Industry Research Guide – Financial Services


By Jasen Williams | vice president of agency relations at RecuitMilitary and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps  |

Published in the January/February 2013 issue of print Search & Employ®  |Build Your Profile on our Job Board

All of us at RecruitMilitary encourage job seekers to use this guide to learn about the many kinds of jobs in what the federal government refers to as the Financial Activities supersector of the economy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a part of the United States Department of Labor, has divided the Financial Activities Sector into two sectors: (1) Finance and Insurance and (2) Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing. The BLS has published projections on employment in the two sectors for the years 2010 through 2020; visit www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_207.htm.

The Finance and Insurance sector includes five subsectors. On an “Industries at a Glance” page for each subsector, the BLS provides various statistics, including employment and layoffs, employment by occupation, and earnings. The subsectors are:

Monetary Authorities – Central Bank: www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag521.htm

Credit Intermediation and Related Services: www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag522.htm

Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities: www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag523.htm

Insurance Carriers and Related Activities: www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag524.htm

Funds, Trusts, and Other Financial Vehicles: www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag525.htm

The Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing sector consists of three subsectors:

Real Estate: www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag531.htm

Rental and Leasing Services: www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag532.htm

Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets (except Copyrighted Works): www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag533.htm

Another BLS publication, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, has 17 chapters on Business and Financial Occupations. Each chapter covers the nature of the work; the work environment, qualifications, training, pay, job outlook, similar occupations, and contacts for more information.

(1)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm

(2)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/appraisers-and-assessors-of-real-estate.htm

(3)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm

(4)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/claims-adjusters-appraisers-examiners-and-investigators.htm

(5)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/cost-estimators.htm

(6)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm

(7) www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-examiners.htm

(8)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm

(9)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/insurance-underwriters.htm

(10)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/loan-officers.htm

(11)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/logisticians.htm

(12)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm

(13)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm

(14)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm

(15)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm

(16)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/purchasing-managers-buyers-and-purchasing-agents.htm

(17)  www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/tax-examiners-and-collectors-and-revenue-agents.htm

There are two related chapters on Management Occupations:

(1)  www.bls.gov/ooh/management/compensation-and-benefits-managers.htm

(2)  www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm

There are four related chapters on Sales Occupations:

(1)  www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/cashiers.htm

(2)  www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/insurance-sales-agents.htm

(3)  www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/real-estate-brokers-and-sales-agents.htm

(4)  www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/securities-commodities-and-financial-services-sales-agents.htm

There are four related chapters on Office and Administrative Support Occupations:

(1)  www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bill-and-account-collectors.htm

(2)  www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm

(3)  www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/financial-clerks.htm

(4)  www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/tellers.htm

The American Institute of CPAs® website has a “Career Paths” section (www.aicpa.org/Career/CareerPaths/Pages/CareerPaths.aspx for men and women who are considering careers as certified public accountants. There are separate pages for high school students and college students. My advice to transitioning and veteran military who have big packages of GI Bill benefits available to them would be to read everything. And do not be put off by the fact that the path to CPA certification is lengthy; many people make good money in financial services while studying for their CPA exams.

Also at the AICPA site are sections on five work areas:

(1)  www.aicpa.org/CAREER/CAREERPATHS/PUBLICACCOUNTING/Pages/default.aspx

(2)  www.aicpa.org/CAREER/CAREERPATHS/ACADEMIA/Pages/default.aspx

(3)  www.aicpa.org/CAREER/CAREERPATHS/CORPORATEACCOUNTING/Pages/default.aspx

(4)  www.aicpa.org/CAREER/CAREERPATHS/GOVERNMENT/Pages/default.aspx

(5)  www.aicpa.org/CAREER/CAREERPATHS/NONPROFIT/Pages/default.aspx

The Financial Services Roundtable website has a linked list of more than 90 member companies at www.fsround.org/fsr/about/member_companies.asp. The individual company sites have their own “careers” pages. The Roundtable limits its membership to 100 companies, and draws its members from the 150 integrated financial services companies, based on market capitalization or imputed market capitalization.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) website at www.iii.org has links to several pages that can help veterans learn about the insurance industry. Those pages include a glossary at www2.iii.org/glossary/ and a directory, at www.iii.org/directory, that contains links to insurance associations in 33 categories:

(1)  Actuarial/Accounting

(2)  Adjusters

(3)  Agents and Brokers

(4)  Alternative Markets

(5)  Auto/Auto Insurance

(6)  Automation and Claims Services

(7)  Aviation

(8)  Community Development

(9)  Crime/Fraud

(10)  Crop Insurance

(11)  Educational Organizations

(12)  Financial Services Industry Organizations

(13)  Flood Insurance

(14)  International

(15)  Legal Issues and Services

(16)  Life/Health Insurance Industry Organizations

(17)  Marine and Ground Transportation

(18)  Medical Malpractice/Professional Liability

(19)  Nuclear Energy

(20)  Professional

(21)  Property Insurance Plans

(22)  Property/Casualty Insurance Industry Organizations

(23)  Regulatory/Legislative Organizations

(24)  Reinsurance

(25)  Research and Ratings Organizations

(26)  Risk Management

(27)  Safety/Disaster Mitigation

(28)  Surety, Financial Guaranty and Mortgage

(29)  Surplus Lines Organizations

(30)  Title Insurance

(31)  Travel Insurance

(32)  Weather

(33)  Workers Compensation

Many of the association sites have sections that explain what their members do. For example, the Reinsurance Association of America site has an “About Reinsurance” section (www.reinsurance.org/SecTwoColumn.aspx?id=438) with six pages:

(1)  Fundamentals of P/C (Property and Casualty) Reinsurance

(2)  Purposes of Reinsurance

(3)  The Reinsurance Contract

(4)  Characteristics of Reinsurance Risk

(5)  Reinsurance Regulation

(6)  Full Fundamentals with Glossary

Also on the directory page of the III are search boxes for state departments of insurance and private state organizations – e.g., Nebraska Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).

The Online Financial Services Fact Book 2012 (www2.iii.org/financial-services-fact-book/) published jointly by the III and The Financial Services Roundtable, is a comprehensive guide, with more than hundreds of graphs and charts on insurance, banking, securities, and financial services as a whole, including mortgage financing.

Another III publication, the Online Insurance Handbook (http://www2.iii.org/insurance-handbook/), is a guide to the insurance industry for reporters, policymakers, students, insurance company employees, and regulators. The guide provides explanations of auto, home, life, disability, and business insurance, articles about insurance issues, a glossary, and directories.

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers