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Financial Managers

At a Glance

  • Includes controllers, chief financial officers, and treasurers
  • Duties vary by title and by size of company
  • Have good research and analytical skills
  • Deal directly with staff and coworkers
  • May work long hours
  • Have at least a bachelor's degree, plus work experience

Career summary

Financial managers manage budgets and investments for companies.

Job titles found under financial managers include chief financial officers, controllers, treasury and finance officers, cash managers, risk and insurance managers, bank branch managers, and credit managers.

Financial managers handle and track money for organizations. They track and analyze financial information, write reports, and communicate with coworkers.

Financial managers often direct other workers. In small companies, they supervise accountants and bookkeepers. In large companies, they may oversee the supervisors of the other financial workers. Some financial managers recruit and hire new staff. They may train new workers.

Duties of financial managers vary with their specific titles.

Chief financial officers

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are the top financial executives. They oversee all financial functions. They also prepare and implement the organization's financial plans and policies. In small firms, chief financial officers may handle all financial matters. In large firms, they may direct one financial department.


Controllers are financial managers who prepare financial reports, such as balance sheets. They also prepare reports required by the government. In addition, controllers often supervise the accounting, audit, and budget departments.

Treasurers and finance officers

Treasurers and finance officers oversee budgets and move organizations toward their financial goals. They develop strategies for how their companies should invest their money.

Cash managers

Cash managers monitor and control the cash flow of a firm.

Risk and insurance managers

Risk and insurance managers try to reduce financial risk and loss.

Credit managers

Credit managers decide to whom the firm will loan money. They set credit-rating criteria and oversee the collections of past-due accounts.

Bank branch managers

Bank branch managers set collection policies and supervise workers who collect on unpaid loans and credit card bills. They review reports about the status of collection procedures. When their workers are unable to collect, bank managers submit these accounts to lawyers for further action. In addition, bank managers may evaluate loan applications and decide how much money customers can borrow.

Related careers

This career is part of the Finance cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to financial managers.

Common work activities

Financial managers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, financial managers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Financial managers frequently:

It is important for financial managers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for financial managers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Financial managers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Use math and science

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a financial manager, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Financial managers must have at least a bachelor's degree. Some have a graduate degree in finance or accounting. Other common areas of study are economics, risk management, and business administration.

Work experience

Financial work experience is as important as education. You must prove yourself in a related occupation before you can become a financial manager. In the banking industry employers prefer to hire people who have bank experience. Working as a loan officer is valuable experience.

On-the-job training

Financial managers frequently update their knowledge and skills. Economic markets, laws, administrative rules, and computer technology change quickly. To keep up, managers attend seminars and graduate classes in their specialties. Many employers pay for these courses.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be finance and accounting managers. Training lasts two to 16 weeks. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. You must have a degree in accounting, finance, or a related field to enter this military occupation.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most employers require financial managers to have at least a bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree. Programs of study may include finance, accounting, economics, or business administration. Many employers also require work experience.

Employers prefer applicants who have a broad overview of business. Many financial managers work with several departments within a company. It is important for them to have an understanding of how the business works.

Employers look for financial managers who have good communication skills. This is because managers must explain complex financial data to people with little or no financial background. Employers also look for applicants who have good people skills. Managers must work with team members to solve problems. In addition, employers look for applicants who have good computer skills. They must also be able to think creatively and solve problems.

