Individuals with a bachelor's degree in finance or other closely related fields often enter the field of banking. Because the banking industry employs a variety of positions, salaries can span widely per year depending on job title and any previous work experience or internships.
Loan officers facilitate the lending process on behalf of the bank. They evaluate, research or approve loan applications for home, business or commercial purposes. Although some banking institutions may hire candidates without a bachelor’s degree, most employers prefer it, especially in commercial lending. According to the BLS, loan officers earned a 2010 median wage of $56,490 per year, although individuals in the 10th percentile earned a median wage of $32,110 annually. Because loan officers work on commission, wages such as those in the lower percentile are to be expected in entry-level positions.
Financial analysts assist individuals and businesses with investments. They manage client portfolios, including stocks, bonds or other financial investment instruments. Most banks require at least a bachelor’s degree for entry as a financial analyst; in many cases, a master’s degree is required for advanced roles. According to the BLS, financial analysts earned a 2010 median wage of $74,350 per year, although individuals in the 10th percentile earned $46,300 annually. Financial analysts typically work with client referrals and commissions which takes time to build; lower wages within the 10th to 25th percentile are to be expected.
Financial examiners monitor banks for compliance with local, state and federal laws. They review balance sheets, loan documentation and income and expense sheets as part of their inspection duties and prepare reports on their findings. A bachelor’s degree is typically required for entry as a financial examiner. According to the BLS, financial examiners earned a 2010 median wage of $74,940 per year although individuals in the 10th percentile earned wages ranging annually from low- to mid- $40,000.
Branch managers, also known as financial managers, oversee the financial and operational health of banks. They prepare financial reports, develop long-term strategies to sustain bank growth, monitor operations and manage staff. Most banks typically require a bachelor’s degree upon entry, with many favoring master’s degrees in business administration or other closely-related fields. According to the BLS, financial managers earned a 2010 median wage of $103,910 per year although individuals in the 10th percentile earned $58,120 annually. Branch managers earning wages in the mid-to-upper $50K are generally employed for smaller banks and are considered entry-level financial managers.