What Are the Steps to Become a Financier?

Financier is a general term for a professional in the field of finance who deals with large financial transactions and operates in a top level within the industry. Financiers may work for businesses, governments, banks or independently. In each case, financiers share some of the same basic career achievements and skills training to prepare them for high-pressure jobs where a great deal of money is on the line.

Understanding Economics

Developing a basic knowledge of economics is the first step to becoming a financier. It is also a step that becomes an ongoing responsibility for financiers, who need working, up-to-date knowledge not only of their own field but other areas of finance as well. This may start before a financier begins a formal education. Managing personal assets, working at a family firm at a young age and writing about finance are all among the ways an aspiring financial professional can learn about the field and develop a lifelong interest.

Formal Education

Financiers need formal education before they can begin their careers. Besides supplying specialized knowledge and a firm grasp of standard financial terminology and techniques, this education also gives financiers the certifications and degrees they need to advance in their chosen areas of the field. For example, a financier with legal expertise will need a law degree while one who works as a financial manager may need an MBA. Specialized education requirements also exist for students who wish to become financiers in government posts.

Work Experience

Before a financial professional can advance to the status of financier, she needs extensive work experience. A financier's career can involve any number of job titles and positions, generally with a strong trend toward advancement and heightened responsibility. Financial professionals also perform research and publish their work, which is often an initial step in gaining a reputation for expertise in one or more specific areas of finance.

Career Growth and Achievement

With experience, aspiring financiers can also earn professional accreditation. These credentials, which come from many industry associations, rely on combinations of work experience and rigorous exams to recognize financial professionals whose skills place them among the leaders in their field. Earning credentials, honorary degrees and awards are all steps that move a financial professional through the ranks and into a highly visible position. Gaining a reputation for success and trustworthiness is also a key step for financiers, who need others to trust them with their money.

2016 Salary Information for Financial Managers

Financial managers earned a median annual salary of $121,750 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, financial managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $87,530, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $168,790, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 580,400 people were employed in the U.S. as financial managers.

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