Occupation Spotlight: Financial Examiners

Occupation Spotlight: Financial Examiners

Financial examiners play a vital role in scrutinizing the financial operations of businesses and organizations to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. This occupation is crucial for maintaining the integrity and stability of our financial systems. In this article, we will delve into what financial examiners do, highlight some examples of this job, discuss the education and training requirements, explore the progress within the field, and outline ways for newcomers to enter this rewarding career.

What Do Financial Examiners Do?

Financial examiners are responsible for reviewing financial records, assessing risks, and evaluating the overall financial health and compliance of institutions. They work across diverse sectors, including banking, insurance, credit unions, securities firms, and other financial institutions. Their primary objectives include protecting consumers, investors, and the public from financial fraud, ensuring compliance with laws, and maintaining stability in the financial sector.

As part of their job, financial examiners may analyze financial statements, records, and transactions to verify accuracy and compliance. They may also conduct internal audits, assess the effectiveness of risk management procedures, and recommend adjustments or improvements to ensure proper governance. In some cases, they might investigate fraudulent activities or suspicious transactions and collaborate with law enforcement agencies.

Examples of Financial Examiner Jobs

Financial examiners have varied roles depending on the sector they work in and the specific organization they are employed by. Here are a few examples of financial examiner positions:

  1. Banking Examiner: These professionals work for regulatory agencies like the Federal Reserve or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). They conduct examinations of banks to ensure they meet regulatory requirements, assess their financial health, and recommend corrective actions if necessary.
  2. Securities Compliance Examiner: Employed by organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), securities compliance examiners monitor and investigate investment advisory firms, brokers, and other entities to ensure compliance with securities laws.
  3. Insurance Examiner: Insurance examiners working for state insurance departments review insurance companies’ financial records, claims, and policies to evaluate the company’s solvency and compliance with relevant regulations.

Education and Training Requirements

To become a financial examiner, a strong educational background and specific training are necessary. Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business, or a related field. However, some entry-level positions may only require an associate’s degree in a relevant discipline, coupled with relevant work experience.

In addition to formal education, financial examiners are often required to undergo specialized training programs. These programs provide knowledge in areas such as risk assessment, fraud detection, banking laws and regulations, and financial analysis.

Financial examiners may also need to obtain relevant certifications to enhance their credentials. For example, the Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) designation offered by the Society of Financial Examiners is highly regarded within the field. Earning additional certifications demonstrates a commitment to professional development and can lead to better career prospects.

Progression within the Field

Progression within the financial examiner profession generally comes in the form of increased responsibility, complexity of assignments, and higher-level roles. Beginning as entry-level examiners, professionals can advance to positions such as senior examiner, supervisory examiner, or regional manager, overseeing a team of examiners.

As they gain experience, financial examiners may choose to specialize in a particular area, such as anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, or risk management. Specialization can open doors to advanced roles and increased earning potential.

Entering the Field as a Newcomer

If you’re intrigued by the field of financial examination but are new to the industry, there are several paths to explore. Consider the following steps:

  1. Obtain Relevant Education: Pursue a degree in finance, accounting, or a related field to establish a strong foundation in financial principles.
  2. Gain Experience: Seek entry-level positions within financial institutions, regulatory agencies, or auditing firms to gain practical experience and exposure to financial operations.
  3. Seek Internship Opportunities: Apply for internships in financial examination departments to gain valuable insight into the profession.
  4. Build a Network: Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with experienced financial examiners to enhance your chances of securing a job.
  5. Pursue Certification: Once you have gained sufficient experience, consider obtaining certifications such as the Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) to enhance your professional credibility.

Remember, the financial examination field requires strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and a passion for financial integrity. Continually expanding your knowledge and staying updated with industry developments will prove invaluable in advancing your career.


Financial examiners serve as guardians of our financial systems, ensuring compliance and mitigating risks. With the right education, training, and experience, you can embark on a fulfilling career in this dynamic field.

Occupation Job Level Salary Data
Financial examiners All workers, Level 07 $56,700.80 – $56,409.60
All workers, Level 09 $80,891.20 – $76,440.00

Financial examiners play a critical role in evaluating and ensuring compliance with financial laws and regulations. They are responsible for examining financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and insurance companies to ensure their safety and soundness.

The salary data for financial examiners varies based on job level and experience. The US national average for financial examiners at Level 07 is $56,700.80, with a slightly lower average of $56,409.60. At Level 09, the average salary is $80,891.20, with a lower average of $76,440.00. Financial examiners at higher levels, such as Level 11, have an average salary of $137,592.00, with a lower average of $117,124.80.

Financial examiners who are nonunion workers have an average salary of $91,062.40, with a lower average of $88,795.20. Full-time financial examiners have an average salary of $92,497.60, with a lower average of $90,105.60. Time-based pay for financial examiners at all levels has an average salary of $90,043.20, with a lower average of $85,675.20.

The effects of unions on this job are not explicitly stated in the provided data. However, it can be inferred that nonunion financial examiners have a slightly higher average salary compared to their union counterparts.

Geography Occupation Job Level Salary Data
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Financial examiners Nonunion $118,144.00 – $81,411.20
Kentucky Financial examiners Time-based pay $62,774.40 – $59,737.60

In the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO area, nonunion financial examiners at all levels have an average salary range of $118,144.00 to $81,411.20. In Kentucky, financial examiners on time-based pay have an average salary range of $62,774.40 to $59,737.60.