Finance experts in an office.
Finance experts in an office.

8 top finance careers in Australia


If you're captivated by the world of finance and the mere mention of asset management, risk mitigation, or financial services gets your heart racing, you've come to the right place.

It's a rewarding time to be in finance—the industry is experiencing stable growth in Australia. According to a recent Australian Government report, the need for financial skills is expected to grow by 5.6 per cent by 2025 and the financial and insurance sector is predicted to grow by 6.3 per cent over the next three years. These promising statistics underscore the robustness of the industry and the plethora of opportunities available for professionals.

But what exactly does the finance working landscape in Australia look like? Which financial services positions offer the most promise, not just in compensation but also in long-term career growth?

Let's look at Australia's top eight finance careers, equipping you with the information you need to make informed career decisions.

What are the highest-paying finance jobs in Australia?

Your earning potential can significantly differ based on multiple factors, such as the size of the organisation you work for, what role you choose, your specific responsibilities and of course, your experience. So, while these numbers give you a ballpark idea, remember the sky could be the limit, depending on your circumstances.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

What does a CFO do?

A CFO is essentially the financial backbone of a company, responsible for crafting financial strategies and operations and managing its financial planning, risks and opportunities.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • Strong leadership qualities
  • Excellent grasp of financial regulations
  • Top-notch analytical skills
  • Ability to drive and manage profitability
  • Strategic vision and quality management

Like many senior roles of this nature, you'll need additional qualifications on top of your MBA, such as a degree in accounting. You'll also likely need to be a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).

Common tasks:

  • Strategic planning
  • Risk management
  • Meticulous record keeping
  • Presenting reports to stakeholders
  • Budgeting and forecasting

Average salary:$220,000-$350,000+ per year

Financial Controller

What does a Financial Controller do?

A Financial Controller oversees the accounting department, ensuring accurate financial reporting and compliance with regulations. They may also contribute to their organisation's vision for the future.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • Mastery of accounting software
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent grasp of financial regulations
  • Excellent time management.

Common tasks:

  • Overseeing accounting and tax activities
  • Managing annual budgets
  • Financial reporting
  • Ensuring compliance
  • Solving complex financial issues
  • Helping executive team plan and implement projects
  • Identifying ways to improve business efficiencies
  • Internal audits.

Average salary:$150,000 per year


What does a Treasurer do?

A Treasurer is responsible for an organisation's financial activity, focusing on capital structure and corporate financing. They're a key member of a finance team, ensuring a company is well-managed financially, determining corporate fiscal objectives and implementing strategies to achieve them.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • Risk assessment capabilities
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • Stakeholder and relationship management
  • Ability to work under pressure.

Common tasks:

  • Cash management
  • Debt management
  • Negotiating and developing annual budgets
  • Managing business banking
  • Auditing and compliance
  • Investment decisions.

Average salary:$350,000 per year.

Portfolio Manager

What does a Portfolio Manager do?

A Portfolio Manager is responsible for making investment decisions on behalf of clients or an organisation to maximise returns.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • Deep understanding of financial markets
  • Excellent research skills
  • Decision-making abilities.

Common tasks:

  • Asset allocation
  • Performance monitoring
  • Investment strategy development
  • Liaising with clients to achieve their investment goals
  • Managing risk and measuring portfolio performance.

Average salary:$155,000 per year.

Investment Manager

What does an Investment Manager do?

An Investment Manager focuses on generating profits through investments, whether buying and selling stocks or managing real estate.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • High-stress tolerance
  • Strong financial modelling skills
  • Excellent negotiation abilities
  • Self-motivation
  • Funds management.

Common tasks:

  • Asset management
  • Risk assessment
  • Client relationship management.

Average salary: $150,000 per year.

Finance Manager

What does a Finance Manager do?

A Finance Manager supervises financial departments, ensuring an organisation is financially healthy. They usually work alongside a CFO to deliver financial guidance to an executive leadership team.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Proficiency in financial software
  • Analytical skills
  • Excellent knowledge of the financial market
  • Good organisational skills.

