Top 10 Highest Paying Finance Jobs 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Mark Talmage-Rostron
March 20, 2024 · 15 min read

Discover the top 10 highest-paying finance jobs for 2024, including salaries and job responsibilities in the finance industry. Find your next high-paying finance job here!

Ask people who they think the biggest earners in finance are, and they will in all likelihood say merchant bankers or even actuaries who get bombarded with bonuses almost every quarter of the working year.

Finance jobs are often high paying across many jobs due to a combination of factors. Firstly, the financial sector plays a crucial role in the economy, managing investments, facilitating transactions, and providing crucial services such as risk management and financial advice. This importance translates into a high demand for skilled professionals who can navigate the complexities of financial markets and regulations, and as such, it is one of the highest paying jobs in finance.

Additionally, finance careers often require specialized knowledge, advanced degrees, and professional certifications, which command higher salaries. Furthermore, the potential for substantial bonuses and commissions based on performance incentivizes professionals to excel in their roles, driving up compensation.

Last but certainly not least, the global nature of finance means that professionals in this field can often command higher salaries due to the interconnectedness of financial markets and the demand for expertise in navigating international transactions and investments.

So, if you're a finance major or are just looking for a job in finance such as chief financial officer, insurance advisor, finance director, or chief compliance officer, you must be asking what the highest-paying finance and management jobs are in 2024 that provide the greatest rewards by paying top dollar. There are many high-paying jobs in the finance industry, some of which require a bachelor's degree or master's degree in finance.

Top 10 Highest Paying finance Jobs 2024 (Inc Salaries)

1. Investment Banker

An investment banker is a finance professional who works primarily in the investment banking division of a bank or financial institution. Their main role is to help companies, governments, and other entities raise capital by issuing securities such as stocks and bonds, and secondary is to provide advisory services on mergers and acquisitions, assisting clients in strategic decisions related to buying, selling, or restructuring businesses. So you'll need a lot of experience in the finance sector.

They often act as intermediaries between companies seeking capital and investors looking to deploy funds, facilitating transactions and negotiations to ensure successful deals. Investment bankers also conduct extensive financial analysis, market research, and due diligence to assess the viability and risks of various investment opportunities.

Overall, investment bankers play a critical role in the financial markets, driving economic activity by facilitating the flow of capital between entities, and as such, they need at least a bachelor's degree in business or master's degree.

The average annual salary for an investment banker in the US is $78,881 making it one of the highest paying banking jobs.

2. Financial Analyst

A financial analyst is a professional who assesses the financial performance and health of companies, industries, or financial markets. They gather and analyze financial data, such as company financial statements, economic indicators, and market trends, to provide insights and recommendations to clients or employers. To accomplish that, they often use various techniques, including financial modelling, ratio analysis, and valuation methods, to evaluate investment opportunities, forecast future performance, and assess risk, so they need at least a bachelor's or master's degree.

Generally, they work in areas such as investment research, asset management, corporate finance, or financial planning and analysis within companies, investment firms, banks, or consulting firms, and play a crucial role in helping investors make informed decisions, guiding corporate strategy, and managing financial risks. Strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and a solid understanding of financial principles and markets are essential for success in this field.

The average annual salary for a financial analyst in the US is $78,811making it one of the highest paying on the list of jobs in finance.

3. Personal Finance Advisor

A personal finance advisor, also known as a financial advisor or financial planner, is a professional who provides individuals and families with comprehensive financial guidance and advice to help them achieve their financial goals. So they need at the very least a finance degree.

Their reason for being is to assess their clients' financial situations, including income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and long-term objectives, to develop personalized financial plans. These plans typically cover areas such as budgeting, savings, investments, retirement planning, insurance, tax strategies, and estate planning.

Additionally, they help clients understand their financial options, make informed decisions, and implement strategies to improve their financial well-being. They may also provide ongoing monitoring and adjustments to the financial plan as the client's circumstances change over time.

