Have you ever wondered what it is like to work in finance?

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  • Do you enjoy working with numbers?

  • Do you like working with other people?

  • Are you good at problem-solving?

If you answered YES to these questions, working in finance could be a perfect fit for you!

Still not sure? Here is what I learned working in finance for 8 years.

What is the finance industry?

Finance is a major player in global employment, offering numerous job opportunities worldwide. Its main role involves making transactions between people and businesses. There are various finance jobs available, and many different ways to get a job.

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What do people do in finance?

Some of the many different jobs include the following roles:

  • Organize the day-to-day financial records of a company

  • Give advice to individuals or businesses about managing their money

  • Manage the accounting system of a company

  • Manage taxes to be paid

  • Help clients with the buying and selling of financial assets such as stocks

  • Help bank customers with their accounts

  • Sell insurance policies

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In 8 years of working in finance, I managed financial records, helped customers with their questions, and managed accounting systems. So the roles can vary a lot!


Which role would suit someone who likes working with the general public?

Where will I work?

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People in finance can work in a variety of settings.

  • Banks: It's probably the most common place to get started in finance. Help customers, manage internal banking money, or meet larger bank clients.

  • Investment firms: Work for asset management firms who manage portfolios or traders on the stock market.

  • Insurance companies: Work on assessing and managing risk for clients.

  • Accounting companies: Accountants and auditors give services such as auditing, tax planning, and financial consulting.

  • Government agencies: Fancy being a tax man? Or working on national and international regulations?

  • Nonprofit organizations: Manage budgets and fundraising, and ensure the financial sustainability of charities.

  • Fintech companies: The rise of tech companies has increased the development of financial software, payment systems, and other innovations.

What qualifications do I need?

Even though you don’t have to have a degree for a job in finance, getting additional education can make you more noticeable to employers. Some positions, such as charter accountants, need to have separate exams that are difficult. Many companies offer financial help to their employees to get further qualifications.

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In my case, I started working in finance without any degree or finance qualifications. My first job was processing invoices onto a computer system. Within one year, I changed departments to create invoices. After two years, I changed to a company that paid for me to study finance exams.

What about the money?

The different types of salary can vary greatly depending on the specialization of the role, location, or qualifications.

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Here are some examples of average annual salaries for different jobs (in US dollars, as of January 2024):

  • Stock broker: $98,000

  • Accountant: $65,499

  • Bank clerk: $53,773

  • Finance specialist: $124,000

What key lessons did I learn?

It can be fast-paced!

Even at entry-level positions, the work can be fast-paced. If you work for a large corporation, there may be deadlines to meet each week. In a smaller company, the workload might be less hectic, but there will still be pressure to complete work on time.

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My first role was in a large advertising company with over 100 people working in the accounts department, and it was pretty demanding. Several years later, I worked in a finance department with only 12 people. It wasn't so hectic, but still needed work to be completed on time.

Is career advancement possible?

There are many different roles in finance, which means moving and changing jobs within the industry is possible. In my case, I changed jobs a couple of times, doing different roles, until I found a company that would pay for my accountancy qualifications.

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