Campus & Student Life
CBS International Business School, 23 August 2023

The salary of a financial manager - these are the earning opportunities


Financial management is a wide-ranging profession that deals with finance, accounting, and other important aspects of company administration that relate to money. Financial manager jobs will appeal to you if you like working with figures and enjoy important jobs with a high degree of responsibility. But before you make a decision about your career, it certainly helps to know how the job compares financially. The following text will provide extensive and precise information about financial manager salary levels. That way, you will be well-placed to make the right career decision.

Study Programmes in English

Full-time Bachelor's in Finance & Management 

Full-time Bachelor's in International Business - Specializing in Financial Management.

Full-time Master's in Global Finance.

Study Programmes in German 

Full-time Bachelor's in Business Administration and Management - Specializing in Controlling & Financial Management.

Dual Bachelor's in General Management - Specializing in Controlling & Finance.

Dual Bachelor's in General Management - Specializing in Marketing & Financing of Health Services.

Full-time Master's in Financial Management.

Full-time Master's in Controlling & Financial Management.

Part-time Master's in Controlling & Financial Management.

What does a financial manager earn?

In general, if you pursue a career as a financial manager you can expect few financial worries. A financial manager’s salary is very good. It should enable you to live without worries, even as a young professional. But unfortunately, it isn’t easy to make general statements about the salary. That’s because here, as with most professions, many factors and influences have a direct impact on what you can earn in the job. Previous experience, professional qualifications or the company play an important role in determining salary levels. You can find out more about these factors and the influence they have on your financial manager salary below.

What we can tell you at this point, however, is that the average salary of a finance manager is around 40,000 euros per year. This means that despite all the factors, this figure is a value that you can at least use as a basis.

What is the starting financial manager salary after graduation?

One advantage of working as a financial manager is that you can earn very well even as a young professional in this industry. You can usually expect a financial management salary of 35,000 euros per year if you start your career with a professional degree. On the other hand, if you have a bachelor's or master's degree, you can even expect a starting salary of 38,000 to 40,000 euros per year. There are only a few differences between bachelor's and master's degrees when it comes to salary. Other factors such as professional experience come into play, and these factors can have an impact on the starting salary.

Key factors that influence your financial manager salary

As we’ve already learned, several factors influence your salary as a financial manager. These factors can have both a positive and negative effect on your income. In this section, we'll take a closer look at the most important factors and assess each one in detail. With this knowledge, you will be able to consider the appropriate factors when applying for a job in order to achieve the best possible financial management salary.

The size of the company

The size of the company plays an important role in the salary of many professions and the financial manager is no exception. The general rule is that you will earn better in a larger company than in a smaller company. There are also several plausible reasons for this. Larger companies not only have completely different financial options, but they also usually provide more work. They also generally entrust their employees with more responsibility. Overall, this also has an effect on your salary. On the other hand, a smaller company is more personal and gives you more leeway to develop and contribute on an individual basis.

Your professional experience

An employee who already has professional experience is always more interesting for a company than a complete newcomer. This means that with your experience, you also have the right to a higher financial manager salary. It doesn't matter whether previous experience is in exactly the same industry. For example, if you have a degree in business administration with experience in human resources and payroll accounting and are then moving on to pursue a career as a financial manager, then this experience will count to your advantage. The same also applies to a master's degree graduate who worked for several years beforehand as a bachelor's degree holder. Experience gained during that time will contribute to a higher financial reporting manager salary.

Your responsibility counts

In the professional world, more responsibility usually means more money. The financial manager job is no exception here. So if you have a job or a function that involves a lot of responsibility, then you can also assume that you will be paid more generously. However, this factor has to be considered alongside the points mentioned above. That’s because without experience, it is probably difficult to get a position of responsibility in a large company. However, if you can convince your employer you have the required ability, this may also be possible

Company location and regional differences

Unfortunately, it is still common in many industries for salaries to be lower in some locations due to regional differences. A well-known example of this is the new federal states, where you unfortunately still have to make do with less money in many professions. Unfortunately, the financial manager salary is no exception here. But what many applicants don't know is that there are differences not only in the federal states, but also in some cases between cities. In places like Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt or Berlin, for example, you can earn an excellent financial management salary. In other cities, on the other hand, you'll have to make do with less money. It is therefore definitely worthwhile to take a look in advance, compare where you can earn the best money and then focus your applications in those locations.

Academic degree

Naturally, your professional qualifications also play a role. In many areas, vocational training, such as financial or banking clerk, is sufficient for a financial manager. However, if you really want to earn well across a long career in the industry, further study is vital. The differences in salary between the Bachelor and the Master are small, as previous work experience is particularly important here. However, the differences between a financial manager with a bachelor's or master's degree and a financial manager with a completed education are significant. Incidentally, the same also applies to financial managers with a doctorate. Doctorate holders can usually expect a financial salary around 30 to 70 percent higher than colleagues with a bachelor's or master's degree.

Industry-specific differences

In many professions, the industry you work in plays an important role when it comes to salary levels. As in almost all jobs, the financial and energy sectors are the leaders in terms of salary. These areas are directly followed by the automotive sector and its suppliers. So if you manage to get a job as a financial manager at a bank or an energy company, you can anticipate a better salary for that reason alone. The fact that these companies are normally large companies also helps, as larger firms tend to  pay a higher financial manager salary than smaller companies.

Sample financial management salary levels

To make it easy for you to see what earning opportunities you have, the table below displays a financial manager’s salary in some example occupations. This shows you what you can earn on average in the various positions and industries if you work there as a financial manager.


Please remember that the table above only includes a few sample values with average salaries. In order to be able to determine your final salary, there are many factors that we have already mentioned above to you to consider. Nevertheless, the table will help you to get an overview of the financial opportunities and earning opportunities in the industry..

In any case, it is clear that you can not only earn a good salary after studying financial management, but that you can also look forward to a wide range of career opportunities. Find out about career opportunities and what kind of tasks a financial manager takes on (here) on our financial management page.

Conclusion and summary

That brings us to the end of our blog post on financial management salary. You now know what the financial manager salary is like and that you can look forward to relatively high earnings. You have also learned which factors can influence your salary and what you should pay attention to when applying in order to earn as much money as possible. With this knowledge, you are now well prepared to decide whether a career as a financial manager is right for you.

Looking for a suitable financial management degree?

At CBS, you'll find numerous courses of study that will help you start a career in the financial sector. Find out which courses of study are available to become a financial manager and what requirements you need to meet to become a financial manager on our Financial Management Pillar page.


CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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