More often than not, you will find personal finance advisors working independently, for financial planning firms, or within financial institutions such as banks or investment firms. and typically hold relevant certifications, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and adhere to ethical standards and regulatory requirements to ensure they act in the best interest of their clients.

The average annual salary for a personal finance advisor in the US is $77,947.

4. Financial Manager

A financial manager is a professional responsible for overseeing the financial health and operations of an organization and their primary role is to make strategic financial decisions to ensure the organization's long-term success and profitability.

They typically work within corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or other entities, developing financial strategies and plans to achieve the organization's goals and objectives. Creating and managing budgets to allocate resources effectively and control costs. Analyzing financial data, performance metrics, and market trends to assess the organization's financial health and identify areas for improvement. Identifying and managing financial risks, such as market fluctuations, credit risks, or liquidity issues, to protect the organization's assets and investments, and, making investment decisions to optimize returns on surplus funds and manage cash flow effectively.

The average annual salary for a financial manager in the US is $108,155 making it one of the top paying finance jobs.

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5. Financial Risk Manager

A financial risk manager is a specialized professional responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing various types of financial risks within an organization. These risks encompass factors such as market fluctuations, credit defaults, liquidity shortages, operational failures, and regulatory changes, all of which could potentially impact the organization's financial stability and performance. So you'll need loads of experience in the finance or accounting sector.

They employ sophisticated quantitative models, statistical analysis, and risk management techniques to evaluate the likelihood and potential severity of adverse events and develop strategies to mitigate or hedge against them, so as to help organizations navigate uncertain economic environments, comply with regulatory requirements, optimize risk-return trade-offs, and safeguard assets and investments. Strong analytical skills, quantitative abilities, and a deep understanding of financial markets and products are essential for success in this role.

The average annual salary for a financial risk manager in the US is $137,690 making it one of the best paying jobs in finance.

6. Economist

An economist is a professional who studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services within an economy. They analyze how individuals, businesses, governments, and societies make choices about allocating resources to satisfy their needs and wants. To accomplish this, they use various theories, models, and statistical tools to understand economic phenomena and provide insights into issues such as unemployment, inflation, economic growth, international trade, taxation, and public policy. The position requires a degree in finance or a related field.

Generally, economists often work in academia, government agencies, research institutions, financial firms, corporations, and international organizations, and may specialize in fields such as microeconomics, which focuses on individual markets and decision-making units, or macroeconomics, which deals with aggregates such as national income, employment, and inflation.

Additionally, economists may specialize in areas such as labor economics, environmental economics, development economics, or financial economics, among others.

The average annual salary for an economist in the US is $114,112 making it one of the highest paying jobs in finance.

7. Private Equity Associate

A Private Equity Associate is a professional employed by a private equity firm to support various aspects of the investment process and is tasked with sourcing potential investment opportunities, conducting due diligence on target companies, and assisting in the execution and management of investments. It is one of the highest-paying jobs in finance and you'll need at the very least an undergraduate degree.

They play a crucial role in financial modeling, analyzing the financial performance and growth prospects of target companies, and evaluating potential risks and returns. and generally work closely with senior investment professionals to negotiate deal terms, structure transactions, and manage portfolio companies post-investment.

With strong analytical skills and a deep understanding of finance, these finance specialists contribute to the firm's efforts to generate attractive returns for investors by identifying promising investment opportunities and implementing value-enhancing strategies within the portfolio.

The average annual salary for a private equity associate in the US is $113,961 making it one of the best jobs in finance.

8. Hedge Fund Manager

A hedge fund manager is an individual or a team responsible for overseeing and managing a hedge fund, which is a type of investment fund that pools capital from accredited investors and institutional clients to invest in a wide range of financial instruments, often using sophisticated strategies aimed at generating high returns. It is a highly skilled position, which is probably why it is one of the highest-paying finance jobs around.

As part of their job description, they employ various strategies, including long and short positions, derivatives, leverage, arbitrage, and alternative investments, to seek returns that are uncorrelated with broader market indices.

