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Investment Banking

Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, investment bankers earn an average of $61,900 annually, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,580, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $113,490.

Facts at a glance

  • A college degree and good interpersonal skills are among the most important qualifications for these workers.
  • Although both occupations will benefit from an increase in investing by individuals, personal financial advisors will benefit more.
  • Financial analysts and personal financial advisors who have earned a professional designation are expected to have the best opportunities; competition is anticipated to be keen for highly lucrative positions in investment banking.
  • About 4 out of 10 personal financial advisors are self-employed.

Summary of what this career entails

Mathematical, computer, analytical, and problem-solving skills are essential qualifications for financial analysts and personal financial advisors. Good communication skills also are necessary, because these workers must present complex financial concepts and strategies in easy-to-understand language to clients and other professionals. Self-confidence, maturity, and the ability to work independently are important as well. Financial analysts must be detail oriented, motivated to seek out obscure information, and familiar with the workings of the economy, tax laws, and money markets. Strong interpersonal skills and sales ability are crucial to the success of both financial analysts and personal financial advisors.

Examples and or details of work

Investment bankers usually work form inside of an office or their own home. All their research is usually done after work because their day is packed with meetings and phone calls. Any financial advisor who works with stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may need additional licensees to perform these services. Demand for financial analysts in investment banking fluctuates because investment banking is sensitive to changes in the stock market. In addition, further consolidation in the finance industries may eliminate some financial analyst positions, dampening overall employment growth somewhat. Competition is expected to be keen for these highly lucrative positions, with many more applicants than jobs.

Degrees that lead to this career

Some of the degrees individuals can attain include:

  • B.A. in Mathematics
  • B.A. in Accounting
  • B.S. in Financial Services and Banking
  • B.S. in Banking
  • M.S. in Banking
  • M.S. in Banking and Financial Support Services

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions available for individuals who are interested in investment banking include financial analysts, personal financial advisors, investment analysts, rating analysts, financial planners, or financial consultants.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Financial Analysts and Personal Financial Advisors, on the Internet at