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Business careers are available in just about every industry. People with business skills are in demand in large corporations, small companies, nonprofits and government agencies. Business careers provide viable ways to build long, rewarding careers.

Due to the vast nature of the business world, there are no particular required set of skills, each career has its unique requirements, some business careers require an aptitude for math, whereas other business careers require excellent communications and interpersonal skills.

Our business/finance career category provides pertinent information about a variety of business related careers such as employment outlook, salary, training, a matching online degree and much more. Each business related career has its relevant type and level of postsecondary education. TheBestSchools helps you find the business related career right for you.

Once you've explored this page on Business Careers we encourage you to keep digging into our website's thorough career guide with information on job options, education requirements and salaries.

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Actuaries

Education and Certifications Actuaries Need

People interested in an actuarial career typically need at least a Bachelor of Mathematics, Bachelor of Statistics, Bachelor of Business, or Bachelor of Actuarial Science degree.

Many actuarial students obtain an internship while in school.

Actuaries must pass multiple exams to become certified actuarial professionals; many employers expect actuaries to have passed at least one of these exams prior to graduating with their bachelor degree.

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) both offer two levels of certification: associate and fellowship.

Certification through the SOA requires passing a series of five exams, plus seminars on professionalism. Certification through the CAS requires passing a series of seven exams, plus seminars on professionalism.

Actuaries working in the property and casualty field become certified through the CAS, while actuaries working in the life insurance, health insurance, retirement benefits, investments, and finance, receive certification through the SOA. Certification through either society takes four to six years.

It generally takes actuaries two to three years to continue on and earn fellowship status. The SOA provides five different tracks for fellowship: life and annuities, group and health benefits, retirement benefits, investments, and finance/enterprise risk management. The SOA does not offer special tracks for fellowship certification.

Pension actuaries must be enrolled by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of the Treasury's Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.

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What They Do

Although no one can predict the future with one hundred percent accuracy, actuaries are expected to come as close as possible. Using mathematics, statistics, and financial theory, actuaries determine the risk of certain events happening in the future, and then help businesses and clients create policies addressing these events with the intention of minimizing cost. Actuaries are indispensable to the insurance industry.

An actuary career includes utilizing statistical data and other available information to estimate economic cost of inevitable events such as death, sickness, accidents, and natural disaster. Using their estimations, actuaries develop, test, and administer things such as insurance policies, investments, and pension plans with the intention of minimizing risk and maximizing profitability for insurance companies.

Actuaries must be computer savvy, as they use database software for compiling information and advanced statistics and modeling software when forecasting the cost and probability of events.

An actuarial career involves explaining results and recommendations to company executives, government officials, shareholders, and clients through presentations, reports, charts, tables, and one-on-one conversations.

Sometimes actuaries are called upon to testify before public agencies on proposed laws affecting their business.

Actuaries may specialize in specific types of insurance or fields such as health insurance, life insurance, property and casualty insurance, pension or retirement benefits actuaries. Some actuaries work as consulting actuaries.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Career advancement for actuaries depends on the number of actuarial exams passed, experience, and job performance. It's possible for actuaries with a large knowledge base of risk management to obtain an executive position, such as chief risk officer or chief financial officer.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $101,560
2016 number of jobs 23,600
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 22%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $59,950
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $184,770

 

Accountants and Auditors

Education and Certifications Accountants and Auditors Need

Typically, accountants and auditors need a Bachelor's degree in Accounting or related field, such as internal auditing or business administration with a concentration in accounting. However, individuals with a community college degree, bookkeepers, and accounting clerks who meet the education requirement of employers may be hired for junior accounting positions and later obtain an accountant position.

Certification within a specific accounting field greatly aids in advancement opportunities for accountants or auditors. The most widely recognized certification for accountants and auditors is passing the Certified Public Accountant exam, earning the CPA title and professional distinction. Work experience in an accounting or auditing position is required before an individual can apply for a CPA license.

A CPA license is attained through the state Board of Accountancy and must be obtained before an accountant can file a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. State requirements, in conjunction with passing the CPA exam, vary per state. Most states require CPAs to take continuing education to maintain their licenses.

Other certifications available in this field include: Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Additional certifications are available for accountants or auditors who have already earned a CPA license.

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What They Do

Most, if not all, businesses would crumble without accountants and auditors; they are the life source and regulators of nearly every trade. Accountants and auditors work with, and answer to, a variety of people ranging from business management to individual clients.

There are four main types of accountants and auditors: public accountants, management accountants, government accountants, and internal auditors.

Accountants and auditors prepare tax returns and assure taxes are paid. They are also responsible for reviewing and assuring accuracy and regulation compliance in financial statements, account books, and accounting procedures. They also find new methods of cost reduction and revenue enhancement to improve profits.

Accountants and auditors often specialize in areas such as assurance services or risk management, among others.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Public accountants generally advance within their first two years, and become senior management with a few more years. Some accountants will advance to a management or partner position, start their own accounting firm, or transfer to executive positions in management accounting or internal auditing in private firms.

Management accountants can advance through the ranks of an organization and become anything from an accounting manager, to financial vice president or chief financial officer, or even a company president.

It is not uncommon for public accountants, management accountants, and internal auditors to transfer into one another's field to find advancement opportunities.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $69,350
2016 number of jobs 1,397,700
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 10%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $43,020
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $122,220

 

Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate

Education and Certifications Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate Need

Education and certification requirement for real estate appraisers and real estate assessors vary greatly. It's possible to begin a real estate appraiser career or a real estate assessor career with a high school diploma, but most employers require additional basic appraisal courses, on-the-job training through an apprenticeship, and enough work hours to meet requirements for appraisal licenses or certificates. However, most real estate appraisers for residential properties have at least an associate degree, while most real estate appraisers for commercial properties have at least a bachelor's degree.

Real estate appraisers and real estate assessors must have a license, but requirements for licensure vary for each state. In the few states that do not have statewide requirements, each locality sets its own requirements.

Most real estate appraisers are required by Federal law to have a state certification. Real estate appraisers and real estate assessors generally take the same courses and tests for certification. The two federally required certifications are the Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser and the Certified Residential General Property Appraiser. A third certification, offered by most states, is the Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser.

Real estate assessors do not have Federal requirements for certification. However, the states requiring certification of assessors generally have similar requirements of real estate appraisers.

Real estate appraisers and real estate assessors must take continuing education courses to maintain their license.

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What They Do

Nobody wants to get ripped off when purchasing a property; real estate appraisers and real estate assessors conduct research on properties and estimate their value prior to a sale, mortgage, tax, insurance, or development.

Real estate appraisers focus on one property at a time and usually specialize in either commercial or residential properties. Commercial appraisers concentrate on commercially used property, such as office buildings, stores, and hotels. Residential appraisers concentrate on places people live, such as houses, duplexes, and condominiums.

A real estate appraiser career includes determining the value of a property after visiting the home and considering comparable home sales, lease records, location, view, previous appraisals, and income potential.

Real estate assessors, generally employed by local governments, determine the value of properties for property tax assessment purposes. Real estate assessors often focus on groups of properties, such as a neighborhood, all at once, using mass appraisal techniques.

Real estate assessors must be meticulous in their calculations and up-to-date on tax assessment procedures, in order to defend their assessment if challenged.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $54,010
2016 number of jobs 80,800
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 14%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $28,440
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $101,710

 

Budget Analysts

Education and Certifications Budget Analysts Need

Typically, people seeking a budget analyst career need at least a bachelor's degree, although some employers require a master's degree. A variety of degrees may satisfy the education requirement for a budget analyst position, such as a bachelor's degree accounting, finance, business, public administration, economics, statistics, political science, or sociology.

Occasionally, budget or finance-related work substitutes for formal education.

Some organizations require new budget analysts to work a complete budget cycle (one year) for training. Budget analysts may also continue taking professional development classes throughout their career.

Budget analysts working for the government may earn the Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accountants. This certification requires a bachelor's degree, 24 credit hours of financial management study, 2 years of professional-level experience in governmental financial management, and passing scores on a series of exams. Maintaining the certification requires 80 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

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What They Do

If you have an eagle eye for detail and love working with numbers, chances are you'd make a great budget analyst. Budget analysts are major contributors to aiding companies, governments, and universities in organizing their finances.

Budget analysts, along with project managers, develop a business' budget and monitor it extremely closely at all times to assure the business stays on track with the budget. Budget analysts may suggest budget cuts in certain areas or redistribution of budgets and they may award more money in an area.

When budget analysts find discrepancies in a budget, they must thoroughly explain those discrepancies, as well as help develop a plan to correct them. Any recommendation for additional funding in an area requires a thorough explanation to senior management, legislators, and/or the public. Budget analysts also estimate, as accurately as possible, future budget needs.

