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What are the Different Types of Finance Careers?

By Jodee Redmond
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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There are many different types of finance careers, from those housed in specific financial institutions like banks to those that help clients navigate money matters and make wise investments. Almost any career that involves money planning, be it through payment, acquisition, or growth, can properly be considered a finance career. Some are more traditional than others, but nearly all require at least undergraduate training.

Almost everyone has the need for money expertise, from individuals and small businesses to major corporations. Choosing a specialty is usually a lot harder than finding different options.


Many finance careers are housed within banking institutions. Some bankers start out as tellers, educating consumers about various account options and assisting with deposits and withdrawals. More advanced personnel work as account managers and loan officers, helping clients execute financial transactions.

Bankers can also work with corporate clients. Business banking is usually a lot different from personal banking, as there are more complexities and legal regulations to keep in mind. Some of the most elite business finance careers are in investment banking, which deals with corporate funding and share allocation for young, growing businesses. A corporation that is just getting off the ground usually needs a lot of capital. Investment bankers help negotiate favorable deals between companies and investors.


Careers in the accounting sector deal primarily with financial reconciliation, ensuring that clients stay on top of their bills and other money-related obligations. Tax accountancy is a popular career track in countries that require individuals and businesses to file and prepare tax returns,. Most businesses also have in-house accountants who manage expenditures and keep track of money going in and coming out.

Financial Planning

Money matters are often complicated for both individuals and businesses, which is where financial planning comes in. Careers in financial planning usually focus on helping clients make the most of what they have. When it comes to families and individuals, planners focus on growing assets, setting up education funds for the future, or helping people make good investment decisions as they plan for retirement.

On the corporate side of things, planners often help structure pension and retirement plans and manage profits in ways that help a business grow. Financial savvy is required for this sort of work, but so is good communication — the planner must be able to set out the different options, but then listen to and implement the client’s decisions.

Investments and Stocks

Those who work on the stock market or with investment instruments like bonds or mutual funds often have some overlap with financial planners. The brunt of these jobs comes in marketing and selling investments, though; rarely do professionals ever directly offer clients advice. Some of these careers are situated on actual trade floors, like the New York or Tokyo stock exchanges. Others are housed in offices, where investors and analysts watch market trends in real time and make quick judgments about whether to buy or sell.

Real Estate

The purchase and sale of property is an inherently financial matter, and finance careers abound in this sector. A lot of money transactions happen in real estate, from home appraisement and property management deals to mortgage negotiation and loan settlements.


In most places, insurance rates, fees, and premiums are calculated by a team of financially savvy underwriters. Underwriters study market trends and demographic charts to come up with numbers that represent a favorable gamble for the insurance company. These sorts of financial careers exist in a range of sectors, from home and auto to medical and life insurance, at both the personal and corporate levels.

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Discussion Comments
By anon156380 — On Feb 26, 2011

I'm Raja and pursuing my mba from iipm, so i want to go for finance but have lack of knowledge about it. Please tell me that about the types of finance and which i should do because i am from a commerce background.

By anon141384 — On Jan 10, 2011

actually i don't know about finance much but am interested in working in that field. can you please help me in finding what all fields i can go into in the finance sector? I am presently perusing pgdm 2nd semester.

By icecream17 — On Aug 21, 2010

Sneakers41- Wow, I didn't know that. I think that an MBA is very valuable in a finance career.

People that invest in an MBA finance career should earn from 20% to 25% more than those bachelor's degree.

Many go on to lucrative fields such as investment banking. Investment banker’s focus on purchasing companies which is called investing in private equity.

They generally buy established companies that happen to be struggling financially. They hedge their bets that the company will turn around and become profitable and produce substantial profits for them when they sell their interests in it.

Sometimes investment bankers look for new up-and-coming companies that they feel have a lot of potential. They purchase these companies in the same hopes of the large payout.

Just think of those investment bankers that invested in Google about ten years back. They are probably retired now.

Investment bankers earn high six-figure salaries and some even earn seven figure salaries.While this is a lucrative field many investment bankers work 12 to 16 hour days and sometimes seven days a week.

This grueling schedule causes a lot of stress and many investment bankers get burnt out after a few years and leave the field.

By sneakers41 — On Aug 21, 2010

Oasis11-I agree with you. That is how my brother-in law started out his career. I wanted to say that

underwriters can be one of the best finance careers.

Underwriters work in the insurance field and often have certain guidelines in order to approve certain policies. Mortgage underwriters may stipulate that a loan must have a maximum loan to value of 80%.

They may also state that condominium loans cannot be offered to properties that have a certain percentage in foreclosures, or have a low owner occupancy percentage.

Most loans require a minimum of 50% owner occupancy for condominium loans. These guidelines vary and are set by the underwriter.

By oasis11 — On Aug 21, 2010

Greenweaver- I wanted to add that others at the entry level in banking, open accounts for customers and try to sell other products such as CD’s and money market accounts.

Those working in loans usually specialize in a particular area. A mortgage loan officer is usually offered to one person who represents several branches within a bank.

They usually travel to see prospects. Because these individuals have a license they're usually the ones that are allowed to offer mortgages to a customer. Many people with corporate finance careers start in banking.

By GreenWeaver — On Aug 21, 2010

Some of the finance careers include working as an auditor, an accountant or a banker.

Auditors can work externally for a financial services firm and perform audits various companies or they can work internally for a single company.

Generally auditors’ finance career salaries start at $48,000 and those with advanced business degrees can start higher.

Accountants who have a CPA designation earn the highest salaries. A good CPA can earn six figures.

Also, bankers perform several functions within a bank. Some sell investments but have to have a series 6 or 7 designation in order to lawfully do so. Others offer loans to customers in the form of mortgages, auto loans, business loans, and personal finance loans.

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