Financial Reporter Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

About this article
What are the pros and cons of a financial reporter career? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a financial reporter is right for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Financial Reporter

Working in a fast-paced environment, financial reporters cover and report news that involves the financial market locally, nationally and internationally. Find out the pros and cons of being a financial reporter to decide if it's right for you.

Pros of a Financial Reporter Career
Able to work in the field conducting interviews and investigating stories, rather than sitting in an office*
Can work in various mediums of communication, such as print, digital media or the Internet *
International travel opportunities*
Fast-paced work environment*

Cons of a Financial Reporter Career
Low growth field (8% decline for all reporters and correspondents from 2014-2024)*
Highly competitive due to limited job opportunities*
Pay can be low (average hourly wage was close to $22.02 in 2014)*
Long hours, often requiring working on weekends and holidays*
Completing deadlines can be stressful*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Career Info

Job Description and Duties

Financial reporters, while specialized in their area of news coverage, can cover financial news on a local, national and even global level. As a reporter, you would spend a considerable amount of time conducting research, investigating leads, interviewing persons of interest and composing fresh stories. The main goal of many reporters is to be the first journalist to publish a story, or to reach an audience with new information. As a result, it is highly likely that you will spend many long nights, weekends and holidays writing under the pressures of either an impending deadline or the urge to get the breaking news out there first.

Other tasks include editing material and fact-checking for information accuracy. You can expect to use various types of software in your job; you may also use high definition video cameras, microphones, mobile phones and satellite core equipment for use in broadcasting. You can also expect to work with groups or conduct interviews face-to-face or via email or telephone. As a financial reporter, it is important to provide accurate information; at the same time, you may be asked to make judgment calls regarding what to print.

Salary

Competition is fierce as job opportunities in reporting have decreased. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of reporters and correspondents will decline 8% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). This is due to a combination of circumstances. For instance, many news corporations have merged over the years to deal with the decline in readership and viewers.

Financial reporters will find the best opportunities in smaller media outlets, including online newspapers, local broadcast stations and local newspapers. The newspaper and broadcasting industries rely on advertising revenue to fund their companies, which impacts new job opportunities for incoming reporters. The BLS reported the mean annual salary for reporters and correspondents as approaching $45,800 in 2014 (www.bls.gov).

What Are the Requirements?

Because the field of financial reporting is a specialized area of news reporting and correspondence, there are a number of potential degree programs that can prepare you for this career path. Most employers require at least a bachelor's degree, with most preferring a degree in journalism, communications or business.

Useful Skills for Financial Reporters

Advancement in the field of financial reporting is usually accomplished through consistently publishing good work on time. There are no required certification or licensing options for this career, so in order to stand out in this competitive field you may wish to consider combining degree programs in business and the liberal arts. The best job opportunities will be available for those who possess a deep understanding of financial issues and the economy. Besides writing and communication, other useful skills include the ability to work both collaboratively and independently, attention to detail, time management and the ability to work under pressure

Job Postings from Real Employers

When employers advertise for business and financial reporters, they typically seek out candidates with several years of relevant work experience. In addition, many companies prefer to hire reporters with an ability to work with social media and the latest technological trends. Here are examples of what some real employers looked for during April 2012:

  • A digital financial media company based in New York City advertised for a multimedia reporter with a bachelor's degree and the ability to produce content on the financial markets in both video and print formats. In addition, the company listed experience with podcasts, social media and graphics.
  • A financial information company based in New York City advertised for a senior reporter to write three news stories daily on trends within the financial market. Experience with private equity and corporate finance was listed as a plus, as well as a network of public sector officials, fund managers and senior level bankers.
  • A national media company advertised for a business reporter in California with a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field possessing at least three years work experience in publications. The company listed experience with recording devices and data management, as well as a willingness to learn financial and legal processes, as beneficial.

How to Stand Out in the Field

While developing the necessary writing and communication skills needed for the job, you can maximize your hiring potential to prospective employers through the educational choices you make in preparing for a career. While majoring in English, journalism or communication, you can focus your study in business, economics and finance. Also, as jobs become increasingly reliant on technology and social media, you can stand out by being able to operate various software, operating systems and social media websites. Making the effort to keep up with current financial trends in also a good idea.

Alternative Career Paths

Freelance Writer

If you discover that writing only about the financial world is too restrictive, then you could also pursue other careers in writing. For instance, by becoming a freelance writer, you would have greater freedom regarding your subject matter; however, depending on the types of projects you pursue, you may find yourself taking less time doing the research and investigating you found so appealing as a reporter. The BLS predicted 6% job growth for writer and authors in general from 2010-2020. The mean annual wage was approximately $68,00 In May 2011.

Technical Writer

Maybe you see yourself as only a particular kind of writer, in which case a career as a technical writer might be preferable. You would have the option to working freelance or for a particular company or organization, expected to create documents on technical and complex business issues. This could also include writing about finance. Potential projects might include writing textbooks, manuals and responses to frequently asked questions. According to the BLS, in May 2011, technical writers earned a mean annual wage of around $67,000 (www.bls.gov). Employment is expected to increase by 17% from 2010-2020.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Finance
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Finance - Financial Analysis
      • MS in Finance
      • MS in Finance - Financial Planning
      • MBA: Finance
      • Master - Accounting
      • MS in Accounting- Tax Specialization
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Finance - Accelerated MS in Finance Option
      • BS in Finance
      • BS in Finance - General Finance
      • BSBA in Financial Analysis
      • BS in Finance - Investments
      • Bachelor: Accounting
    Associate's
      • Associate: Accounting
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
    Certificate
      • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.S. - Internet Marketing
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
  • Online Programs Available
    4. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Government Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance and Investing
      • Master of Arts in Law - Business
      • Master of Arts in Law - Wealth Management/Financial Planning
      • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Kindom Business
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - Accounting
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Government
      • Bachelor of Arts in Government
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Business Admin - Financial Management
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Financial Management
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Advanced Accounting
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
    Master's
      • MBA - Financial Management
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
      • MS - Accounting
      • MBA - Management
      • MBA - International Business
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Accounting
      • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
      • Master of Business Administration: Taxation
      • Master of Science in Taxation
      • Master of Business Administration: Risk Management & Insurance
  • Online Programs Available
    9. University of Delaware

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Custom/General
      • Master of Business Administration - Multiple Concentrations
      • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Leadership
  • Campus Locations:
    10. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate's - Business Admin
    Certificate
      • Diploma Program - Business Administration

Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

What is your highest level of education completed?

Kaplan University

  • MS in Finance - Financial Analysis
  • BS in Finance - Accelerated MS in Finance Option
  • Associate: Accounting
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • B.S. - Music Business

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Master of Business Administration - Finance and Investing
  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business

What is your highest level of education completed?

Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Financial Management
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Financial Management
  • MBA - Financial Management
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

What is your highest level of education?

Saint John's University

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
  • Master of Business Administration: Taxation

What is your highest level of education?