7 Finance Entry-level Jobs + How to Get One

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Discover career opportunities in finance and how to get your first finance job.

[Featured image] A candidate is interviewing for an entry-level finance job.

Finance entry-level jobs: an overview 

Finance can be a great career path for people who enjoy working with numbers, learning about how the economy works, investing successfully, and helping companies and individuals achieve their financial goals. Getting an entry-level job in finance can offer several career benefits, including:

  • Gaining valuable experience

  • Building finance skills and knowledge

  • Growing a professional network

  • Qualifying for a more advanced role 

  • Making a positive impact on companies and individuals

As you consider a career in finance, let’s explore your job prospects at the entry-level and beyond. 

How many jobs are available in finance?

Because most companies benefit from having a finance professional on staff, you will likely find job opportunities in various industries. As of August 2022, Glassdoor lists over 59,000 US jobs in finance, while Indeed lists over 120,000 US jobs in finance, with almost 44,000 of them listed as entry level. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in business and finance occupations are expected to increase 7 percent by 2031 [1].

What do finance jobs pay?

The BLS reports that, as of May 2021, the median annual income for people in business and finance occupations in the US was $76,570, higher than the average salary of $45,760 for all occupations [1, 2]. According to Glassdoor, an entry-level credit analyst in the US can make, on average, $60,195, which includes the base salary and additional pay such as commissions, profit sharing, bonuses, etc. A chief financial officer, which is a more advanced position, can make around $318,395, including a base salary and additional pay.

In this article, discover entry-level jobs in finance, how to get one, and courses you can take to build job-ready skills. 

7 entry-level finance jobs 

In this section, you will explore entry-level jobs in finance, including their average total pay (base salary + additional pay) in the US, required skills and qualifications, typical responsibilities, and advancement opportunities. Job information is taken from Glassdoor, as of November 2022. 

1. Financial analyst

  • What they make: $72,515

  • What they do: Track the financial performance of an organization, create forecasts, stay abreast of regulations and policies, etc.  

  • Required skills and qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or related field, knowledge of Excel and financial modeling, etc.   

  • Potential advancements: Senior positions in financial analysis, financial consultant, controller, financial manager 

Placeholder

Category: Free course

Financial Markets

An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Emphasis on financially-savvy ...

4.8

(23,894 ratings)

1,384,858 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Behavioral Finance, Financial Markets, Finance, Behavioral Economics

2. Investment banking analyst 

  • What they make: $140,553

  • What they do: Raise capital for businesses and individuals, issue debt and sell equity, examine risks, execute financial transactions, etc. 

  • Required skills and qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in finance or related field, some experience in investment banking, proficiency in risk analysis, experience with SQL and other software systems, etc.

  • Potential advancements: Senior roles in investment banking

Placeholder

specialization

Investment and Portfolio Management

Build a Winning Investment Portfolio. Improve your investment strategies with real-world skills, insights, and analytical tools.

4.5

(1,954 ratings)

53,487 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Performance Attribution, Behavioral Finance, Financial Markets, Behavioral Economics, Bond Valuation, Finance, Investment, Risk Management, Portfolio Construction, Risk Analysis, Portfolio Optimization, Cognitive Bias

3. Tax associate 

  • What they make: $52,626

  • What they do: Prepare tax returns, help taxpayers minimize what they owe while fulfilling tax obligations, etc. 

  • Required skills and qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, experience preparing tax returns, bookkeeping skills, general ledger skills, CPA credential is helpful, etc. 

  • Potential advancements: Tax accountant, tax consultant, tax analyst 

4. Personal financial advisor 

  • What they make: $93,664

  • What they do: Help clients manage current finances and plan for the future, including investments, estate planning, and retirement, etc. 

  • Required skills and qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, financial literacy skills, knowledge of financial liabilities, CFP ® is helpful, etc. 

  • Potential advancements: Senior roles in financial advising, other roles in finance 

5. Credit analyst 

  • What they make: $62,628

  • What they do: Assess credit individuals’ data and financial statements to determine risks in lending to them, assess credit applicants, stay abreast of financial trends and news, etc. 

  • Required skills and qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, finance, or related field, experience in R language and spreadsheets, understanding of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), etc.

