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Career Guide: Is Finance Consumer Services a Good Career Path for You?

It’s safe to say that finance is one of the most complex fields. Full of jargon and complicated terms, working in finance can be quite demanding. Besides understanding different financial laws and rules, people working in finance also need to be skilled in working with numbers. Because of that, jobs in finance are among the best-paid jobs, and it can be profitable to become part of this industry.

Nevertheless, the road to becoming a well-paid financial expert isn’t easy, so you might wonder – is finance consumer services a good career path?

If you’d like to find an answer to that question and learn more about the field, you’re in the right place. Here, we will go over everything you can expect from a career in finance consumer services.

What is a career in consumer services?

Consumer services careers fall under the umbrella term service industries, which involve selling intangible goods and services to consumers. The primary purpose of consumer service businesses is to develop specific standards and procedures to keep customers satisfied with the received services.

Therefore, companies that offer consumer services help their clients meet their personal or professional financial needs. As such, a career in this field entails providing clients with various services that will allow them to achieve different goals.

Most consumer services are provided by companies or businesses specializing in a particular field, such as education, transportation, or healthcare. Government agencies are also known for providing different consumer services to citizens, as is the financial sector.

How finance consumer services stand out

The field of finance includes many different operations, including the ones related to banking, investment, and insurance. Financial institutions are responsible for providing financial consumer services to their clients, which can entail financial services, items, and investments.

However, what makes finance consumer services unique is the opportunity to help people who are struggling financially. Namely, the companies that offer such services have to work on complex customer service issues and provide their clients with the best possible financial solutions that will allow them to make the most out of their current budget.

Although many people believe a career in finance consumer services isn’t as profitable as some other careers in the world of finance, taking this path can lead to a lot of growth and development.

A crucial fact that makes finance consumer services stand out is that the sector dictates economic growth and development. These services allow money to flow freely through the market, ultimately leading to economic prosperity. When the economy is booming, it expands and allows enterprises to be better equipped for risks and threats.

When a country’s economy is strong, so is its government. An economy that is doing well can increase the government’s freedom and buying strength, which comes with numerous benefits. Similarly, a failing financial services sector can weaken the country’s economy, resulting in lower wages and higher unemployment rates, which leads to cutting back on spending.

With that said, we must highlight the unique benefits of all finance consumer services to help people understand just how important these services are.

Which companies are in finance consumer services?

Since financial consumer services entail so many different things, plenty of companies can offer such services to their clients, serving both retail and commercial consumers. Some of the companies in this sector are:

  • Banks;
  • Brokerage houses;
  • Credit card companies;
  • Fintech companies;
  • Insurance companies;
  • Investment banking firms;
  • Lenders;
  • Money managers;
  • Payment processing companies;
  • Real estate companies;
  • Tax and accounting firms.

Income potential for different roles

Employees have numerous options when it comes to pursuing a career in the finance consumer services sector. Different roles come with different income potentials, but we have included some of the best-paying roles with impressive income potential.

  • Wealth manager

Wealth managers have similar responsibilities to personal bankers, but they focus on finding the best plans for people who want to invest their money or those preparing for retirement. Wealth managers typically work for private wealth management and or investment companies. They make approximately $150,000 per year.

  • Financial planners

Personal financial planners and advisors are some of the best-paying jobs in the field of finance consumer services. People working in this sector are responsible for providing their clients with the best financial planning and management practices, and their average annual salary is around $100,000.

  • Management analysts

Management analysts are also among the highest-paying occupations in this industry. They’re responsible for creating the most efficient practices for an organization, and their annual salary average is $93,000.

  • Financial analysts

Another example of a highly-paid job in this sector is a financial analyst, responsible for analyzing the stability, profitability, and liquidity of an asset. Their average annual salary is $91,000.

  • Personal banker

Personal bankers are financial specialists who help their clients with various banking activities, such as opening an account, getting a loan, or investing. Most personal bankers are employed in larger banks. They earn around $75,000 per year.

  • Credit analyst

Credit analysts are hired by credit card companies or other institutions authorized to lend credit. Credit analysts are responsible for deciding whether clients will get a loan. They’re paid around $50,000 per year for an entry-level position.

Job outlook in finance consumer services

So, is finance consumer services a good career path for you? That also depends on the working conditions you can expect. For that reason, we will now provide a detailed job overview to show you what you can expect when working in this field.

Most finance consumer services professionals work standard nine-to-five shifts in offices. However, more and more companies are introducing flexible working hours and various telecommuting options that give employees in this field more freedom and flexibility.

This type of working environment allows young professionals to establish a healthy work-life balance as they can pursue their career goals without sacrificing their personal life.

Another trend gaining popularity among finance consumer services professionals is working as independent experts rather than employees within a specific company. By working as independent contractors, these professionals can determine their own policies and schedules instead of adapting to the ones provided by the company they’re working for.

With these alternative job outlooks, working in the finance consumer services field today comes with more benefits compared to what these jobs had to offer in the past. Right now, the industry is adaptable and flexible – a big plus for anyone wanting to choose this career path.

