Taking it all the way to the top. As a chief finance office, you may not be the CEO, but you're pretty far up there. In fact, you're so far up the chain of command that you're in charge of all of the company's financial actions. That's a job with a lot of responsibility.

As the CFO, you get to follow the company's cash flow and spend some time doing financial planning to ensure everyone is staying on budget. You may even get to allocate some funds to an under-budgeted department. But the biggest part of your job is identifying any weaknesses or strengths that the company has when it comes to the green stuff.

As the CFO, you can't be someone who just says "yes" all of the time. You have to have a keen mind when it comes to budgeting because you don't want to be the cause of the company going bankrupt. So you'll have to say "no" from time to time. But you'll survive.

What Does a Chief Finance Officer Do

There are certain skills that many chief finance officers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed leadership skills, management skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Chief Finance Officer does

How To Become a Chief Finance Officer

If you're interested in becoming a chief finance officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 71.9% of chief finance officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.7% of chief finance officers have master's degrees. Even though most chief finance officers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Chief Finance Officer

Chief Finance Officer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Chief Finance Officer

Chief Finance Officers in America make an average salary of $143,947 per year or $69 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $257,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $80,000 per year.
Average Chief Finance Officer Salary
$143,947 Yearly
$69.21 hourly
$80,000
10 %
$143,000
Median
$257,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Chief Finance Officer
How To Become a Chief Finance Officer Career Overview

States With The Most Chief Finance Officer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active chief finance officer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where chief finance officers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Chief Finance Officer Jobs By State

Chief Finance Officer Education

Chief Finance Officer Majors

27.3 %
11.9 %

Chief Finance Officer Degrees

Bachelors

71.9 %

Masters

19.7 %

Associate

5.0 %

Top Colleges for Chief Finance Officers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

5. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

6. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

9. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

10. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

Top Skills For a Chief Finance Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 7.0% of chief finance officers listed payroll on their resume, but soft skills such as leadership skills and management skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Chief Finance Officer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Chief Finance Officer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Chief Finance Officer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Chief Finance Officer Resume
Chief Finance Officer Resume
Chief Finance Officer Resume
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Chief Finance Officer Resume
Chief Finance Officer Resume
Chief Finance Officer Resume
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Chief Finance Officer Resume
Chief Finance Officer Resume

Chief Finance Officer Demographics

Chief Finance Officer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
72%
Female
Female
28%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among chief finance officers, 28.1% of them are women, while 71.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among chief finance officers is White, which makes up 81.2% of all chief finance officers.

  • The most common foreign language among chief finance officers is Spanish at 44.1%.

Work Experience Programs For Chief Finance Officers

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Tax Program

Company: KPMG AU

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Wealth Management Program

Company: Goodbody

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Commercial Law Program

Company: Linklaters Hong Kong SAR

Cost: Free

Duration: 6-7 hours

Audit Program

Company: Grant Thornton Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Sustainable Finance Program

Company: Clifford Chance

Cost: Free

Duration: 6-7 hours

Business and Human Rights Program

Company: Clifford Chance

Cost: Free

Duration: 7.5-8.5 hours

Asset Management Program

Company: JPMorgan Chase

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6.5 hours

Corporate Tax Program

Company: PwC Switzerland

Cost: Free

Duration: 7-8 hours

Human Resources Program

Company: General Electric

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Women in Commercial Real Estate Program

Company: JLL

Cost: Free

Duration: 2-3 hours

Online Courses For Chief Finance Officer That You May Like

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Investment Banking and Finance: Private Equity Finance Masterclass: Fundraising, Valuation, PE Deals from Entry to Exit...

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Best States For a Chief Finance Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chief finance officer. The best states for people in this position are California, New Jersey, New York, and Nevada. Chief finance officers make the most in California with an average salary of $150,852. Whereas in New Jersey and New York, they would average $149,930 and $149,128, respectively. While chief finance officers would only make an average of $144,744 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Chief Finance Officer Jobs:
4,942
Highest 10% Earn:
$235,000
Location Quotient:
1.5

2. Nevada

Total Chief Finance Officer Jobs:
590
Highest 10% Earn:
$227,000
Location Quotient:
1.1

3. New Jersey

Total Chief Finance Officer Jobs:
2,237
Highest 10% Earn:
$236,000
Location Quotient:
1.1
Full List Of Best States For Chief Finance Officers

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Top Chief Finance Officer Employers

Most Common Employers For Chief Finance Officer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Community Health Systems$193,075$92.8257
2US Air Conditioning Distributors$165,443$79.5425
3*n/a*$165,190$79.4222
4Quorum Health$165,076$79.3637
5Citi$158,185$76.0552
6Robert Half$157,057$75.51251
7Tenet Healthcare$155,623$74.8231
8DC International School$148,376$71.3325
9CFO$146,171$70.2722
10Merrill Lynch$145,035$69.7337

Chief Finance Officer Videos

Becoming a Chief Finance Officer FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Chief Finance Officer?

It takes 13 years of professional experience to become a chief finance officer. That is the time it takes to learn specific chief finance officer skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 16 to 18 years years to become a chief finance officer.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Chief Financial Officer?

It typically takes 10-15 years to become a chief financial officer (CFO). While a bachelor's degree and financial and management experience are required, it takes years to earn the skills necessary to secure and succeed in the position of CFO.

Is Ceo Higher Than Cfo?

Yes, the chief executive officer (CEO) is higher than the chief financial officer (CFO). While the CEO is responsible for overseeing and managing all the organization's operations -- including its financial operations -- the CFO oversees and manages only its financial operations.

Is A Cfo An Officer Of A Company?

Yes, a chief financial officer (CFO) is an officer of a company or organization. Officers are responsible for the management of an organization and generally consist of a: chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief financial officer (CFO).

Is Being A Chief Financial Officer A Good Job?

Yes, being a chief financial officer is a good job. CFOs seem to think so, anyway. A 2021 PayScale survey reported CFOs rated their job satisfaction, on average, 4.26 out of 5 stars.

The role of a chief financial officer can be stressful, with increasing workloads, ethical responsibilities, and pressure to produce results. A 2021 Deloitte survey of CFOs found that more than half reported greater demands from leadership post-pandemic.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Chief Financial Officer?

A bachelor's degree and extensive financial and management experience are required to be a chief financial officer (CFO), although many CFOs also earned their master's degrees.

The first requirement to be a chief financial officer is a bachelor's degree. Most CFOs earn their degrees in business or accounting, but a degree in another field will not necessarily disqualify you from a career as a CFO if paired with applicable experience.

What Skills Should A Cfo Have?

Chief financial officers (CFOs) should have extensive financial knowledge in addition to strengths in technology and leadership and various other soft skills.

A chief financial officer is the highest-ranking financial position in an organization. Accordingly, CFOs should have extensive knowledge and experience in financial management and accounting, with an emphasis on statistical modeling and an ability to relay important financial information in a digestible way.

Who Can Be A Chief Financial Officer?

Anyone with a bachelor's degree and relevant financial and management experience and expertise can be a chief financial officer (CFO). Chief financial officers (CFOs) generally have a long history and proven record of success within their organization or industry.

Chief Investment Officer Vs. Chief Financial Officer

A chief investment officer is an executive at a company who is in charge of investments, while a chief financial officer is an executive at a company who is in charge of finances.

A chief investment officer, or CIO, is a high-level executive who develops and communicates investment strategy, manages and develops the investment team, and supervises the investment process. They also help the investment process, ensure company policies are followed, and deal with asset allocation, selecting external managers, and risk management.

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