A budget analyst career includes reviewing all budget proposals for accuracy and compliance with laws and regulations and carefully reviewing each funding request and determining if it's necessary. A budget analyst career may include using cost-benefit analyses in reviewing financial requests, assessing program tradeoffs, and exploring funding alternatives.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Budget analysts may work their way up from the limited responsibilities of an entry-level analyst to an intermediate or senior budget analyst position.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $75,240/span>
2016 number of jobs 58,400
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 7%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $49,540
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $113,740

 

Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators

Education and Certifications Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators Need

Claims adjusters (adjustors), appraisers, examiners, and investigators need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some employers seek claims adjusters with a bachelor's degree, insurance-related work experience, or vocational training.

Most auto damage appraisers have completed a 2-year program in auto body repair or work experience identifying and estimating damage in an auto repair shop. They receive on-the-job training from a more experienced appraiser for several months until the employer determines the new appraiser is ready to handle claims on his own.

Education requirements vary widely depending on the individual's chosen focus within this career field. For instance, those focused on claims of financial loss due to strikes or merchandise damage benefit from a business or accounting background. An insurance claims adjuster focused on industrial claims benefits most from college training in architecture or engineering. A claims adjuster focused on worker's compensation and product liability claims benefits most from a legal background. A medical background helps claims adjusters focused on medical and life insurance claims.

Insurance investigators typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Businesses tend to hire insurance investigators with prior experience as law enforcement officers, private investigators, claims adjusters, or examiners for their interviewing and interrogation skills.

Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigator all begin with small claims and work with a more experienced individual. Gradually, they are assigned larger claims and given more independent work as they gain experience.

Licensing requirements for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators vary by state. In some cases, a claims adjuster working for an insurance company can simply work under the company license, rather than obtaining a personal license.

States requiring licenses also require continuing education credits each year. Claims adjusters can meet this requirement through attending classes, workshops, writing articles for claims publications, or by giving lectures and presentations.

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What They Do

Claims adjusters (sometimes spelled “adjustors”), appraisers, examiners, and investigators have a love-hate relationship with people. They review all insurance claims and decide if an insurance company must pay a claim, and if so, how much.

Insurance claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators closely review and settle insurance claims, determining how much of a claim the insurance company should cover. In order to fully investigate claims and avoid fraud, insurance claims adjusters contact doctors, employers, and legal counsel for additional information and questions regarding claims. Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators also authorize payments and keep all claims files on record.

Claims adjusters may work for companies or as self-employed public adjusters. Some self-employed claim adjusters work for individuals not interested in working with the insurance company's claim adjuster. Not all insurance companies keep an insurance claims adjusters on staff; rather, they may hire self-employed claims adjusters as needed.

An insurance claims adjuster career includes inspecting property (home, business or automobile) and determining the amount of money insurance companies should pay for the loss. An insurance claims adjuster career also includes gathering detailed information and pictures surrounding the claim, which they compile into a report used by a claims examiner when evaluating and settling the claim.

A claims examiner career involves reviewing claims to assure claimants and adjusters have followed the guidelines. Claims examiners usually work for life or health insurance companies.

An appraiser career involves estimating the value of an insured item. Auto damage appraisers are the most common appraisers.

An insurance investigator career includes investigating claims insurance companies suspects as fraudulent or criminal.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $64,690
2016 number of jobs 328,700
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 -1%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $38,930
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $97,080

 

Cost Estimators

Education and Certifications Cost Estimators Need

Individuals interested in a cost estimator career typically need a bachelor's degree in an industry-related field. Common degrees for cost estimators include mathematics, building science, construction management, engineering, physical sciences, statistics, finance, business, economics, or accounting.

Cost estimators need work experience in the field they plan to perform cost estimating. Cost estimators usually begin their career by shadowing a more experienced cost estimator for a few months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the type of estimating being trained for and the company's specifications. Every company has unique preferences a cost estimator must learn and meet.

Although not all companies require a certified cost estimator, certifications are available and recommended. Cost estimator certifications are available through The American Society of Professional Estimators, the Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating International, and the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis. Cost estimator certification requires a minimum of two years work experience and passing a written exam. Some cost estimator certifications also require having an article published.