To become one, you'll more often than not need to have extensive experience in finance, investment analysis, and portfolio management, as you'll be held responsible for making investment decisions, managing risk, implementing trading strategies, and communicating with investors.

Compensation is based on a management fee, which is a percentage of assets under management, as well as a performance fee, which is a percentage of profits generated by the fund. Due to the complexity of their strategies and the high level of risk involved, hedge fund managers are subject to regulatory oversight and must adhere to strict compliance and reporting requirements.

The average annual salary for a hedge fund manager in the US is $140,081 making it one of the best finance jobs available.

9. Private Equity Analyst

A private equity analyst is a professional who works within a private equity firm, assisting in the evaluation and execution of investment opportunities. These super-skilled financial analysts play a vital role in the investment process by conducting financial analysis, due diligence, and market research to assess potential investments, and often have backgrounds in finance, accounting, or related fields and may pursue advanced degrees or certifications to enhance their skills and qualifications.

Generally, they work on a wide range of tasks, including building financial models, conducting company valuations, analyzing industry trends, and preparing investment memos for senior management, and may also assist in negotiating deal terms, structuring transactions, and monitoring the performance of portfolio companies post-investment.

To become one, you'll need to typically possess strong analytical skills, financial acumen, and attention to detail, but you'll also need to come to terms with the fact that the role can be demanding, requiring long hours and a high level of dedication. On the flipside, though, it can also offer valuable experience and opportunities for career advancement within the private equity industry.

The average annual salary for a private equity analyst in the US is $121,906 making it one of the most high paying jobs in the field.

10. Private Banking Analyst

A private banking analyst is a financial professional employed within the private banking division of a financial institution, tasked with providing tailored financial services to high-net-worth individuals and families. Their role encompasses a range of responsibilities, including conducting financial analysis, developing customized investment strategies, and managing client relationships, and they work closely with private bankers or relationship managers to understand clients' financial goals and objectives, assess their risk tolerance, and design personalized financial plans.

Generally, private banking analysts conduct in-depth research on investment opportunities, analyze market trends, and construct well-diversified investment portfolios to help clients achieve their financial goals while managing risk. Additionally, they may communicate regularly with clients to provide updates on their portfolios, discuss investment recommendations, and address any questions or concerns they may have. With a strong foundation in finance and excellent analytical skills.

The average annual salary for a private banking analyst in the US is $89,614 making it one of the top-paying jobs in the finance field.


Conclusion

Entering the finance industry can present a pathway to lucrative career opportunities due to several factors.

Firstly, finance roles often involve handling large sums of money, managing investments, and making strategic financial decisions, which inherently carry significant financial rewards. Additionally, the finance sector is closely tied to global economic activity, offering exposure to dynamic markets and lucrative opportunities for those who can navigate them adeptly.

Furthermore, the demand for skilled professionals in finance remains consistently high across various sectors, from investment banking to asset management, leading to competitive salaries and generous compensation packages.

Moreover, as individuals gain experience and expertise within the finance industry, they often have the opportunity to progress into leadership positions where salaries and bonuses can escalate substantially.

Overall though, the combination of financial complexity, market dynamics, and demand for expertise makes the finance industry a fertile ground for securing high-paying employment opportunities.

Are you ready to take your finance career to the next level? Investing in your education with a Bachelor's (BBA) or Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from a recognized university such as Nexford can be the catalyst for unlocking new opportunities, achieving promotions, and increasing your earning potential. By expanding your skillset through advanced coursework in finance, strategy, leadership, and management, you'll develop the expertise and confidence needed to excel in today's competitive business landscape.


FAQs

What is the highest paying finance job in 2024?

Experts may differ but most financial publications or analysts would agree that the highest paying finance job in 2024 is that of a hedge fund manager. But why?

Quite simply, hedge fund managers command high salaries and compensation packages due to several factors. Firstly, they often operate on a performance-based fee structure, typically charging both a management fee and a percentage of profits earned, incentivizing managers to generate strong returns for investors. Moreover, successful hedge fund managers possess specialized skills in investment analysis, risk management, and market timing, allowing them to identify lucrative opportunities and navigate volatile market conditions adeptly.

