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20. Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

Median salary: $55,640

These government workers determine how much businesses or individuals owe in taxes and make sure they pay. You’ll be reviewing tax returns, conducting audits and addressing issues with taxpayers when problems come up.

To get started on this career path you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification.

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19. Property appraisers and assessors

Median salary: $58,650

As a property appraiser and assessor, you’ll be consulting public records to give value estimates on real estate and/or tangible property.

This could mean appraising land and buildings or assets, such as jewelry, art or collectibles. Regardless of which path you choose, you’ll be comparing what you're appraising against several variables to determine a fair price.

18. Fundraisers

Median salary: $59,610

Excellent communication and organizational skills are key to becoming a good fundraiser.

Choosing this route puts you more in the nonprofit sector, but if you’re good at raising money, you’ll have some career flexibility among various causes and companies.

Fundraisers’ jobs are typically event-oriented, so you’ll be able to plan your schedule accordingly to give yourself downtime between events and campaigns.

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17. Training and development specialists

Median salary: $62,700

Upskilling employees is a common practice at most companies. As a training and development specialist, you’ll work to plan and administer programs that help your team improve its skills.

You’ll need to be comfortable speaking in front of crowds, as you’ll spend a significant portion of your day directing workshops and presentations.

Regardless of the industry you work in, staying up to date on the latest trends is crucial to your success. You don’t want your company to be left in the dust, do you?

16. Human resources specialists

Median salary: $63,490

As a human resources specialist, it’s your job to hire the right people for your company. While it’s not specifically a finance-related career, you would deal with compensation packages for each employee.

Finding qualified candidates is the hardest part of the job, and you’ll need to make yourself familiar with various job search sites to see which ones work best for your company.

15. Loan officers

Median salary: $63,960

With keen judgment and risk assessment, a loan officer determines which loan applications are approved.

If you want to work as a loan officer, you’ll typically work in financial institutions such as commercial banks, credit unions and mortgage companies.

This job requires you to collect and analyze applicants’ financial information and measure it against the kinds of loans that your institution offers.

You can specialize in commercial loans for businesses, consumer loans or mortgage loans to help people buy property.

14. Market research analysts

Median salary: $65,810

If you can identify trends within analytics, you should consider becoming a market research analyst.

You’ll help advise management on potential business opportunities and try to keep your company ahead of the competition in product or service sales.

Market research is an important part of this job, so you will need to familiarize yourself with it to become successful in this career.

13. Cost estimators

Median salary: $66,610

It’s the physical embodiment of “if there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean.” Cost estimators help a company determine the costs associated with making a product or service.

They assess the time, money, materials and labor to determine whether something is worth doing.

Cost estimators also recommend where companies can cut costs and reduce redundancies. It’s your job to work with every department to make sure you get the full scope of a project.

12. Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists

Median salary: $67,190

While we all believe we provide value to our employer, a specialist in compensation, benefits and job analysis will determine how much value you’re providing.

You’ll need to do some research on job sites to determine the market value of each position.

You can choose from among three paths to specialize in: Compensation, to determine a company's pay structure; benefits, to determine the best insurance or wellness program you can offer; and job analysis, to determine what each role will be responsible for in a company.

11. Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators

Median salary: $68,130

We all pay insurance to make sure that, when something happens, we can be compensated accordingly.

If you go down this career path, you’ll be investigating policyholders’ claims and evaluating their merits. If your insurance policy covers the claim, you determine how much the company pays.

This requires good judgment, as you’ll be negotiating for settlements and helping suss out which claims are fraudulent.

10. Insurance underwriters

Median salary: $71,790

Everyone needs insurance. An insurance underwriter decides whether to provide it and, if so, its terms.

You’ll be reviewing insurance applications and screening them based on your company’s criteria. You’ll also be evaluating risks to see if your company is willing to take them on.

Once an application is approved, you’ll be reviewing and updating the rules and terms of the insurance.

9. Purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents

Median salary: $72,270

Basically, if an organization has a need but doesn’t have the resources to fill it, your job would be to see whether the needed products or services are on the market.

You’ll evaluate suppliers to determine which one would work best.

You will also negotiate agreements between you and your suppliers to make sure both parties are satisfied.

8. Labor relations specialists

Median salary: $73,240

You know all those rules and regulations you have to sift through when you receive a new employment contract? Those are written by labor relations specialists.

This job requires excellent communications skills, as you’ll be the middleman between management and workers. You’ll advise management on contracts, any worker grievances and whether disciplinary actions are needed.

This person is essentially responsible for ensuring the relationship between upper management and the employees is good. He or she will also mediate union disputes if your industry or company is unionized.

7. Accountants and auditors

Median salary: $73,560

As the “numbers people,” accountants and auditors make sure companies keep track of all their finances according to state and federal law.

They also evaluate potential areas of opportunity or risk within a company and provide solutions for fixing problems that arise.

If you want to be an accountant or auditor, you’ll need to have a keen eye for detail. One decimal point out of place can cause a mountain of work for your team.

6. Logisticians

Median salary: $76,270

A logistician follows the life cycle of a product to better manage the details of how it will reach consumers.

This job requires looking at the big picture and breaking it down into smaller elements.

You’ll need to be good at forming relationships and managing a team, as you’ll be coordinating with suppliers, clients and other staff to make sure the products you’re working on are completed effectively.

5. Budget analysts

Median salary: $78,970

Help your company go from red to green, as it’ll be your job to manage its finances.

You’ll review budget proposals and funding requests within the company to make sure everything is accurate and complies with federal or state laws and regulations.

If you’re looking to follow this career path, a bachelor’s degree in business, social sciences, psychology or mathematics is recommended. You should also consider earning a Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accountants.

4. Financial examiners

Median salary: $81,430

A financial examiner makes sure a bank complies with laws and regulations.

You can choose one of two paths: risk assessment or consumer compliance. The former helps make sure a bank isn’t exposing itself to undue financial risk. The latter makes sure customers are receiving loans they can actually pay back.

Several professional certifications can help you stand out, but you need only a degree in business with some work in accounting and finance to get started.

3. Financial analysts

Median salary: $83,660

With financial advice available all over the internet, professional financial analysts are needed to help cut through all the misinformation.

As a financial analyst, you’ll be advising businesses and individuals on expanding their profits. This typically means looking at trends in the investment market and advising clients on what would work best for them and serve their financial needs.

The entry-level education requirement is a bachelor’s degree in business, but becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst-certified professional will help you stand out from the competition.

2. Management analysts

Median salary: $87,660

Management analysts are also referred to as management consultants. They work with companies to help remove any organizational inefficiencies.

Their main purpose is to cut costs and increase revenue for the company, which means having to make tough decisions. You’ll need to communicate with people across a company's structure to determine whether each individual is important to the overall vision.

You’ll also be reviewing other data, including revenue, expenditure and employment reports, to make sure everything is running smoothly.

1. Personal financial advisors

Median salary: $89,330

At the top of the list is a personal finance advisor, which involves helping individuals efficiently manage their money.

You’ll consult with them on investments, insurance, mortgages, estate planning, taxes and retirement to make sure your clients get the best results.

Establishing a client's financial goals is important so they can achieve financial success, however they define it.


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About the Author

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton

Freelance Writer

Chris Middleton is a freelance writer at Moneywise. He’s written for CBC News, blogTO, Parton and Pearl and a number of other places. He has a Master’s in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire.

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