Financial Examiners

Career, Salary and Education Information

Top 3 financial examiner Jobs

  • Staff Accountant II - South Coast Community Services - Mission Viejo, CA

    What you will do: • Examine accounting records, including financial statements and other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness and

  • Financial Advisor - AXA Advisors, The Empire - Rochester, NY

    The Empire is one of the leading branches within AXA Advisors. We span across Upstate New York with offices in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany

  • Internal Auditor - Graton Resort & Casino - Rohnert Park, CA

    Advises compliance audit departmental management in a timely

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What Financial Examiners Do[About this section] [To Top]

Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions. They review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management.

Duties of Financial Examiners

Financial examiners typically do the following:

  • Monitor the financial condition of banks and other financial institutions
  • Review balance sheets, operating income and expense accounts, and loan documentation to confirm institution assets and liabilities
  • Prepare reports that detail an institution’s safety and soundness
  • Examine the minutes of meetings of managers and directors
  • Train other examiners in the financial examination process
  • Review and analyze new regulations and policies to determine their impact on the organization
  • Establish guidelines for procedures and policies that comply with new and revised regulations

Financial examiners typically work in one of two main areas: risk scoping or consumer compliance.

Those working in risk scoping evaluate the health of financial institutions. Their role is to ensure that banks and other financial institutions offer safe loans and that they have enough cash on hand to handle unexpected losses. These procedures help ensure that the financial system as a whole remains stable. These examiners also evaluate the performance of bank managers.

Financial examiners working in consumer compliance monitor lending activity to ensure that borrowers are treated fairly. They ensure that banks extend loans that borrowers are likely to be able to pay back. They help borrowers avoid “predatory loans”—loans that may generate profit for banks through high interest payments but may be costly to borrowers and damage their credit scores. Examiners also ensure that banks do not discriminate against borrowers based on ethnicity or other characteristics.

Work Environment for Financial Examiners[About this section] [To Top]

Financial examiners hold about 38,200 jobs. The industries that employ the most financial examiners are as follows:

Federal government 19%
Depository credit intermediation 18
State government, excluding education and hospitals 13
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities 12
Management of companies and enterprises 11

Financial examiners typically work in offices. They frequently have to travel to inspect a bank onsite.

Financial Examiner Work Schedules

Most financial examiners work full time.

How to Become a Financial Examiner[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Financial Examiners near you!

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 Examiner Education

Specific requirements for financial examiners vary between federal and state governments. However, all financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree that includes some coursework in accounting, finance, economics, or a related field. Examiners working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) must have at least 6 semester hours in accounting.

Financial Examiner Training

Once hired, financial examiners receive on-the-job training. Entry-level workers begin under the supervision of senior examiners, as they learn their job duties.

Advancement for Financial Examiners

After a few years of experience, financial examiners can advance to a senior examiner position. Requirements for these positions vary by employer but often require a master’s degree in either accounting or business or becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Important Qualities for Financial Examiners

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 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.

Financial Examiner Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for financial examiners is $76,310. 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 $44,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $146,190.

The median annual wages for financial examiners in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Federal government $110,920
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities 82,090
Management of companies and enterprises 75,540
State government, excluding education and hospitals 65,840
Depository credit intermediation 65,530

Most financial examiners work full time.

Job Outlook for Financial Examiners[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 10 percent through 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth for financial examiners will vary by industry group. Implementation of new financial regulations is expected to create a need for more examiners among financial institutions. However, declining overall employment in the federal government will slow growth for these workers.

Demand for these workers has risen in the financial industry because of an increasing number of new regulations. More financial institutions are hiring financial examiners to help navigate the new regulatory environment, and reduce the cost of compliance. Financial examiners’ employment is projected to grow 16 percent through 2024 in the finance and insurance industry.

At the federal level, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has increased employment of financial examiners in recent years. As this agency continues to grow, more financial examiner positions will be added. However, overall budget constraints in the federal government may limit employment growth. Employment of financial examiners in the federal government is projected to grow 1 percent through 2024.

Employment of financial examiners tends to increase during periods of financial instability. As bank losses and failures become more prevalent during economic downturns, more examiners are needed to enforce regulation. However, during normal economic times, employment tends to be steady.

Financial Examiners Job Prospects

Financial examiners should face strong competition for jobs. Those with previous work experience in banking should have the best prospects.

Employment projections data for Financial Examiners, 2014-24
Occupational Title Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Financial examiners 38,200 42,000 10 3,700

*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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