Financial Examiner

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Salary Range: $80,000 or more

Average Hourly: $39.15

Education: Bachelor's degree

Number of Jobs: 70,800

Jobs Added to 2029: 12,700

Growth: Much faster than average

Go here to see salary and job data specific to the United Kingdom.

What Financial Examiners Do

Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws that govern institutions handling monetary transactions. They review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management.


Financial examiners typically do the following:

  • Monitor the condition of banks and other financial institutions
  • Review balance sheets, operating income and expense accounts, and loan documentation to confirm an institution's assets and liabilities
  • Prepare reports that detail an institution’s safety and soundness
  • Examine the minutes of meetings of managers and directors
  • Train other examiners in the financial examination process
  • Review and analyze new regulations and policies to determine their impact on an institution
  • Establish guidelines for procedures and policies that comply with new and revised regulations

Financial examiners typically work in one of two main areas: risk assessment or consumer compliance.

Those working in risk assessment evaluate the health of financial institutions. Their role is to ensure that banks and other financial institutions offer safe loans and that they have enough cash on hand to manage unexpected losses. These procedures help ensure that the financial system as a whole remains stable. These examiners also evaluate the performance of bank managers.

Financial examiners working in consumer compliance monitor lending activity to ensure that borrowers are treated fairly. They ensure that banks extend loans that borrowers are likely to be able to pay back. They help borrowers avoid “predatory loans”—loans that may generate profit for banks through high interest payments but may be costly to borrowers and damage their credit scores. Examiners also ensure that banks do not discriminate against borrowers based on race, ethnicity, or other characteristics.

Work Environment

Financial examiners held about 70,800 jobs in 2020. The largest employers of financial examiners were as follows:
Credit intermediation and related activities 42%
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities 15
Federal government 10
Management of companies and enterprises 9
State government, excluding education and hospitals 7

Financial examiners typically work in offices. They frequently have to travel to inspect a bank onsite.

Work Schedules

Most financial examiners work full time.

Job Outlook

Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 6,900 openings for financial examiners are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

How to Become a Financial Examiner

Financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree that includes some coursework in accounting. Entry-level examiners are trained on the job by senior examiners.


Financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree. Although a specific major is usually not required, examiners generally need some coursework in accounting, business, finance, or a related field.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although it is not required, professional certification indicates competencies for financial examiners who have it. The Society of Financial Examiners (SOFE) offers the Accredited Financial Examiner (AFE) and the Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) designations. Both may be earned after completing extensive requirements and passing a series of examinations. Continuing education is required to maintain these designations.

Some financial examiners become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). CPAs are licensed by their state’s Board of Accountancy. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements.


Once hired, financial examiners receive on-the-job training. Entry-level workers learn their job duties while supervised by senior examiners. The length of training varies but typically lasts more than 1 year.


After a few years of experience, financial examiners may advance to a senior examiner position. Senior examiners handle more complex cases and may lead examination teams. Requirements for these positions vary, but employers often prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in either accounting or business administration or who are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial examiners need to evaluate how well the managers of financial institutions are handling risk and whether the individual loans the institution makes are safe.

Detail oriented. Financial examiners must pay close attention to minutiae when reviewing balance sheets in order to identify risky assets.

Math skills. Financial examiners must do calculations and monitor balance sheets to ensure that a financial institution has available cash.

Writing skills. Financial examiners regularly write reports on the safety and soundness of financial institutions. They must be able to explain technical information clearly.

United Kingdom Job Data


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Examiners, at (visited ).