How to Become a Financial Manager

Some people who decide to pursue a career in business may be fearful that they could be pigeonholed into a particular position. However, there are many different aspects of a company that could use skilled and knowledgeable business majors. Financial management is one opportunity available to people with a background in business that you might enjoy.

What do financial managers do?
Financial managers of businesses usually spend a lot of time reviewing financial reports. However, now that multiple aspects of a company have turned digital, financial managers are required to perform many duties. Their primary responsibility is to not only monitor the economic health of an organization, but also collect and analyze data specific to their market. Government financial managers are experts on government acquisitions and budgeting protocols. Financial managers who work for a health care organization might be asked to provide insight on health insurance for employees or review new financial processes involved in health care reform.

Financial managers often collaborate with senior managers and department executives to identify business strategies that could help increase the organization's profits or reduce the amount of extraneous spending. They can also analyze the costs and benefits of expansion or appropriation. Employers might assign financial managers to a supervisory role for employees conducting financial and budgetary reports.

What type of degrees or qualifications should financial managers have?
Financial managers usually earn their bachelor's degree in business administration, finance, accounting, economics or another related field. While some employers might only require a bachelor's degree, many others will seek out people with advanced degrees. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree in business administration or finance.

Certification in financial management is not a requirement. However, earning your certificate displays a level of commitment and competency in this field. The CFA Institute offers a Chartered Financial Analyst certificate for people who have a bachelor's degree, at least four years of relevant work experience and have passed three CFA Institute certification exams. The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) awards Certified Treasury Professional credentials to people who pass the AFP exam and have two or more years of experience in the field.

Why should I pursue a career as a financial manager?
There are many reasons why you should pursue a career in business as a financial manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for financial managers are expected to grow 9 percent through 2022. The also earn a median annual wage of $109,740. The top 10 percent earn more than $187,200 annually.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor degree programs in business and online MBAprograms. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_business.

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