Careers in finance aren’t restricted to trading on Wall Street (or wolves). More common than the ticker-tape scene, in fact, are jobs involving investments, risk management, compliance, banking and insurance. Just check out the Accounting & Finance category on KSL Jobs and you’ll see.
While you’ll need to work your way up to most positions, entry-level jobs in finance can help you decide which path you want to pursue. They’ll also give you the real-world experience needed to progress in the profession.
Banks and credit unions provide several financial services, from opening a first savings account to providing a home mortgage. As a result, there are many finance careers and chances for advancement within the industry. Bank managers have to start somewhere, after all.
Despite the fact that much of banking is now done online — or at an ATM — there’s still a need for tellers. You won’t need a college degree for this job, but you will need to be able to do simple calculations quickly. Generally, the duties include:
- Cashing checks
- Opening and closing accounts
- Processing deposits and withdrawals
- Balancing daily transactions
Another entry-level finance job at a bank or credit union is a financial services representative. The job entails helping customers open accounts, assisting with transactions and answering questions about services. You’ll be talking with prospective and current customers all day, so it helps to be outgoing and friendly. You’ll need to communicate in a professional manner and have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Generally, you don’t need a college degree.
Working with investments, either private or corporate, takes a lot of planning and evaluating. It can be exciting, but stressful too, with plenty of long work weeks.
If you can get a relevant internship beforehand, you’ll be better positioned to land this entry-level job in finance. A financial analyst typically works for large banks or investment firms. As an analyst, you’ll evaluate financial data — investments, expenses, taxes, etc. Based on your findings, you suggest new types of investments and other ways to improve profits. You’re an ideal candidate if you have strong analytical, math and communication skills — preferably with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
A financial planner assists individual clients. You may work independently, although most join a local or national firm. Advisors help people understand how they stand with their financial goals. They also suggest ways to save and invest to maximize a client’s income. In an entry-level role, you'll likely start by reaching out to company clients to build relationships, answer questions and set up appointments. You may also introduce 401(k) or other pension plans for partnering businesses. You’ll need a finance-related bachelor’s degree, such as business, accounting or economics.
The most varied finance entry-level jobs may be in smaller, private businesses — from a local construction company to a specialty blanket shop.
There are several accounting-related positions in finance. One such job is purchasing agent — the person who keeps track of the ordering and delivery of supplies for a company. The job entails communicating often with vendors to determine current pricing and order status, as well as verifying invoices. You’ll need to be well organized, pay attention to details and be consistent in following through. You may not need a bachelor’s degree to begin, but to advance into management you likely will.
A mortgage company or a car dealership are just two places you may work as a loan officer. In the role, you’ll meet with clients, answer their questions and help them fill out applications. You will also be responsible for accurately completing necessary documents and finding additional information as needed. Loan officers work closely with processors to make sure the loan is completed. A college degree is not usually required.
To succeed in finance, it’s important to have an understanding of general accounting principles, as well as raising and investing capital. It helps to have an analytical mind capable of interpreting data and making recommendations based on it.
All jobs in finance may not be as flashy as blockbuster movies imply, but there are many solid career choices. If you know exactly what you want to do, dive in. If you’re unsure which area you’ll enjoy most, start in a general area. Search for finance entry-level jobs on KSL Jobs.
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