Finance: It’s a word that conjures up a range of images, from auditors terrorising a company out of its tax compliant wits to a debt counsellor bailing out yet another sob story. The most popular finance jobs, the ones that most readily spring to mind, include accounting, bookkeeping and financial planning, but the range of careers is far wider than you might think. We’ll look at three finance careers to give you a taste of what’s available.
This has nothing to do with physical security but it has everything to do with financial security, especially regarding investment portfolios. Security analysts are also called financial analysts, investment analysts and, depending on the scope of work, stock brokers. Management Study Guide defines securities as tradable and representing financial value. It also divides them into three different types: debt securities, equity securities and derivatives. Security analysts analyse the value of tradable securities and advise finance experts on how to best manage investment portfolios. Analysts need to keep on top of happenings in the international world of finance, as well as local economic trends to give the best possible advice.
The job is very complicated but you can earn a packet. Junior positions can earn around $49,000 per year while senior analysts can earn about $106,000. But, depending on where you work, your experience and your area of specialisation you can earn up to $305,000.
If you want to take home over 300K, however, you need to have laid down some pretty strong foundations; foundations that include postgraduate degrees. Some of the degree programs that will stand you in good stead include:
- Graduate Diploma in Banking and Finance
- Master of Finance
- Master of Business (Applied Finance)
- Master in Security Analysis and Portfolio Management
- Master of Financial Analysis
Payroll administrators are sometimes called payroll managers because they are in charge of everything to do with paying salaries and wages. The job includes calculating tax, deductions, benefits, bonuses, overtime, annual and sick leave and hours worked. Payroll administration can be outsourced to professional finance companies, or it can be handled in-house. Small businesses may handle payroll in-house, medium size businesses may outsource it and very large businesses might have an entire department dedicated to payroll.
Payroll administration or management is not as well paid as many of the other finance jobs available, but if you climb up to senior level you will be comfortably well off. PayScale puts the average salary for an administrator at between $39,600 and $71,600. Payroll managers, on the other hand, can earn between $52,000 and $105,000.
Academically-speaking payroll administration is also not as demanding as many other careers in finance. For example, you can study part-time for a finance-related certificate or diploma while you work in entry level jobs, gaining valuable work experience. Or, you can earn your advanced diploma and work in junior positions while you complete a finance-related degree online. Courses available include:
- Certificate III in Accounts Administration
- Certificate III in Financial Services
- Certificate IV in Bookkeeping
- Certificate IV in Accounting
Short courses include Intro to Bookkeeping/Payroll for small businesses, Establish and Maintain a Payroll System and MYOB Payroll Process.
Economists aren’t solely concerned with finance; they also throw some social science in the mix (Wikipedia). Their jobs are highly complex, involving terms like macroeconomics, microeconomics and mathematical finance. Furthermore, they work in finance on a national and international level, analysing global economic trends and their impact on local markets. They try to find economic patterns from which they can make long-term financial forecasts and they help in the development of financial and economic policies. The job is very research intensive and relies heavily on statistics, so if you don’t like figures, don’t bother. More often than not they serve as consultants for government finance departments and academic institutions.
Given their high level of expertise, it’s no wonder that economists are quite well paid. According to glassdoor.com, a government economist in Queensland earns in the region of $84,000. Simply Hired puts the average salary for junior economists at $74,600. PayScale says that average salaries range from $47,900 – $124,000. But if you really want to coin it, you need to work in the corporate sector, where senior economists can earn nearly $243,000.
If you want live in that kind of comfort you’d better make sure you have the qualifications that prove your worth. Postgraduate degrees are preferred, with PhDs outdoing master’s degrees. Degree programs available include:
- Bachelor of Economics
- Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Management)
- Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics
- Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Economics
- Master of Economics
- Master of Economics (Development)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Economics)
There is no doubt about it, finance jobs match the industry in that they are usually very well paid. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the qualifications and the bigger the responsibility the more impressive the salary (but that is true of most careers). There are, of course, career paths that aren’t as well paid, such as bookkeeping and payroll. And junior jobs always pay less than senior management or executive finance positions. But if you put in the time and effort, you can work your way up to the dizzying heights of CFO or international economic consultant.
TafeCourses.com.au promotes a range of finance courses to help you on your way. Take a look at our selection, register and take your pick of finance careers.