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Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxrRR1mcth4.
Quick Facts: Financial Examiners
2020 Median Pay $81,430 per year
$39.15 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2020 70,800
Job Outlook, 2020-30 18% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2020-30 12,700

What Financial Examiners Do

Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws that govern institutions handling monetary 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 a Financial Examiner

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.

Pay

The median annual wage for financial examiners was $81,430 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 6,900 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.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for financial examiners.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of financial examiners with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about financial examiners by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Financial Examiners Do About this section

Financial examiners
Financial examiners working in consumer compliance monitor lending activity to ensure that borrowers are treated fairly.

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

Duties

Financial examiners typically do the following:

  • Monitor the condition of banks and other financial institutions
  • Review balance sheets, operating income and expense accounts, and loan documentation to confirm an institution's 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 an institution
  • 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 About this section

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

Financial examiners held about 70,800 jobs in 2020. 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 15
Federal government 10
Management of companies and enterprises 9
State government, excluding education and hospitals 7

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

Work Schedules

Most financial examiners work full time.

How to Become a Financial Examiner About this section

Financial examiners
Professional certification, although not required, indicates competency for financial examiners who have it.

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

Financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree. Although a specific major is usually not required, examiners generally need some coursework in accounting, business, finance, or a related field.

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.

Training

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.

Advancement

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).

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial examiners need 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 minutiae when reviewing balance sheets in order to identify risky assets.

Math skills. Financial examiners must do calculations and monitor balance sheets to ensure that a financial institution has available cash.

Writing skills. Financial examiners regularly write reports on the safety and soundness of financial institutions. They must be able to explain technical information clearly.

Pay About this section

Financial Examiners

Median annual wages, May 2020

Financial examiners

$81,430

Financial specialists

$73,840

Total, all occupations

$41,950

 

The median annual wage for financial examiners was $81,430 in May 2020. 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 $43,890, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $159,120.

In May 2020, the median annual wages for financial examiners in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $124,070
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities 92,930
Management of companies and enterprises 87,810
State government, excluding education and hospitals 74,500
Credit intermediation and related activities 72,560

Most financial examiners work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Financial Examiners

Percent change in employment, projected 2020-30

Financial examiners

18%

Total, all occupations

8%

Financial specialists

5%

 

Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 6,900 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.

Employment

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.

At the federal level, budget constraints may limit employment growth in agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Employment projections data for financial examiners, 2020-30
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Financial examiners

13-2061 70,800 83,500 18 12,700 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of financial examiners.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2020 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Accountants and auditors Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records.

Bachelor's degree $73,560
Budget analysts Budget Analysts

Budget analysts help public and private organizations plan their finances.

Bachelor's degree $78,970
Financial analysts Financial Analysts

Financial analysts guide businesses and individuals in decisions about expending money to attain profit.

Bachelor's degree $83,660
Loan officers Loan Officers

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications.

Bachelor's degree $63,960
Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents determine how much is owed in taxes and collect tax from individuals and businesses on behalf of the government.

Bachelor's degree $55,640
Management analysts Management Analysts

Management analysts recommend ways to improve an organization’s efficiency.

Bachelor's degree $87,660
Personal financial advisors Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors provide advice to help individuals manage their finances and plan for their financial future.

Bachelor's degree $89,330
Private detectives and investigators Private Detectives and Investigators

Private detectives and investigators search for information about legal, financial, and personal matters.

High school diploma or equivalent $53,320

Contacts for More Information About this section

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)

O*NET

Financial Examiners

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Examiners,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-examiners.htm (visited November 05, 2021).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2021

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2020 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2020, the median annual wage for all workers was $41,950.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2020

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2020, which is the base year of the 2020-30 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2020-30

The projected percent change in employment from 2020 to 2030. The average growth rate for all occupations is 8 percent.

Employment Change, 2020-30

The projected numeric change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2020-30

The projected numeric change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2020 to 2030.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2020 to 2030.

2020 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2020, the median annual wage for all workers was $41,950.