Costs to workers

Managers are usually expected to wear appropriate business clothing. They may join a professional association, which may have annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Financial managers (SOC 11-3031)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $34.56 $43.64 $59.34 $78.04 (1)
Monthly $5,989 $7,563 $10,284 $13,524 (1)
Yearly $71,880 $90,760 $123,430 $162,330 (1)
    Bellingham Hourly $34.41 $41.21 $49.02 $60.96 $77.36
Monthly $5,963 $7,142 $8,495 $10,564 $13,406
Yearly $71,573 $85,715 $101,955 $126,795 $160,908
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $32.31 $40.86 $54.27 $68.35 (2)
Monthly $5,599 $7,081 $9,405 $11,845 (2)
Yearly $67,215 $84,973 $112,889 $142,162 (2)
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $20.70 $27.13 $37.01 $52.48 $69.67
Monthly $3,587 $4,702 $6,414 $9,095 $12,074
Yearly $43,056 $56,425 $76,993 $109,157 $144,915
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $32.84 $39.80 $55.60 $69.87 $81.28
Monthly $5,691 $6,897 $9,635 $12,108 $14,086
Yearly $68,309 $82,779 $115,637 $145,322 $169,069
    Longview Hourly $33.42 $39.09 $55.79 $69.23 $77.52
Monthly $5,792 $6,774 $9,668 $11,998 $13,434
Yearly $69,510 $81,307 $116,036 $143,983 $161,241
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $33.45 $39.11 $48.11 $62.91 $80.78
Monthly $5,797 $6,778 $8,337 $10,902 $13,999
Yearly $69,567 $81,364 $100,085 $130,845 $168,010
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $31.29 $34.58 $38.22 $47.19 $64.52
Monthly $5,423 $5,993 $6,624 $8,178 $11,181
Yearly $65,091 $71,914 $79,495 $98,139 $134,185
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $40.44 $52.02 $66.72 $85.93 (2)
Monthly $7,008 $9,015 $11,563 $14,892 (2)
Yearly $84,117 $108,197 $138,778 $178,736 (2)
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $32.59 $38.18 $49.56 $66.94 $93.82
Monthly $5,648 $6,617 $8,589 $11,601 $16,259
Yearly $67,784 $79,409 $103,080 $139,231 $195,146
    Vancouver Hourly $32.71 $42.93 $56.88 $72.22 $97.14
Monthly $5,669 $7,440 $9,857 $12,516 $16,834
Yearly $68,040 $89,283 $118,306 $150,229 $202,039
    Walla Walla Hourly $31.28 $32.63 $37.07 $51.86 $64.79
Monthly $5,421 $5,655 $6,424 $8,987 $11,228
Yearly $65,083 $67,878 $77,114 $107,856 $134,763
    Wenatchee Hourly $26.53 $35.72 $46.03 $57.56 $68.17
Monthly $4,598 $6,190 $7,977 $9,975 $11,814
Yearly $55,200 $74,292 $95,746 $119,737 $141,776
    Yakima Hourly $35.43 $41.79 $52.09 $69.42 $93.74
Monthly $6,140 $7,242 $9,027 $12,030 $16,245
Yearly $73,704 $86,935 $108,355 $144,392 $194,974
United States Hourly $32.51 $43.95 $61.53 $85.98 (1)
Monthly $5,634 $7,617 $10,663 $14,900 (1)
Yearly $67,620 $91,420 $127,990 $178,840 (1)

(1) Wages are greater than $90/hour or $187,200/year.
(2) Wage estimate is not available.

Pay varies by type of industry. Security brokers and dealers earn more than other financial managers. Pay may also vary by location of the company. Wages generally are higher in large cities than in small towns. In addition, financial managers who are certified or have additional formal training usually earn higher wages.

Most financial managers who work full time receive benefits. Typical benefits include health insurance, a retirement plan, paid vacation, and sick leave. Financial managers in private industry may also receive bonuses for year end profits. An increasing number of firms also give managers stock options.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Financial Managers (SOC 11-3031)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 14,427 23.3% 16.1% 1,841
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 281 14.2% 13.4% 29
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 238 15.1% 8.6% 25
    Benton and Franklin Counties 229 13.5% 15.0% 24
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 256 11.7% 11.9% 26
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 801 14.7% 15.2% 86
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 1,249 17.6% 14.1% 142
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 424 14.2% 14.6% 45
    King County 7,949 31.2% 19.6% 1,164
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 322 11.8% 13.8% 32
    Pierce County 876 16.3% 15.2% 97
    Snohomish County 974 14.6% 12.4% 104
    Spokane County 754 17.4% 13.9% 85
United States 653,600 16.0% 5.2% 64,900

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Growth in this occupation will be very strong. Since the US is a financial center, global financial growth will fuel more jobs in the US. Globalization will also increase the demand for financial managers as companies need cash management expertise.

The long-term prospects for financial managers in the securities industry are good. More people are expected to invest and more managers will be needed to oversee those transactions.

The best job prospects will be for financial managers with advanced degrees who understand accounting and finance.

Other resources

American Academy of Financial Management (external link)
1670 F East Cheyenne Mtn Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
American Bankers Association (external link)
1120 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036
American Management Association (external link)
Consumer Bankers Association (external link)
1225 Eye Street NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20005
Credit Union Executives Society (external link)
PO Box 14167
Madison, WI 53708-0167
800.252.2664 x340
eFinancialCareers (external link)
Financial Managers Society (external link)
1 North LaSalle Street, Suite 3100
Chicago, IL 60602
Washington Bankers Association (external link)
1601 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2150
Seattle, WA 98101


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupations

O*Net job zones (external link)

DOT occupations

Strong Interest Inventory

Holland occupational clusters