The Finance cluster is about using your skills in math and statistics to prepare for well-paying careers in financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management. Every part of the economy offers a career in this field, providing endless opportunities to work in a variety of areas.
The hiring of loan officers – workers responsible for evaluating, authorizing, or recommending approval of loan applications – is expected to increase. Applicants with lending, banking, or sales experience should have better job prospects in this field. More accountant and auditor positions also are likely to open up. Factors that may drive growth include stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector and continued globalization, which may drive demand for accounting services related to international trade and international mergers and acquisitions. The aging population is expected to increase the need for personal financial advisers. Since pensions are no longer the norm, many people are seeking the advice of financial advisers when opening personal retirement accounts.
Employment Projections: 2014-2024*
The Finance cluster employed close to 154,100 Virginians in 2014 and is expected to be employing over 14,400 additional workers in 2024, for a total of 168,500. Based on Trailblazers analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, this projected 9 percent growth in Virginia slightly exceeds the 7 percent average growth anticipated nationally among all occupations in this cluster.
*NOTE: The methodology for classifying occupations within the cluster/pathway system has been updated since the previous data cycle (2012-22), so 2014-24 Trailblazers employment projection data may not be comparable to data from previous cycles.
For more information on occupations in the Finance Cluster, visit Trailblazers – Career and Technical Education in Virginia (PDF).
|Selected Occupation(s)||Employed in Virginia
|2015 Median Wage||Predominant Level of Education|
|Accountants and auditors||42,022||$67,190||Bachelor's degree|
|Financial managers||14,750||$117,990||Bachelor's degree|
|Financial analysts||9,434||$80,310||Bachelor’s degree|
|Insurance sales agents||9,841||$48,200||Bachelor's degree, certification|
|Bill and account collectors||9,161||$34,440||Associate degree, certification|
|Loan officers||7,086||$63,430||Bachelor's degree, certification|
|Personal financial advisors||5,071||$89,160||Bachelor's degree|
|Financial services sales agents||5,382||$71,550||Bachelor's degree, certification|
|Loan interviewers and clerks||5,142||$37,710||Associate degree|
Wage data: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Virginia.
Employment projections data: Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Occupational Employment Projections 2012-2022.
Predominant education level: Trailblazers through the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
Career Cluster Planning
A resource for counselors, administrators, and educators
CTE Administrative Planning Guide (APG) – includes information to help local school divisions plan and schedule instructional programs. The APG is organized by career clusters, with a complete listing of courses, concentration sequences, and credentials available to students as they plan for career entry and continuing education. Users may access course information by cluster or by searching for specific courses or certifications.
Career Planning Guide – includes an easy way for students and counselors to look for courses to further career goals. One can search for occupations, browse by Career Clusters or favorite academic subjects.
Information and tips for instructional leaders, administrators, counselors and teachers/faculty for creating a career pathway academic and career plan of study.
Sample Academic and Career Plans of Study
School divisions are asked to develop sample plans of study based on the courses offered within their schools, the employment needs of the region, and the post-high school educational opportunities needed for these careers. Once these sample plans are developed, they can be customized to the needs of individual students so that all students have the opportunity to have an individualized academic and career plan of study.
Sample Pathway Plans of Study for Finance:
- Accounting (Word)
- Banking Services (Word)
- Business Finance (Word)
- Insurance (Word)
- Securities & Investments (Word)
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) (Word)
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
Report: Education, Employment and Earnings: Analyzing Data from Finance
Cluster Analysis Document for Virginia
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2017 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.