Financial examiners held about 62,800 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of financial examiners were as follows:
|Credit intermediation and related activities||42%|
|Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities||14|
|Management of companies and enterprises||9|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||8|
Financial examiners typically work in offices. They frequently have to travel to inspect a bank onsite.
Most financial examiners work full time.
Financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree that includes some coursework in accounting. Entry-level examiners are trained on the job by senior examiners.
Financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. A degree in business or a related field is common. Coursework should include accounting, finance, or related subjects.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although it is not required, professional certification indicates competencies for financial examiners who have it. The Society of Financial Examiners (SOFE) offers the Accredited Financial Examiner (AFE) and the Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) designations. Both may be earned after completing extensive requirements and passing a series of examinations. Continuing education is required to maintain these designations.
Some financial examiners become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). CPAs are licensed by their state’s Board of Accountancy. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements.
Once hired, financial examiners receive on-the-job training. Entry-level workers learn their job duties while supervised by senior examiners. The length of training varies but typically lasts more than 1 year.
After a few years of experience, financial examiners may advance to a senior examiner position. Senior examiners handle more complex cases and may lead examination teams. Requirements for these positions vary, but employers often prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in either accounting or business administration or who are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
Financial examiners typically have an interest in the Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a financial examiner, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Financial examiners should also possess the following specific qualities:
Analytical skills. Financial examiners need strong analytical skills to evaluate how well the managers of financial institutions are handling risk and whether the individual loans the institution makes are safe.
Detail oriented. Financial examiners must pay close attention to details when reviewing balance sheets to identify risky assets.
Math skills. Financial examiners need good basic math skills to monitor balance sheets and see if the bank’s or other financial institution’s available cash is dangerously low.
Writing skills. Financial examiners regularly write reports on the safety and soundness of financial institutions. They must be able to explain technical information clearly.
The median annual wage for financial examiners was $81,410 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,830, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $160,850.
In May 2021, the median annual wages for financial examiners in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities||101,770|
|Management of companies and enterprises||90,010|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||81,220|
|Credit intermediation and related activities||77,030|
Most financial examiners work full time.
Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 21 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 6,800 openings for financial examiners are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Demand for these workers has risen, particularly in the financial industry, because of the need for banking institutions to comply with federal regulation. More of these institutions are hiring financial examiners to help navigate the regulatory environment and reduce the cost of compliance. Financial examiners also will continue to be needed at the federal level to enforce regulations.
For more information about financial examiners, visit
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
For more information about the certification, visit
Society of Financial Examiners
For more information about the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), and other designations, visit
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)