Is major banks a good career path? The truth is any career path is good, depending on who asks. And the banking industry is not any different. Some people will view it as an exceptional career path, while others won't even imagine pursuing a career here.
The banking industry is among the most competitive, lucrative, but quite challenging industries. It offers numerous career options and excellent career advancement opportunities. So, if you are into banking, you are certainly on the right career path.
When it comes to the significant banking industry, this entails commercial banking, retail banking, investment banking, corporate banking, and wealth management firms. And people consider the industry to include highly-professional jobs characterized by attractive salaries, which is pretty accurate.
Finding a good job in this industry requires professionalism, but you will undoubtedly get good pay. Now, to cut a long story short, let's answer the question. Is major banks a good career path?
Why? Let's find out…
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Why Is Major Banks a Good Career Path?
Major banks offer numerous career opportunities that might fit almost anyone's specialization. Whether you've majored in accounts, finance, law, business, or even IT, there is something for everyone. Also, the salaries and compensation perks here are attractive, which is what most look for.
However, before choosing a career path in the banking sector, it is good to have these few points in mind:
- Working time: Jobs in major banks are pretty demanding. You might have to work more hours than you will in other career paths. As such, you need to be mentally and physically prepared for this.
- Compensation package and benefits: While major banks offer attractive pay, they might not include some advantages in smaller banks. Therefore, ensure that you have done a thorough research and are comfortable with the package before starting.
- Amount of travel time: A career path at a major bank might require a lot of traveling, primarily based on your field of expertise. This will not only be exhausting but also deny you time with family. Be prepared for that.
- Company's culture: Despite finding a high-paying job in this sector, you must deal with the strict requirements these big banks demand. Plus, you might need to get used to working in a high-pressure environment.
These four points will help prepare you if things get tough.
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Best-Paying Jobs in Major Banks
Good pay is the first thing that comes into mind when we think of a new job. Everyone wants to be adequately remunerated for their efforts and skills. So what are some of the best-paying jobs in the major banks industry?
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1. Financial Manager
With an average annual salary of at least $131,710, this is undoubtedly among the best-paying jobs in the banking sector. Plus, it doesn't have too many requirements to get one. All you need is a bachelor's degree and at least five years of experience in business or finance.
In 2021, there were around 730,800 financial manager jobs in the US. This shows just how big this career path is. Also, the job growth is anticipated to be 17% from 2021 to 2031.
But what do financial managers do? What are their roles? Well, they prepare forecasts, financial statements, and business activity reports for the bank. They might also be required to supervise budget and financial analysts.
In addition, they are the ones that monitor the financial details of the bank to ensure that it meets all the legal requirements. Lastly, financial managers can also analyze the market to help find business opportunities and maximize the bank's profits.
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2. Investment Banker
The average annual salary of an investment banker is roughly $134,18. Now, this isn't bad.
The next good thing about this career path is that it is not strict about the type of bachelor's degree to possess. For instance, you can apply for the job whether you have a bachelor's in accounting, business administration, finance, or any other related degree.
In 2022, there were around 115,365 jobs, and the growth between 2019 and 2029 is expected to be 15%. So, what do investment bankers do?
Firstly, they work in major investment banks providing loans to large organizations or corporations. For example, when a firm or company issues stock in an Initial Public Offering, it's the work of an investment bank to set the price and manage the entire IPO process. And investment bankers are tasked with these transactions.
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3. Chief Financial Officer
To start with, the CFOs take home an average annual salary of $141,202. That's attractive. In fact, it makes them one of the highest-payed guys in the industry.
Chief financial officers are responsible for financial planning, operations, and the bank's overall growth. Their main task is to evaluate the bank's assets and liabilities and manage its cash flow. However, they might, at times, supervise or oversee analysts.
The job requires deep knowledge of finance, market trends, the stock market, and the financial markets. It would be best if you also were abreast of the bank's overall business performance and always communicated with the other executives.
How about the education-level requirements? A chief financial officer should possess a bachelor's degree in either finance or business.
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4. Financial Analyst
If you are passionate about a career in major banks, becoming a financial analyst is one worthwhile career path. But to start, you need at least a finance degree. If you've managed to get your master's, it might give you an upper hand over other applicants.
Working as a financial analyst in a major bank will fetch you an average of $95,570 annually. That's a good income compared to several other industries.
As for the roles, a financial analyst is tasked with evaluating financial data (current and past) to recommend the best investments and portfolios. They also help to determine the company's value, especially when it's going public or being acquired.
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5. Loan Officers
Major banks' jobs pay well. That's a fact! And becoming a loan officer is one way to tap into this industry's goodies.
The annual average salary of a loan officer in major banks is around $63,380. And to get this job, you only need a bachelor's degree with at least five years of experience working in a related field.