Additionally, the high-pressure environment of hedge fund management demands extensive experience, expertise, and a proven track record of delivering consistent returns, which further justifies their compensation levels.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which finance jobs are projected to have the highest level of growth?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial analysts are on track to grow by 5% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than average for all occupations.

What is the best finance career path in 2024?

Given the frequent changes in regulations and the substantial penalties for non-compliance, it comes as no surprise that there is a high demand for professionals experienced in regulatory reporting. Finance professionals skilled in this domain are essential for companies to accurately submit data to relevant authorities, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

What skills or expertise is required for high-paying finance jobs?

High-paying finance jobs often require a combination of technical expertise, analytical skills, and industry knowledge. Most of which are an absolute must.

Strong proficiency in financial analysis, including financial modeling, valuation techniques, and interpreting financial statements.

A solid understanding of mathematics, statistics, and quantitative methods is crucial for roles involving risk management, derivatives pricing, and algorithmic trading.

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A deep understanding of macroeconomic and microeconomic principles is essential for making informed investment decisions and assessing market trends.

Expertise in identifying, assessing, and mitigating financial risks, including credit risk, market risk, and operational risk.

Familiarity with financial regulations and compliance requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Dodd-Frank, and Basel III.

Proficiency in financial reporting standards, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and proficiency in financial software tools such as Excel, Bloomberg Terminal, MATLAB, and various statistical packages.

What qualifications are required for high paying finance jobs?

Qualifications for high-paying finance jobs can vary depending on the specific role, industry, and employer. However, here are some common qualifications and educational requirements often sought after in the finance industry.

A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, mathematics, or a related field is typically required for entry-level finance positions. Some employers may also accept degrees in business administration or engineering.

For certain specialized roles and advanced positions, such as investment banking, private equity, or quantitative finance, a master's degree (e.g., Master of Finance, Master of Business Administration [MBA], Master of Science in Finance) may be preferred or even required. An MBA is particularly valued for leadership and management roles.

Obtaining professional certifications can enhance your qualifications and marketability in the finance industry. Some of the most recognized certifications include: Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, Financial Risk Manager, and Certified Financial Planner.

Proficiency in financial modeling, data analysis, and using financial software tools such as Excel, Bloomberg Terminal, and statistical packages is often necessary for many finance roles.

Strong analytical abilities and the capacity to solve complex financial problems are highly valued in the finance industry, and demonstrated understanding of the finance industry, including market trends, regulations, and best practices.

Why is it beneficial to gain a BBA/MBA degree to gain a career in finance?

Gaining a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can be immensely beneficial for pursuing a career in finance. These degrees provide a comprehensive understanding of business principles, finance theory, and analytical techniques essential for success in the field.

A BBA equips students with foundational knowledge in areas such as accounting, economics, management, and marketing, laying a solid groundwork for a finance career, while an MBA offers deeper specialization in finance, providing advanced coursework in topics like financial management, investment analysis, and corporate finance, along with opportunities for networking and internships.

Both degrees offer valuable skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making, which are highly sought after by employers in the finance industry. Additionally, holding a BBA or MBA degree often opens doors to higher-paying positions, faster career advancement, and increased opportunities for leadership roles within financial firms.

Overall, obtaining a BBA or MBA degree provides a strong educational foundation and enhances employability in the competitive field of finance.


Learn how to develop the most in-demand skills for your future career in finance!

Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills so as to forge a long and lucrative career in finance with our free report, and open the doors to far more opportunities. Download the free report today.

Are you ready to take your finance career to the next level? Investing in your education with a Bachelor's (BBA) or Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from a recognized university such as Nexford can be the catalyst for unlocking new opportunities, achieving promotions, and increasing your earning potential. By expanding your skillset through advanced coursework in finance, strategy, leadership, and management, you'll develop the expertise and confidence needed to excel in today's competitive business landscape.

About the author
Mark Talmage-Rostron
Mark Talmage-Rostron

Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.

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