Finance School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Money is a huge part of our everyday lives, and is the basis for a lot of our daily conversations. I bet you're wondering even now how you're going to make money, which is probably why you're on this website. If money's that important, why not learn about how it all works, and make a career out of that?

There are a wide range of career possibilities in the finance industry, from dealing with banking customers' needs, managing insurance policies and taking charge of business accounts, to advising on financial planning, analysing trends in the economy and even teaching all this stuff to students. Whether you can't get enough of numbers and statistics, or just like the idea of helping people plan their financial lives, there’s something for you in the financial industry.

What’s it all about?TOP ^

This is also a flexible sector to work in as a freelance consultant, after you've had a few years’ experience under your belt. Businesses will often need a financial planner or accountant on call to handle taxes and development opportunities, and families look for professional advice on things like insurance and saving money.

An important part of developing your career, particularly if you join as a school leaver, will be to take professional qualifications throughout your career. Depending on the sector you choose to work in, you should be able to find an appropriate professional organisation.

This is a career that rewards ambition - it literally doesn't pay to be in the background. If you've got a good idea, or the drive to take on a lot of responsibility, don't be afraid to show it. Depending on the level of qualifications you go for, you may have a job that requires CPD (continuing personal development), which means more classes and certificates to show that you know the latest laws, regulations, etc.

What will I earn? TOP ^

The pay scale in this industry varies greatly depending on the kind of job you have. Bank tellers and customer advisors make around £15,000, going to more than £20,000 as they move into management roles.

Accountants can make between £20,000 and £30,000 as their career progresses, while actuaries start off earning around £30,000 and can make over £50,000 as they become experienced. It's a similar picture for those who work in financial advisory positions.

Where can I work?TOP ^

The financial industry is generally considered to be made up of banks, accountancy firms and insurers. This is an industry of high wages and high risks, so it’s not surprising that most employers want you to have a degree. The most popular degrees are in Accounting, Economics, Taxation or Financial Mathematics.

However some employers take on school leavers through dedicated programmes, training you up and providing you with qualifications while you get on the job experience.

What skills do I need in finance? TOP ^

You'll need lots of confidence, as well as proven knowledge of the finance industry no matter what level you're working at. It's very important to have good people skills, whether you're dealing with colleagues or clients. It probably goes without saying that you need to be good with numbers and maths, but you also need to be able to explain what they mean in a clear way.

Some of the skills that financial recruiters might look for are:

What entry level jobs can I do in finance? TOP ^

Most high level finance degrees normally require a degree in finance or economics, but it is possible to enter the industry straight from school. These jobs will normally be lower level administration or training jobs.

Some entry level jobs in the financial industry include:

  • Trainee accountant
  • Finance assistant
  • Insurance underwriter
  • Financial advisor administrator
Browse all Finance jobs for this guide