Common tasks:

  • Budget planning and management
  • Financial reporting
  • Mitigating risks
  • Improving profitability
  • Analysing financial information
  • Overseeing accounts and audits.

Average salary:$130,000 per year.

Financial Analyst

What does a Financial Analyst do?

A Financial Analyst scrutinises financial trends and data to help organisations make informed decisions.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills.

Common tasks:

  • Market research
  • Financial forecasting
  • Analysing financial statements
  • Creating and reviewing reports.
  • Recommending strategies for future growth.

Average salary:$105,000 per year.

Financial Planner

What does a Financial Planner do?

A Financial Planner helps individuals and businesses create a comprehensive financial plan to achieve their goals.

To be successful, you'll need:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Deep understanding of financial products and markets.

Common tasks:

  • Financial goal setting
  • Investment advising
  • Analysing clients' financial circumstances
  • Educating clients on financial matters
  • Retirement planning.

Average salary:$115,000 per year.

What is the average salary for finance roles in Australia?

The finance sector is robust in Australia and salaries reflect that. The average salary for finance roles across the board is $95,000 per year.

Getting started

Entry-level roles like junior financial analysts or assistant accountants usually start at around $70,000. It's an excellent starting point for building your career.


As you climb up the ladder and get years of experience under your belt, you can expect a substantial bump in your earnings. Mid-level roles can push you into the $80,000 to $100,000 bracket. These include job titles such as finance analysts, finance associates and some specialist roles that require more know-how but aren't yet pushing you into management territory.

Top of the ladder

Finally, we have senior financial roles, pulling in between $150,000 to over $350,000+ a year. These are your Chief Financial Officers, finance controllers and treasurers—professionals who have built experience over some years.

How can postgraduate study boost my earning potential?

Pathways to the top of the finance industry are varied and the industry has introduced measures to ensure those providing financial advice are regulated by a combination of qualifications, on-the-job training, examinations and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The journey to becoming a financial planner has multiple pathways. By studying a masters degree as part of your pathway, you have the potential to boost your earnings by as much as 20 per cent.

Here are key reasons why study can boost your earning capacity:

You'll stand out as an expert

Two resumes land on a hiring manager's desk. Both have solid experience, but one has a masters in finance or an advanced certification like a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). Who gets the call-back?

Specialised postgraduate qualifications give you the skills to back up your career ambitions, but they also signal to employers you're an expert in your field.

Gain access to higher-level positions

Higher education often opens the door to higher positions. Executive roles like CFO or Finance Controller usually have an extensive list of requirements on their job description and postgraduate degrees are commonly included.

Advanced roles call for advanced skills and knowledge that postgraduate studies are tailored to provide. So don't underestimate the power of additional qualifications.

Increase your professional network

Let's discuss the “who you know” part of the equation. Postgraduate programs are filled with like-minded professionals also interested in climbing that career ladder.

You'll have the chance to connect with future industry leaders, get insights from experienced faculty and even engage with guest speakers from the sector. This network-building can lead to lucrative job offers and collaborative opportunities.

Expand your career options with specialised skills

In finance, being a generalist can only get you so far. Companies are often willing to pay higher salaries for someone who's skilled at problem-solving specific issues a generalist may not be equipped to handle.

Whether it's risk management, investment strategies, or corporate finance, postgraduate study lets you hone your niche with the skills that make you invaluable in the marketplace.

Postgraduate study is an investment in your skills, your professional network and your earning potential. If you're keen to take your finance career to the next level, it might be time to hit those textbooks again.

At VU Online, we've got a postgraduate finance degree to match your aspirations, including our:

Postgraduate studies are a big step, but so are the pay-offs. In addition to boosting your salary potential, choosing further study can accelerate your path into a professional expert and industry leader. And, whatever your career goals, we're here to assist you every step of the way, from course selection to graduation and beyond.

Discover how you can find financial career success with the Master of Business Administration (Finance) or Master of Financial Planning. Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor today and find a flexible learning path that works for you.