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What They Do

You wouldn't commit to a job without knowing how much it pays, would you? For the same reasons, businesses won't commit to big projects without knowing how much it will cost; this is where a cost estimator comes in. Cost estimators collect and analyze data necessary for accurately estimated time, money, resources, manufacturing, and labor needed for a project's completion.

Cost estimator careers include traveling to sites for data collection, working directly with various industry experts, such as general contractors, engineers, architects, or owners and reading blueprints and technical documents.

Cost estimator careers involve using computer software when preparing estimates. Cost estimators also evaluate a product's cost efficiency and offer solutions for making the product more cost effective.

The two most common types of cost estimator careers include construction cost estimators, who work with construction companies on projects, and manufacturing cost estimators, who estimate costs of designing, making, and redesigning products and services.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $63,110
2016 number of jobs 217,900
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 11%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $37,000
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $106,010

 

Financial Analysts

Education and Certifications Financial Analysts Need

Some financial analyst jobs may require a bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor of Accounting degree, Bachelor of Business Administration degree, or a Bachelor of Finance degree. Related fields of study, such as economics and statistics, are also applicable to financial analysts. Some employers also require a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or a Master in Finance degree.

Financial analysts need to have a solid grasp on options pricing, bond evaluation, and risk management.

Financial analysts typically obtain their licenses after obtaining a financial analyst job, as many licenses require an employer sponsorship. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) acts as the main licensing organization for the securities industry.

Employers often recommend certification for financial analysts, which may also aid in advancement. Financial analysts can become certified in their specific field of study.

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What They Do

When you're young, you ask your parents important financial questions; when you grow up, you ask a financial analyst. Financial analysts know the ins and outs of the stock market. A financial analyst career often includes assessing stocks, bonds, and other investment performances in order to provide sound advice and individual or portfolio recommendations to businesses, investors, and individuals.

A financial analyst career often includes studying and evaluating economic and business trends, as well as current and historical data. Financial analysts determine a company's value through studying the company's financial statements, analyzing commodity prices, sales, costs, expenses, and tax rates, and projecting the company's future earnings.

Two primary types of financial analysts exist: buy side analysts, who create investment plans for organizations with large sums of money for investment, and sell side analysts, who advise financial services sales agents. Financial analysts working for the business media do not qualify as either type of financial analyst; they are considered impartial.

Some specific types of financial analysts include: portfolio managers, fund managers, ratings analysts, and risk analysts.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

After selecting a specific investment field to specialize in, financial analysts must gain experience. A financial analyst may advance in their career to a portfolio manager position or supervise a team of analysts and select the various investments for a company's portfolio. A financial analyst may also advance in their career to a fund manager job, managing large investment portfolios for individuals. In addition to experience, a Master's degree substantially helps financial analysts advance in their career.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $84,300
2016 number of jobs 296,100
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 11%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $51,780
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $165,580

Financial Clerks

Education and Certifications Financial Clerks Need

People interested in a financial clerk career typically need a high school diploma. They usually receive on-the-job training. Some fields, such as brokerage firms, may require financial clerks to have a college degree in business.

During training a financial clerk works under experienced clerks or supervisors; the length of training usually lasts a month or less. In some areas, financial clerks may need specific technical training, for example, in the gaming industry clerks need education in regulations, procedures and policies.

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What They Do

If tracking money, organizing finances coming in and going out of a corporation and working with numbers seems interesting, then a financial clerk career may be in the future. Financial clerks perform financial and administrative tasks for brokerage firms, credit card companies, insurance offices and many other industries. Financial clerk careers include organizing and maintaining records, assisting customers, and carrying out financial transactions.

An insurance clerk career involves maintaining and updating financial records, tracking and computing charges and billing, dealing with all financial transactions, and answering customer questions.

Depending on their specific title, financial clerks can perform a wide variety of financial and administrative tasks for many different industries. For example, billing and posting clerks work in areas such as healthcare and deal with billing invoices, healthcare insurance policy issues, hospital records and other charges.

An insurance claims clerk career involves dealing with different insurance claims issues such as policy cancellations and changes, customer questions and processing applications. Some other areas financial clerks may work in include payroll and loan departments, gaming industries and credit card companies.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $38,680
2016 number of jobs 1,440,400
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 9%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $26,220
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $59,070

 

Human Resources Specialists

Education and Certifications Human Resources Specialists Need

The basic education requirements for a HR specialist varies depending on the position and employer, many human resources specialist have a Bachelor in Human Resources degree, a Bachelor degree in Human Resources Management, a Bachelor in Business degree, a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Human Resources or a degree in a related field.

