Pay for Financial Jobs

Comparisons for Representative Jobs and Industries

Pay for Financial Jobs: Here are the mean annual wages as of May 2009 across all employers for selected financial jobs. The data is from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is categorized by Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes. Jobs shown in italics are further analyzed by industry in the next section below:

  • Financial Managers (11-3031) $113,730
  • All Business & Financial Operations Occupations (13-0000) $65,900
  • Claims Adjusters, Examiners, Investigators (13-1031) $58,780
  • Insurance Appraisers (13-1032) $56,180
  • Cost Estimators (13-1051) $61,190
  • Accountants and Auditors (13-2011) $67,430
  • Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate (13-2021) $53,520
  • Budget Analysts (13-2031) $69,240
  • Credit Analysts (13-2032) $67,230
  • Financial Analysts (13-2051) $85,240
  • Personal Financial Advisors (13-2052) $94,180
  • Insurance Underwriters (13-2053) $63,330
  • Financial Examiners (13-2061) $79,070
  • Loan Counselors (13-2071) $49,930
  • Loan Officers (13-2072) $63,210
  • Tax Examiners, Collectors and Revenue Agents (13-2081) $53,800
  • Tax Preparers (13-2082) $36,060
  • Financial Specialists, All Other (13-2099) $64,810
 

Pay for Financial Jobs by Industry: Drawing from the same BLS database, here are some comparisons of pay by industry (including government) for representative job categories within the financial field (those italicized in the prior list).

The principal intent is to give an idea of how pay for representative financial jobs can vary depending on employer.

 

Financial Managers
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code 11-3031
Mean Annual Wages as of May 2009:

  • $113,730 All Industries
  • $116,800 Financial & Insurance Industry
  • $158,900 Securities, Commodities & Investments
  • $122,390 Insurance
  • $ 92,100 Banking
  • $119,050 Federal Government
  • $ 85,680 State Government
 

Financial Analysts
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code 13-2051
Mean Annual Wages as of May 2009:

  • $ 85,240 All Industries
  • $ 92,400 Financial & Insurance Industry
  • $106,240 Securities, Commodities & Investments
  • $ 74,970 Insurance
  • $ 76,120 Banking
  • $ 86,500 Federal Government
  • $ 66,780 State Government
 

All Business & Financial Operations Occupations
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code 13-0000
Mean Annual Wages as of May 2009:

  • $ 65,900 All Industries
  • $ 69,330 Financial & Insurance Industry
  • $ 97,240 Securities, Commodities & Investments
  • $ 62,130 Insurance
  • $ 62,550 Banking
  • $ 72,080 Federal Government
  • $ 54,010 State Government
 

Notes: NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) codes defining the industry groups above:

  • Financial & Insurance Industry = NAICS Sector 52 (52XXXX)
  • Securities, Commodities & Investment Firms & Exchanges = NAICS 523000
  • Insurance Underwriting & Related = NAICS 524000
  • Depository Credit Intermediation (Banking) = NAICS 522100
  • Federal Government = NAICS 999100
  • State Government = NAICS 999200


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Employee Benefits: This subset of employee beneits are in addition to the average wage incomes summarized above.

(Note also that government agencies tend to have more generous policies on vacations and other time off than provate employers.) The ratios of employer contributions for employee pensions and insurance to wage compensation for the full year 2008 were:

  • 10.0% for all private sector employees
  • 12.1% for the financial, insurance and real estate industry
  • 22.6% for all government employees (federal, state and local)

Source for the above analysis: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts. Divide figures from Table 6.11D (Employer Contribution for Employee Pension and Insurance Funds) into the corresponding numbers from Table 6.2D (Compensation of Employees by Industry).

Additionally, a Cato Institute study based on BLS data (see "The Government Pay Boom," an editorial in the 3/26/2010 Wall Street Journal) indicates that the average state and local government employee enjoys a total benefit package (paid leave, health insurance, pensions, etc.) that is worth, per hour worked, 70% more than that for the average private sector employee.

The same study finds that wages and salaries for the average state or local government employee is 34% higher, per hour worked, than for the average private sector employee. Average wages, salaries and benefits are still higher in the federal government.

Observations on Pay for Financial Jobs: The selected figures above illustrate these main points:

  • For a given job category, the financial services industry tends to pay slightly above the average of all other industries.
  • For a given job category, firms in securities brokerage, investment banking and investment management (NAICS 523000) generally pay significantly above the average for the financial services industry.
  • Pay in the federal government is highly competitive with the average for the financial services industry, though not quite as high as that in securities brokerage, investment banking and investment management (NAICS 523000).

For people expecting to make careers in the low to middling ranges of compensation, federal employment is highly attractive on the basis of wages alone, even before factoring in more generous benefits and job security that is in stark contrast to the highly cyclical, layoff-prone financial services industry.