  • Potential advancements: Credit analyst for businesses, senior roles in credit analysis 

Placeholder

professional certificate

Google Data Analytics

This is your path to a career in data analytics. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(92,338 ratings)

1,234,732 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Spreadsheet, Data Cleansing, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), SQL, Questioning, Decision-Making, Problem Solving, Metadata, Data Collection, Data Ethics, Sample Size Determination, Data Integrity, Data Calculations, Data Aggregation, Tableau Software, Presentation, R Programming, R Markdown, Rstudio, Job portfolio, case study

6. Budget analyst 

  • What they make: $73,210

  • What they do: Advise organizations on how to optimize budgets, analyze financial data, etc. 

  • Required skills and qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field, skills in math or statistics, budgetary experience, etc. 

  • Potential advancements: Advanced roles in budget analysis, other roles in finance   

7. Insurance claims adjuster

  • What they make: $55,874

  • What they do: evaluate claims and investigate circumstances, negotiate claim settlements, oversee payouts to policyholders, etc. 

  • Required skills and qualifications: High school diploma may be sufficient for some positions, other positions may require a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or related field 

  • Potential advancements: Advanced claims adjuster roles, other roles in finance 

How to get an entry-level job in finance 

Once you settle on a career path in finance, begin the process of getting your entry-level finance job. Focus your efforts by following the steps below. 

1. Get a finance education. 

Most entry-level jobs in this field require at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, or a related field. Finance degree programs typically cover disciplines like accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, as well as skills like financial analysis, financial reporting, and forecasting.

Consider taking additional courses in finance, or getting a certification in a specific area, such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), or honing skills like data analysis, which is increasingly important in this field.   

Read more: What Can You Do with a Finance Degree? 7 Career Paths

2. Gain experience in finance.

Before you seek employment at the entry-level, gaining some experience in finance can offer several benefits:

  • Applying what you learned in a degree program or course to real-world scenarios 

  • Honing your skills in finance

  • Standing out among other finance job candidates 

To gain experience, scour job sites and reach out to your network to find internships, volunteer roles, or even freelance or contract work in finance. For example, you could assist startup founders with their bookkeeping or offer a seminar at a school or organization on topics in personal finance. 

Coursera learner Diego P.’s career shows how a job in finance can bring together different skill sets. Diego built upon his background in applied mathematics and computer science with courses like Machine Learning from Stanford University to work in analytics roles for banks and ultimately launch his own Fintech start-up.

Placeholder

Placeholder

course

Supervised Machine Learning: Regression and Classification

In the first course of the Machine Learning Specialization, you will: • Build machine learning models in Python using popular machine learning libraries ...

4.9

(5,350 ratings)

173,393 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Regularization to Avoid Overfitting, Gradient Descent, Supervised Learning, Linear Regression, Logistic Regression for Classification

3. Search online for finance jobs.

With the range of possibilities across industries, high salary expectations, and optimistic job growth projections for people in finance, you may find many entry-level opportunities to gain entry into this field. For example, Glassdoor lists Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan, Amazon, Boeing, and Verizon among the top companies hiring financial analysts. 

Search sites like Linkedin, Indeed, and Glassdoor for entry-level finance positions you’re qualified to fill and that align with your career goals. You can also search job sites specifically for finance, like eFinancialCareers and BrokerHunter. Review each job listing’s requirements, in terms of education, training, experience, and skills, as well as opportunities for career growth.  

As part of your job search, spend some time honing your interviewing skills, enhancing your resume, and reflecting on your talents and career goals.   

Advance your finance career with Coursera 

Learning online can be a great way to build finance knowledge and skills and explore your career potential. Learn the fundamentals of strategic financial management with the University of Illinois Financial Management Specialization.

Placeholder

specialization

Financial Management

Become a Strategic Financial Manager . Develop an integrated financial management framework.

4.7

(4,317 ratings)

66,010 already enrolled

INTERMEDIATE level

Average time: 8 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Financial Mismanagement, Financial Management, Risk Management, Investment, Financial Aid Management, Financial Accounting, Accounting, Accrual, Financial Statement, Cash Flow, Cash Flow Statement, Stock, Finance, Investment Strategy, Financial Markets, Corporate Finance, Project, Mergers And Acquisitions (M&A), Debt

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Article sources

1

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Business and Financial Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm.” Accessed November 3, 2022. 

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Learn without limits