Finance director working in his office.

Director of Finance Salary and Job Market Opportunities

Business Administration

Methodologies to manage business operations constantly change due to technological innovation and generational preferences. Yet, the need for highly skilled individuals to manage a company’s financial strategies remains constant. That’s where finance directors come in. In this leadership role, these professionals can influence the financial future of a corporation by working with a range of departments to establish strategies for financial success.

For those interested in a role as a finance director, this guide covers the responsibilities, required skills, educational preparation, and average salary for this position. 

What Does a Finance Director Do?

Finance directors oversee the numerous business elements that can impact a company’s financial health. They’re typically considered senior leaders within corporate hierarchies, straddling the line between financial strategy development and operational management. They use strong accounting and analytical skills to measure a company’s financial position and health, and create strategic plans that strive to optimize short-term profitability and long-term growth. They’re also commonly tasked with managing one or more departments about corporate finance, such as accounting or payroll. Additionally, they may prepare corporate taxes or oversee audits.

While the finance director is a high-level corporate position, the role itself is different from that of other executive finance professionals. Its broad scope makes it different from a controller’s role, which strictly focuses on forecasting or summarizing a company’s financial status. It’s also different from a chief financial officer’s role, which often focuses on using analytics to shape strategies.

How Much Does a Director of Finance Make?

According to PayScale, the average annual salary for finance directors is $111,719, with top earners bringing in up to $160,000 each year. Numerous factors dictate the salary that a person may receive in the position. For example, skills such as financial modeling, strategic planning, forecasting, and accounting can contribute to earning a higher salary, according to PayScale.

Job location can play a vital role in determining salary. A finance director working in a region with a high cost of living may make more than one working in a region with a low cost of living. Experience also accelerates directors of finance into higher roles in the field, such as chief financial officers and vice president of finance.

The Importance of Education and Experience

Education and experience can significantly impact how much an individual can expect to earn as a finance director. While a bachelor’s degree in economics, accounting, or business administration can provide a strong foundation for a career in finance, many employers prefer candidates with an advanced degree such as Norwich University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Norwich’s MBA program deepens competencies essential for success in the role, such as leadership, analytical competence, and communication skills. The program also offers concentrations that can enable students to further deepen their acumen in relevant subjects like finance and organizational leadership. These skills and educational foundations can help finance directors negotiate for higher salaries.

Finance professionals looking to advance their careers also can gain experience in other roles such as an accountant or financial analyst. Combined with an MBA degree, these experiences can better prepare prospective finance directors for success in a competitive field.

Become a Financial Force

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the business and financial operations field is expected to grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026, with over 773,000 new jobs added in this timeframe. As the demand for financial expertise increases, directors of finance are needed to provide leadership.

The director of finance is essential to a company because the role encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. From overseeing other finance staff to creating strategic financial plans, those in the role have plenty of opportunities to make a positive business impact.

Norwich’s online MBA program offers a challenging curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership roles in the business world. Students can customize their MBA experience by selecting one of the following concentrations:

  • Construction Management
  • Finance
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Technology Management
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Energy Management
  • General MBA

As the nation’s oldest private military college, Norwich has maintained a leadership position in innovative education since 1819. Learn more about Norwich’s online MBA program to begin building your advanced career in the finance field.


Recommended Readings

5 Methods for Capital Budgeting

Lessons Managers Can Learn from 5 Recent Business Failures

Managerial Finance: An Overview of Valuation Models



Financial Managers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average Finance Director Salary, PayScale

Master of Business Administration, Norwich University

What Is a Finance Director?, Houston Chronicle

Difference Between a Finance Manager & Controller, Houston Chronicle

Business and Financial Occupations, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics