Career, Salary and Education Information
What They Do: Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions.
Work Environment: Most financial examiners work for the finance and insurance industry, the federal government, or state governments. Most financial examiners work full time.
How to Become One: 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.
Salary: The median annual wage for financial examiners is $81,410.
Job Outlook: Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 21 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of financial examiners with similar occupations.
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 assessment or consumer compliance.
Those working in risk assessment 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 manage 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 race, ethnicity, or other characteristics.
Work Environment for Financial Examiners[About this section] [To Top]
Financial examiners hold about 62,800 jobs. The largest employers of financial examiners are 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.
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.
Education for Financial Examiners
Financial examiners typically need a bachelor's degree. Although a specific major is usually not required, examiners generally need some coursework in accounting, finance, economics, or a related field. Examiners working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) typically 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. The length of this training varies, but typically lasts over 1 year.
Advancement for Financial Examiners
After a few years of experience, financial examiners can advance to a senior examiner position. Senior examiners handle more complex cases, and can lead and direct examination teams. Requirements for these positions vary by employer but often a master's degree in either accounting or business administration, or becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), makes jobseekers more competitive.
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 in order 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 $81,410. 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.
The median annual wages for financial examiners in the top industries in which they work are 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.
Job Outlook for Financial Examiners[About this section] [To Top]
Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 21 percent over the next ten years, 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.
See all finance jobs.
Employment of Financial Examiners
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.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2021||Projected Employment, 2031||Change, 2021-31|
More Financial Examiner Information[About this section] [To Top]
For more information about financial examiners, visit
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.