Education and skills required

Most entry-level positions in this field don’t require any prior experience or special education, which is ideal for those who don’t have previous experience in this sector but are still wondering – “Is finance consumer services a good career path for me?”

If you’d like to stand out or aim for slightly better positions, it’s important to mention that many finance consumer jobs require some type of licensing or certification. For instance, working as a certified public accountant (CPA) requires special certification for the role.

However, some positions, especially the better-paid ones, require a business, finance, or marketing degree, alongside experience working with customers and managing money.

Therefore, most companies looking for finance consumer services specialists will demand a degree in finance, marketing, business, or any other relevant field. They also often require a minimum of two years of experience working in the financial services industry.

In addition to these formal education and experience requirements, finance consumer services experts should have detailed knowledge of banking rules. Some highly sought-after skills include accounting, budgeting, financial planning, and debt management.

Moreover, individuals who want to be successful in this field must also have strong communication and interpersonal skills because they will be in touch with other people on a daily basis. A proficient understanding of different financial concepts, the ability to analyze data, and being computer literate are other skills that are valued.

Advantages and disadvantages

Just like working in any other field, being employed in the finance consumer services department comes with its unique advantages and disadvantages too. Weighing in the pros and cons of this sector can also come in handy when it’s time to answer that all-important question – is finance consumer services a good career path?

Advantages

  • Ability to work in different settings

With banks and financial companies switching to remote workflow, people employed in this field now have the opportunity to work in different settings. Whether you’re interested in working in an office, from home, or a combination of those two, this career has what you need.

  • Access to a high salary

Working in finance generally comes with a high salary, and this is no exception. Although entry-level positions come with average pay, the salary can quickly increase if you make progress.

  • Flexible working schedule

Working independently or remotely often allows you to create your own schedule. With that level of flexibility, people can organize their days however they want.

  • Great professional advancement opportunities

Whether you start with an entry-level or higher position, there’s always room for professional progress and growth. Advancing in this field is extremely rewarding as employees get access to some enticing raises, bonuses, and other benefits.

  • Opportunity to change someone’s life

As a finance consumer services expert, you have the opportunity to transform someone’s life by providing them with much-needed financial guidance. With your help, people can make smarter decisions with their money and reach higher levels of financial stability.

Disadvantages

  • Good math skills required

Working in finance requires good math skills, and developing these isn’t something many people look forward to. If you aren’t a fan of math or aren’t good with numbers, finance consumer services might not be your ideal career path.

  • Working under stressful conditions

Being responsible for someone’s financial stability comes with a tremendous amount of stress. The fast-paced world of finance requires you to think on your feet and make good decisions when working under pressure.

  • Potentially long working hours

Even if you’re working the traditional nine-to-five, expect to work long hours quite frequently in this field. Although you’ll be well-paid for your input, you need to keep this in mind if you have a particular idea about your work-life balance that you’re not ready to let go of.

Top companies in finance consumer services

Numerous companies that provide finance consumer services to retail and commercial clients are successful, but American Express, Wells Fargo, and PayPal are the three most impactful ones. Let’s say something more about each one of them.

American Express

American Express is among the oldest financial companies in the US. It was founded in 1850 as a firm that offered only freight forwarding services. However, the company started offering travel services after a while as well. American Express was also among the first companies to offer charge cards. The market capitalization of American Express, as of August 2022, is $118.97 billion.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is an international company offering banking and other financial services to its clients. It was founded in 1852 in San Francisco, California. While Wells Fargo has retail and commercial banking locations across the entire US, the company built an international presence by opening offices in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore. As one of the top 100 corporations in the US, Wells Fargo has a market capitalization of $169.345 billion.

PayPal

Even though PayPal is a younger company than American Express and Wells Fargo, that didn’t prevent it from achieving outstanding success. PayPal is an online-only platform that allows businesses and individuals to make fast transactions through its payment system. PayPal was founded in 1998, and its headquarters are located in San Jose, California. The company’s market capitalization is $108.99 billion.

How would you like your job to look?

Finance consumer services is a career path that can provide professionals with an excellent opportunity to enter the world of finance and make great money out of it. If you would like a career that comes with great responsibility but some great rewards as well, finance consumer services might be just what you are looking for.

Experts in this field can find many career opportunities in numerous settings, including banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and all other financial institutions. Working independently in the industry is also an option for those who would like more freedom and flexibility with their work schedule.

Since this industry is growing rapidly, people can easily find employment if they’re qualified and quickly climb the corporate ladder if they show talent and skill.

However, if you aren’t ready to work long hours, dedicate yourself to a serious career, operate under a lot of pressure, and constantly have to meet tight deadlines, finance consumer services probably isn’t a good career path for you.

Conclusion

Is finance consumer services a good career path for you?

Well, that depends on what you expect your job to look like. If you’re ready for a career where the stakes and rewards are high, the finance consumer services field could be the perfect career path for you. You can climb the ladder by applying for one of the entry-level positions, or, if you already have a degree, try for one of the better-paid positions in a financial company.

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