If you are considering becoming a financial manager as a potential career path after high school, then you may be wondering what it takes to get there.
This article will explore what a financial manager does, how to become one, the subjects you need to take, and whether a financial manager needs math. We'll also take a closer look at how long it takes to become a financial manager and the potential financial manager salary you can expect.
What does a financial manager do?
Before deciding whether you want to become a financial manager, it is important to understand what a financial manager does.
A financial manager is responsible for managing the financial health of organisations or individuals. They are typically responsible for creating financial reports, developing financial strategies, and monitoring financial performance.
Some of the specific tasks that a financial manager might be responsible for include:
- Creating and analysing financial reports - Financial managers often create reports that summarise financial performance. They may also use these reports to identify areas where the organisation or individual could improve their financial health.
- Developing financial strategies - Financial managers help to develop strategies that will help organisations and individuals meet their financial goals. They may make recommendations on investments, budgeting, and other financial decisions.
- Monitoring financial performance - Financial managers closely monitor financial performance to ensure that the company or person is meeting their financial goals. They may also analyse financial data to identify trends and make recommendations for improvement.
- Managing financial risk - Financial managers are responsible for managing financial risk for the organisation. This might include developing risk management strategies or purchasing insurance to protect against financial losses.
- Overseeing financial operations - Financial managers oversee financial operations such as accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting.
What subjects do you need to take?
If you're interested in becoming a financial manager, there are several high school subjects that can provide a solid foundation for your future career. These subjects include math, economics, accounting, and business.
- Math is particularly important for a financial manager, as it is used extensively in finance and investment analysis. Algebra, geometry, and calculus are all useful in different finance areas, so taking as many math classes as possible is a good idea.
- Economics and accounting are also important subjects for a financial manager. Economics helps you understand how the economy works and how it can impact investments, while accounting provides a foundation for understanding financial statements and financial analysis.
- Business studies courses such as marketing, management, and entrepreneurship can also be helpful, as they provide an understanding of the business world and how to effectively run a business.
What qualifications do you need to become a financial manager?
The qualifications and education required to become a financial manager can vary depending on the employer and the specific role. However, most financial manager positions require at least a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field. Some employers may prefer or require a master's degree, particularly for more advanced or specialised roles.
In addition to formal education, many financial managers obtain professional certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations to demonstrate their expertise and improve their job prospects.
How long does it take to become a financial manager?
The time it takes to become a financial manager can vary depending on your education, experience, and career goals. A bachelor's degree typically takes four years to complete, while a master's degree can take an additional one to two years.
Some financial managers start out in entry-level finance or accounting roles and work their way up through the ranks, which can take several years or more. It can take between 5 and 10 years to become a financial manager, however, it is important to continue to develop your skills and knowledge throughout your career.
What is the average salary for a financial manager?
The average salary for a financial manager can vary depending on several factors, including the industry, the size of the organisation, the location, and the individual's level of education and experience.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for financial managers in the United States was $131,710 as of May 2021.
Financial managers in certain industries may earn higher salaries than others. For example, financial managers in the securities, commodities, and financial services industries tend to earn higher salaries than those in other industries.
It's also worth noting that financial managers with more education and experience may command higher salaries. Obtaining advanced degrees or professional certifications, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, can also increase earning potential.
Overall, financial management can be a lucrative career path for those with the appropriate education and experience, with the potential for high salaries and opportunities for career advancement.
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