in terms of banks’ different risk functions is quantitative risk. Salaries alone start at $80-100k in New York, according to research by recruiters Robert Walters.
Private Banking Relationship Manager, Singapore, $65-96k (£52-77k)
Singaporean private banks once famously started hiring hairdressers as relationship managers.
That’s how desperate the Singaporean bankers need talent in this area.
This may have slowed, but banks in the region still struggle to hire enough people to deal with the ever-growing pool of wealth and have had to start offering generous salaries at the junior level.
Robert Walters’ figures suggest that salaries for junior relationship managers hired with no experience can nearly reach six figures, at $65-96k.
Compliance, Product Advisory – $60,000
Starting salaries for middle office employees have generally lagged those in the front office, but as banks are forced to invest more and more into control and compliance staff, pay has started to rise.
The highest paid entry level compliance position is within the product advisory field, says Robert Walters, with salaries coming in at $60-100k.
Did You Think of These Entry Level Finance Jobs?
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Like property? Maybe you see it as a great wealth creation tool.
Finance majors with strong verbal skills and a sales orientation should consider a career as a commercial real estate agent.
Commercial real estate agents analyze the business plans and financial status of clients in order to recommend appropriate spaces for their enterprises.
Finance majors hone communication and presentation skills which are essential in the teaching profession.
Business teachers tap a broad knowledge of business as they instruct high school students about the fundamentals of accounting, management, marketing, and investments.
Financial Planner – $50,000+
Do you know about a variety of investment vehicles
Finance majors can decipher trends in the securities markets and apply this perspective to their planning sessions.
Well, good news, this knowledge is employed by financial planners to advise their clients.
Financial planners typically advise clients on their personal finances, however, this can sometimes involve a business structure.
Typically a financial planner will start out as a para planner (someone who organises information for a financial planner).
However, if you are good enough at generating new business with the financial knowledge to match it, you may get a shot at becoming a financial planner straight off the bat.
Difference between Accounting and Finance.