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Careers in Business Finance


In a previous column (starting salaries: college grads), I mentioned that one of the higher starting salaries for grads was in accounting. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the starting salary for an accountant is $44,928. Since then, reported that this entry-level position (one of the many careers in business finance) has an average salary of $46,508. For those seeking long-term careers in business finance, the PayScale average accountant salary is between $45K and $75K.

Careers in finance are definitely hot; these are good days for bean counters. reports that careers in business finance are strong within gas, oil, technology and manufacturing industries. According to Mike Eastman, president and chief executive officer of Eastman Consulting Group, there is a large demand for CPAs, senior finance and accounting personnel. Likewise, at Ernst & Young LLP, the firm plans to add about 10,000 new faces this year.

What do all these careers in business finance pay? Let’s look at the PayScale salary data.

How is your salary’s financial outlook? Find out with our salary calculator.

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For those interested in climbing the financial ladder, here are a few typical US national salaries for careers in business finance and related fields, drawn from the PayScale database.

There are many, many, factors that influence pay for finance jobs: company size and revenue, budget responsibility, management responsibility, complexity of finances, industry, experience, education, special certifications, location, etc.

For the list below, I picked typical experience ranges, but left the other important factors undefined. These typical salaries give a flavor for the salaries earned by financial pros. For precise market pay for a particular position, complete the PayScale full job and employee survey.

Careers In Business Finance Typical Salary Typical Experience
Financial Accountant $53,917 5-9 Years
Cost Accountant $53,971 5-9 Years
Finance & Administration Manager $67,648 5-9 Years
Senior Analyst, Finance $76,965 5-9 Years
Manager, Stock Plan Admin $86,981 10-19 Years
Controller (Financial) $86,966 5-9 Years
Tax Compliance Manager $87,158 5-9 Years
Director of Finance & Admin $88,661 5-9 Years
Accounting Director $91,186 5-9 Years
Sr. Manager, Accountant/Auditor $92,666 5-9 Years
Finance Manager $97,772 5-9 Years
Sr. Tax Manager $104,086 5-9 Years
Director, Financial Planning $113,434 5-9 Years
Corporate Treasurer (Top) $130,964 10-19 Years
VP, Internal Audit $173,142 10-19 Years
Director, Finance $112,564 5-9 Years
VP, Finance $184,791 10-19 Years
Chief Financial Officer $161,177 10-19 Years

How does your salary compare to these careers in business finance? Do the math with our salary calculator.


Dr. Al Lee

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