Certain human resource positions, such as human resources generalists, are also required to have work experience in a related field such as human resource assistance or in customer service upon hire.

Some colleges and universities offer an MBA degree in Human Resources, A Master degree in Human Resources Management or a Master in Human Resources degree.

On occasion, an individual with only a high school diploma may be hired as a HR specialist, but the individual must also have many years experience working in human resources.

Certification is usually voluntary for HR specialists, but some employers encourage, prefer, and occasionally require it. Certification for human resources specialists and human resources generalists, demonstrates a mastery of the field and provides and edge in job competition.

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What They Do

Human resources specialists also known as HR specialists try to find the right person for the job. Human Resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers in positions they're most qualified for and may excel in.

Employees turn to human resources specialists for guidance or policy questions. Human resources specialists are involved in employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training new employees. A human resources generalist career includes assuring all actions tied to the human resources department are in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

Some companies hire HR specialists such as labor relations specialists, placement specialists, recruitment specialists, personnel recruiters and employment interviewers.

HR specialists first meet with employers, gaining a strong understanding of the employee qualifications the employer seeks. HR specialist careers include identifying and interviewing promising applicants, researching applicants qualifications and work histories, conducting background checks and contacting references, and recommending candidates for hire to employers.

New employees meet with Human resources specialists for orientation and address any questions about job expectations and benefits.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $60,350
2016 number of jobs 547,800
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 7%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $35,810
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $103,570

 

Insurance Underwriters

Education and Certifications Insurance Underwriters Need

Many employers seek insurance underwriters with a minimum of a Bachelor's degree. Although a specific field is not always required, relevant degrees include a Bachelor of Business Administration in Risk Management and Insurance, a Bachelor in Finance degree with a minor in insurance and a Bachelor of Science in Insurance.

Some colleges and universities offer a Master of Business Administration in Insurance Financial Management or a Master in Risk and Insurance.

Insurance underwriters generally begin their career working under the supervision and guidance of senior underwriters, gradually gaining more responsibility and independence.

Employers often want insurance underwriters to earn certifications through course work, as it keeps the insurance underwriters up on current insurance policies, technologies, and state and federal policy regulations.

New insurance underwriters can earn certification as an Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) and an Associate in Personal Insurance (API) through the Insurance Institute of America.

Insurance underwriters can take courses provided by The American College in The Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU).

Experienced insurance underwriters can take the certification course for the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation through the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

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What They Do

Insurance underwriters make the tough decision of whether or not an individual or business qualifies for insurance. Some risk always exists in insuring someone or something, but insurance underwriters must analyze applications and any additional data available to determine if the risk is viable.

Insurance underwriters work with applicants directly, entering their information into a specialized computer software program. The program provides recommendations for what level of insurance and premiums the applicant qualifies for; the insurance underwriter makes the final call.

With difficult decisions regarding providing insurance or to what level, an insurance underwriter takes into consideration the applicant's medical documents and credit scores. After approving insurance coverage, the insurance underwriter determines the premium and amount of coverage. Insurance underwriters also write the policies covered when a loss occurs.

Insurance underwriters take a risk approving applicants in order to make money for the insurance company, yet taking too much of a risk with some applicants increases the chances of losing money from too many claims.

The four main fields insurance underwriters specialize in include: life, health, mortgage, and property.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Insurance underwriters, including health insurance underwriters may advance in their career to a senior underwriter or underwriter manager position, but only after obtaining certification and experience.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $69,760
2016 number of jobs 104,100
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 -5
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $41,800
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $123,660

 

Loan Officers

Education and Certifications Loan Officers Need

People seeking a loan officer career typically need a high school diploma. Some colleges and community colleges offer degrees in mortgage banking. Loan officers traditionally receive on-the-job training for a few months. If the employer uses underwriting software, a new loan officer may be required to take classes to learn the software.

People seeking a commercial loan officer career generally need a Bachelor of Finance, Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Economics, or a bachelor's degree in a related field. A mortgage loan officer must obtain a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license.

Certifications are not required for loan officers but they certainly help demonstrate expertise and provide a hand up in job competition. Loan officers can become certified through The American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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What They Do

Loan officers have a major responsibility which can greatly affect long-term finances for individuals, families, and businesses. Loan officer careers include conducting a great deal of research and meeting with applicants personally before determining if the applicant meets the qualifications for a loan and is capable of repayment.