What are the roles of a loan officer?
They must assess loan applications to determine whether an applicant qualifies for a loan. They recommend approval for financing, including mortgages. This means they are a crucial part of the banking sector as they bring business to the bank.
Whether a loan officer approves or rejects a loan is based on facts. They assess the applicant's financials to determine whether they can repay the loan.
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Advantages of a Career in Major Banks
If you've chosen a career in the financial industry, here are the significant benefits:
1. Attractive Pay
The major banking industry offers some of the best salaries compared to other corporate jobs. As seen above, several jobs offer over $100,000 in annual average salary.
This salary also rises based on years of service, skills, and education, meaning you can make good money here. For instance, if you have a master's degree, your salary may significantly rise or even double.
Banking careers in corporate banking, sales & trading, capital markets, and M&A are excellent choices when you are looking at starting salaries. Over time your earnings will depend on your performance.
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2. Diverse Options to Get a Job
A career in the banking industry is not confined to just a few degree programs. It has one of the widest ranges of degrees that allow you to clinch a job in the industry.
For instance, many people work in significant banks with degrees in economics, law, engineering, MBAs, and even medicine. It's not a must to have a degree in finance or banking to get a job here. This gives more people a better chance of pursuing a career in banking if it's their passion.
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3. Variety of Jobs and Roles
Although most bank jobs require a similar level of education, banks offer different roles and positions for their employees. This is based on your skills, experience, and performance. Switching your position within one bank can be rewarding in terms of earning potential.
You can work as a financial analyst, a budget analyst, a loan officer, a chief financial officer, or an investment banker. The options here are almost limitless. Therefore, wherever your skills and passion lie, you can always get something to do in the banking industry.
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4. Enjoy Better Security
Besides the salary, working with major banks has several advantages, including job security. You will likely have a safe and secure job for life since commercial banks have been there for quite a long time and continue to grow.
Also, unlike many other fields that employ temporary workers, banking offers long-term employment stability, which is highly commendable.
5. Gaining Valuable Skills
Diversity is essential when seeking out good employment opportunities in corporate banking. A career path with major banks offers opportunities to build up essential skills.
The transferable skills obtained in the banking industry, such as relevant experience and strong analytical and problem-solving skills, can be used to excel in your career path.
Disadvantages of Working for Major Banks
- High demand for these jobs: Since people know that banks pay well, everyone is applying for these jobs. As such, the chances of someone getting a job here might become slim.
- The industry is demanding: Jobs in major banks are pretty demanding in terms of time, skills, and qualifications. Most of these jobs require a bachelor's degree and a few years of experience.
- It requires you to deal with people: You will have to deal with and relate with customers daily, especially the tellers, loan officers, and chief financial officers. This might not go well with introverts.
- Hard to climb the corporate ladder: Due to various bureaucratic issues, it might be hard to scale the corporate ladder. However, with time and good work, you can manage.
Top Major Banks in the US
1. JPMorgan Chase Bank
This is North America's largest bank and one of the most influential financial institutions in the world. The bank was founded over 200 years ago and had assets worth over $3.38 trillion.
Chase bank serves around 60 million American households and boasts one of the largest networks countrywide. It is in 48 states, with over 47,000 branches and 16000 ATMs.
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2. Bank of America
Also founded more than 200 years ago in 1784, Bank of America is among the major banks in the US. It holds assets worth at least $2.44 trillion and has over 212,000 employees on its payroll.
As of 2022, the bank had over 6,446 branches across the country, which is expected to grow even more over time. As such, Bank of America has become one of the leading banks in the US to provide financial services to customers nationwide.
With around 2,000 branches across 50 states, Citigroup is one of the leading banks in the US. It was founded in 1812 and offers a wide range of banking services, from retail and commercial banking to investment management and credit cards.
The bank has ten international locations and manages over $1.78 trillion in assets. This makes it the fifth-largest bank worldwide.
Interestingly, Citigroup Bank doesn't offer its own credit card or mortgage facilities. All in all, it is one of the major US banks.
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Which is the largest major bank in the US?
The largest major bank in the US is JPMorgan Chase Bank, with over $3.38 trillion in assets and serving around 60 million American households. Other leading banks in the US include Bank of America and Citigroup, which offer customers a wide range of financial services nationwide.
Which is the best career path in the banking industry?
This will depend on various factors, including your background, experience, and personal interests and preferences. Some common career paths in banking include financial analysts, loan officers, and investment managers.
What is Investment Banking?
Investment banking is a field within the banking industry that provides financial services and advice to businesses, institutions, individuals, and government investors. This can include underwriting securities, mergers and acquisitions, and issuing equity and debt investments.