Start a Career in Fintech

Considering a career in fintech? Learn about the places you can work, top fintech jobs, and what you can expect to earn.

The financial technology and innovations sector known as fintech has been disrupting the traditional financial services industry for a decade and counting, and shows no signs of slowing down. While 2020 was a challenging year for most industries, venture capital investment in fintech grew by $105 billion globally, the third highest annual growth ever for the market, according to a KPMG report.

With this industry growth comes a demand for financial technology professionals with the expertise to keep pace with this evolving sector, maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risks related to opportunities in fintech. But if you’re interested in starting a career in this field (or moving yours in this direction), where can you work in fintech? And what level of salary can you expect? We’ll explore opportunities where you can make your mark in fintech—and how you can expect to be compensated.

Where the Jobs Are

As a financial professional, you can find your niche in fintech in a variety of organizations, both large enterprises and small firms.

  • Work for a startup. Enjoy the satisfaction of helping to build a product or service from the ground up. co has compiled a listing of fintech startups that are currently hiring.
  • Work remotely. Many companies continue to hire for remote jobs amid the ongoing pandemic. Built In has a searchable roundup of some of the top remote employers (220 and counting), with roles in development, design, data analytics, sales, product and more.
  • Work for a fintech company. The meteoric rise of fintech firms continues, and Forbes has helpfully ranked the top five fintech companies of 2021 to aid in your job search:
    • Stripe is a fintech company that process online payments for small tech businesses as well as behemoths like Zoom and Microsoft. Valued at: $95 billion
    • Klarna processes payments for the customers of businesses like IKEA, H&M, and Etsy. Valued at: $31 billion
    • Kraken is the second largest cryptocurrency in the U.S. and the largest in Europe. Valued at: $20 billion
    • Chime is the U.S.’s biggest digital quasi bank, offering debit cards, free checking, and overdraft protection. Valued at: $14.5 billion
    • Plaid connects fintech companies to their customers’ bank accounts. It is valued at $13.4 billion.

Top Career Sectors in Fintech

Cybersecurity

What’s involved: Cyberattacks are one of the greatest threats companies face, and the mobile and accessible nature of their business makes organizations involved in fintech are bigger targets for cyberattacks than other firms. This also makes companies in fintech more in need of cybersecurity professionals who can help safeguard their business, from their networks and devices to their data (and the data of their customers).

What it pays: The average annual salary for a cybersecurity professional is just under $113,000, according to ZipRecruiter.


Blockchain Development

What’s involved: A blockchain is a type of decentralized digital ledger/database that’s online and that can be accessed by the public. Blockchain developers are software developers who work with this technology (which was used to create the digital currency Bitcoin) across a variety of blockchain applications in research and analysis as well as design and execution, from building infrastructure to creating security measures and safeguarding against cyberattacks.

What it pays: The average annual salary for a blockchain developer is $140,000, according to Talent.com.


Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

What’s involved: Because fintech is focused on automating and improving financial services, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are driving its growth. For example, artificial intelligence can encourage decision-making that’s driven by data and provide support for automated customer service efforts like chatbots. Machine learning algorithms can help with everything from streamlining the loan and related approval process to safeguarding against cyberattacks and monitoring transactions to ensure regulatory compliance.

What it pays: Artificial intelligence engineers can expect an average annual salary of $164,000 or more, according to ZipRecruiter while machine learning professionals earn around $157,000 on average.


Quantitative Analysis

What’s involved: Quantitative analysis (Q.A.) employs math, statistics, measuring and research better understand behavior and quantitative analysts (or “quants” as they have come to be known) working in fintech create and operate complex models that help financial institutions with decision-making around pricing, investments, markets, and risk.

What it pays: Quantitative analysts can expect to earn an average annual salary of approximately $112,000, according to Glassdoor.


Risk and Compliance

What’s involved: As regulatory guidelines and related costs have skyrocketed in fintech, risk and compliance professionals have been charged with ensuring that firms follow both their internal policies and external regulations to reduce and avoid related financial risks. And there are other jobs to be had within the risk category as well, including in the subset RegTech, the technology frameworks that can be used to make risk and compliance in financial services more streamlined.

What it pays: Risk compliance managers can expect an average salary of approximately $95,000 annually, according to ZipRecruiter.


Crowdfunding

What’s involved: Most Americans are familiar with online crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and KickStarter, which gain financial backing from small individual contributions or investments on a large, population-wide scale. There are a variety of in-demand roles to be found in the crowdfunding space, from software engineers who keep crowdfunding platforms running to crowdfunding specialists who may take on tasks including developing digital campaigns, working closely with donors and identifying untapped donation opportunities.

What it pays: Crowdfunding campaign specialists make around $54,000 annually, according to ZipRecruiter while a software engineer at a company like KickStarter can expect to earn between $80,000 to $150,000 depending on their experience.


App Development

What’s involved: As fintech revolutionizes the financial industry, mobile apps are leading the way in making financial transactions easier and smoother. That means there’s no shortage of jobs for data and software professionals who can find ways to ensure safety and security while improving upon existing app technology or building the next killer app fintech.

What it pays: The average annual salary for app developers in the U.S. is $97,500, according to Talent.com.


Wealthtech

What’s involved: Wealthtech is the intersection of wealth and technology, where digital solutions like robo-advisors and digital brokerage platforms are employed to help individuals and businesses with wealth management and investing. The sector has experienced high growth in the past few years, which translates to increased opportunities for financial advisors who can wield the technology to help deliver returns for their clients.

What it pays: Financial/wealth management advisors can expect an average salary of just over $95,000 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.


Fintech Strategy/Consulting

What’s involved: Fintech consultants share their expertise to help clients in government and private sector solve fintech problems and achieve their goals. They serve as experts in the industry broadly but may provide specialized expertise in areas like payments, wealth management, capital markets and more.

What it pays: Fintech consultants can expect to earn $96,400 on average annually, according to ZipRecruiter.

By Allison Thomas

Ready to learn more about how you can grow your expertise and accelerate your career in fintech? Visit the program page here.

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