Loan officers don't always wait for clients to come to them; they also seek out businesses or individuals, inquire if a loan is needed, and offer their services. Loan officers walk individuals through the loan process.

Underwriting is the process a loan officer uses when determining who qualifies for a loan and who does not. Depending on the loan officer, they may conduct the underwriting manually, using specific formulas, or use underwriting software. Some firms use a mixture of underwriting software and loan officers who can include any necessary additional information into the final decision.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $64,660
2016 number of jobs 318,600
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 11%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $32,670
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $135,590

 

Logisticians

Education and Certifications Logisticians Need

Although an Associate in Business degree or an Associate in Engineering technically qualifies individuals for some entry-level logistician jobs, many employers seek individuals with a Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Finance, or a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree.

Some colleges and universities offer an Associate in Logistics Degree, a Bachelor in Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree, a Bachelor in Logistics Technology degree or a Master in Logistics degree.

Occasionally, businesses allow a logistician to substitute several years of relevant work experience for a degree.

Logistician certification is not required, although it certainly demonstrates expertise and can provide an upper hand in job competition. Individuals seeking to become a certified professional logistician can get certified through the American Society of Transportation and Logistics or the International Society of Logistics.

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What They Do

The entire life cycle of a product depends on one person – the logistician. A logistician career includes handling major responsibility and multitasking.

Professionals in the field of distribution and logistics develop relationships with customers, listening and discovering what they want and how they want it. Logisticians fulfill a customer's demands. A logistician career includes orchestrating all allocation of materials, supplies, and the completed project.

On the production side, logisticians develop ways of improving efficiency of product delivery to customers through reduced shipping or transportation time. Logisticians regularly meet with management, reporting performance data, identifying any room for improvement, and offer ideas for improvement anywhere in the process.

Professional logisticians use sophisticated software systems when planning and tracking the movement of goods – anything from consumer goods to military supplies. The software programs are specified for managing logistical functions and management systems.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $74,590
2016 number of jobs 148,700
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 7%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $44,820
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $120,120

 

Management Analysts

Education and Certifications Management Analysts Need

A variety of bachelor degrees appropriately apply to entry-level management analyst positions, such as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Management, or a See also: Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Increasingly, employers seek management analysts with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree, a Master in Finance degree or a Master of Accounting degree.

Management analysts stay up-to-date on their field through regularly attending conferences.

Although certification is not required for management analysts, certification demonstrates experience in the field and provides an upper hand when job seeking. The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) title is available through The Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc.

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What They Do

Management analysts take a good company and make it better through cutting costs and improving efficiency, which ultimately increases revenue – everyone wins!

Management analysts work is the sleuthing of the business world, as management analysts gather and study as much information surrounding a problem as possible, interview personnel, and physically visit the location of the problem before determining ways to improve efficiency. A management analyst career includes gathering and studying information such as financial data related to revenue and spending, as well as employment reports. Also, a management analyst career sometimes includes building mathematical models to solve problems.

Depending on the problem, management analysts may work alone or with a team of analysts and consultants, each specializing in a different area.

Once a solution is decided upon – whether it is a new system, different procedure, or changes in organization – management analysts provide solutions to the company management team either through a presentation or written document.

Many businesses hire management analysts contractually for a specific job at a time, however some management analysts work for a company on a full-time basis. Management analysts working contractually must prepare and submit detailed bids to potential employers.

Common specialized areas for management analysts include: inventory management, reorganizing corporate structures, healthcare, telecommunications, or specific government agencies.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Management analysts at the senior level may have extended responsibility for supervising teams working on larger projects, as well as the important task of seeking out new clientele. Some management analysts become a partner in their consulting organization.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $82,450
2016 number of jobs 115,200
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 14%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $47,140
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $152,210

 

Market Research Analysts

Education and Certifications Market Research Analysts Need

People seeking a market research analyst career typically need at least a bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor in Market Research degree or a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, business administration, a social science, or communications.

Many marketing research analyst positions require a master's degree, such as a Masters in Marketing Research, but a master's degree in statistics, marketing, or a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) are also applicable.

Market research analysts benefit from internships and work experience in business, marketing, or sales.

Market research analysts are not required to have, but obtaining the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) from The Marketing Research Association demonstrates expertise, experience, and provides an advantage while job hunting. Market research analysts must take continuing education courses and apply for renewal every two years to maintain their certification.

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What They Do

Market research analysts not only recognize consumer trends, they can help set them. A marketing research analyst studies and analyzes consumer markets; they report to companies on what products people buy, what they will buy in the future, how much they will buy of a product, and how much they will pay for it.

Marketing is a field of ever-evolving strategies; market research analysts are at the forefront of measuring any given strategy's success or failure, as well as developing and proposing ways to make it better. Most marketing research analysts get their information about what people want through surveying potential customers; market research analysts decide when, where, and how to tap into these people, using methods such as questionnaires, opinion polls, interviews, focus groups, or surveys.

In addition to gathering information from customers on what they want, a marketing research analyst gathers information about the customers themselves; age, gender, employment, living situations, education, marital status, etcetera all influence their spending habits.

Market research analyst careers include taking large amounts of complex information they gather and transforming it into easy-to-understand graphs, tables, or reports to present to their employers. A market research analyst career involves utilizing information to propose specials, sales, and promotions companies use to sell more products.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $63,230
2016 number of jobs 595,400
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 23%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $34,510
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $122,770

 

Meeting, Convention and Events Planners

Education and Certifications Meeting, Convention and Events Planners Need

Many employers prefer to hire applicants with a Bachelor of Hospitality Management degree or a degree in a relevant area such as communications, public relations, marketing or business. A meeting event planner without a relevant degree should have one to two years of experience.

Often a corporate event planner with a hospitality management degree gains greater responsibilities. Experience can come in the form of internships. Some schools also offer continuing education courses in meeting and event planning.

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What They Do

Meeting, convention and events planners make things happen in an orderly, effective fashion when groups gather. All details, large and small, fall to the meeting, convention or events planner.

Meeting and convention planner careers involve selecting the best location and transportation for an event. Meeting and event planner careers also include making all logistical arrangements.

Corporate event planners use their connections to find the best site and the best cost.

Meeting and event planners' efforts show in the food and amenities, information provided about local attractions, the speakers, entertainment and other activities. With the technology available, corporate event planners or government meeting planners might organize an online meeting instead of a face-to-face discussion.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

A professional can advance in their meeting and convention planning career through obtaining credentials as a certified meeting professional from the Convention Industry Council. Candidates must pass a test and have three years of meeting management experience, recent employment as a meeting event planner, and proof of continuing education credits.

Some government meeting planners acquire Certified Government Meeting Professional credentials to show potential clients they know government buying policies and travel regulations.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $48,290
2016 number of jobs 116,700
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 11%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $26,390
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $82,980

 

Operations Research Analysts

Education and Certifications Operations Research Analysts Need

An operations research analyst career begins with a minimum of a Bachelor of Operations Research degree, a Bachelor of Management Science degree, a Bachelor in Mathematical Sciences or a bachelor's degree in a related field such as engineering, physics, mathematics, or computer science.

Most operations research analyst jobs beyond an entry-level job require a master's degree such as a Master's degree in Operations Research or a Master's degree in Management Science.

Operations research analysts don't need specific licenses or certification, however taking continuing education courses throughout their career helps them keep up with technology advances.

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What They Do

It some ways, operations research analysts and operational research analysts have similar responsibility as parents; they are responsible for aiding organizations in solving problems and learning to make better decisions.

In order to identify business problems, such as production, logistics, or sales issues, operations research analysts must collect large amounts of information and develop a system of organization; this helps them identify any problems, analyze issues through statistical analysis, simulation, and/or optimization, and determine the best method to fix a problem.

When considering possible solutions for problems, operations research analysts must determine what the effects of each change they suggest may have on the overall business operation. An operations research analyst career includes obtaining input from employees involved in any identified business problems.

Once the analyzing of an issue is complete, operations research analysts advise managers on how to proceed in resolving the problem. Operational research analysts generally write their findings and recommendations down in the form of a report or memo.

An operations research analyst career often includes working as part of a team that is working toward finding solutions to a common problem.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $81,390
2016 number of jobs 114,000
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 27%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $45,270
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $134,470

 

Personal Financial Advisors

Education and Certifications Personal Financial Advisors Need

Usually, a personal financial advisor has a bachelor's degree in an area such as accounting, business, finance, mathematics, law or economics.

Personal financial advisors who buy or sell insurance policies, stocks, bonds or other financial products need licenses specific to those products. Personal financial planners who run small investment firms must register with state regulators; wealth managers or private bankers who own larger firms must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

While not required, certification can help a personal financial planner obtain new clients and enhance their professional reputation. Certification through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards requires a bachelor's degree, three years of experience, agreement to a code of ethics and a passing mark on the exam.

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What They Do

Face it, managing money is complicated. No matter how much you earn, personal financial advisors can help you make the most of your money. Personal financial advisors' areas of expertise include taxes, insurance and investments.

Personal financial planners use their knowledge of securities, pension plans, real estate and investment strategies to help people plan for the future. A personal financial advisor career involves evaluating clients' insurance coverage, assets, tax status, liabilities and cash flow to help them reach their financial goals. A personal financial advisor career also includes explaining options to clients, including any risks associated with proposed investments.

Private banker or wealth managers usually work with people who have a lot of money to invest.

Most personal financial planners provide a range of services, but some specialize in retirement or risk management. Many wealth managers have a license to buy and sell stocks, bonds, annuities and insurance. Some individuals give their personal financial planner permission to buy and sell on their behalf.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Personal financial advisors who have a master's degree in finance or business administration may move into management positions.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $90,640
2016 number of jobs 271,900
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 15%
Entry-level education requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $40,800
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $208,000

 

Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents

Education and Certifications Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents Need

People seeking a purchasing manager career typically need a bachelor's degree and work experience. Many companies require only a high school diploma for purchasing agent positions, however some large distributors and stores prefer to hire people with a bachelor's degree for purchasing agent jobs.

Many manufacturing companies seek candidates with a bachelor's or a master's degree in business, engineering, economics or in one of the applied sciences.

Industry organizations offer various certifications for purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents based on experience, education and test performance. These certifications include certified professional in supply management, certified purchasing professional, certified professional purchasing manager and certified supply chain professional. The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing also offers certifications as professional public buyer and a public purchasing officer.

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What They Do

When a corporate or government office needs supplies or equipment, they call on their purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents. Purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents evaluate vendors' prices and product quality and negotiate for the best deal on behalf of their employer or client.

Since many companies order supplies only as they need them, a purchasing agent needs to choose a very reliable supplier. Any delay can wreak havoc on a production schedule.

A procurement specialist career includes purchasing raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing. A purchasing agent career includes buying items for resale to consumers after analyzing consumer trends, sales, price and the suppliers' merchandise quality.

Purchasing manager careers include overseeing the work of purchasing agents and procurement specialists, including wholesale or retail procurement managers.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

A master's degree and experience can lead to employment as a top-level purchasing manager.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $66,610
2016 number of jobs 520,400
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 -3%
Entry-level education requirements Managers need a bachelor's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $37,850
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $123,460

 

Statisticians

Education and Certifications Statisticians Need

A statistician career typically begins with a Master of Statistics, Master of Mathematics, or Master of Survey Methodology degree. Occasionally, a statistician may obtain an entry-level position with a bachelor degree, but a master's degree is increasingly the standard. Research and academic statistician jobs usually require a Ph.D.

No specific certification or license is required for statisticians.

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What They Do

There is a rare breed of people who love both math and analyzing data; these individuals make excellent statisticians. Statisticians analyze and interpret data by using a variety of mathematical techniques. Their interpretations are used to draw conclusions and guide decisions for businesses, government, and other organizations.

Statisticians are responsible for first identifying a problem, determining what data are needed to address the problem, and then figuring out how to collect the needed data. Statisticians must also identify what group or sampling of people must be tapped for a census or poll.

If data is collected via surveys, experiments, or opinion polls, statisticians create, distribute, and collect them, or train someone else to do so. They also further test the data to determine its reliability and validity.

Statisticians study the results, identify trends and relationships, and record their conclusions, analysis, and recommendations. A statistician career often includes using specific statistical software to analyze data.

Statisticians are utilized in a variety of fields, such as education, marketing, psychology, sports, government, health, and manufacturing.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Statisticians may advance in their career through obtaining further education, such as a master degree or Ph.D., and then designing their own work. Some statisticians develop new statistical methods, while some statisticians become independent consultants.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $84,760
2016 number of jobs 40,300
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 33%
Entry-level education requirements Master's degree
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $50,660
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $133,720

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by
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