How to Become a Corporate Treasurer

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Many professionals find that their career path isn’t leading where they want it to go. As they progress from one job title to the next, they reach a point where they no longer find satisfaction, fulfillment, or challenge, and they lose the desire to advance further.

What are they to do?

They might want to consider reskilling to open up new career opportunities for themselves.

By earning new degrees or industry credentials, and by amassing new work experience, employees who reskill can expand their existing skill sets to qualify for new jobs with more exciting growth potential than their current employment trajectories.

Professionals who have a background in finance and find themselves looking for their next opportunity might be interested in advancing into corporate treasurer roles. In this article we’ll focus on what these professionals do, where they work, and how to become a corporate treasurer.


What Is a Corporate Treasurer?

To decide if one wants to become a corporate treasurer, it is helpful to know exactly what a corporate treasurer is and what one can expect from such a career.

The responsibilities of a corporate treasurer surpass those of an accountant. While accountants and their departments prepare and review financial records to ensure compliance, transparency, and efficiency, corporate treasurers and their departments are responsible for assessing and managing financial risk for an organization. They also develop policies that help guide the organization in relation to those risks, which may vary from one industry to the next.

Not all corporate treasurers operate under that exact title. A treasurer might also be known as a risk manager, finance director, chief financial officer, or another name, depending on the organization, industry, or the individual’s seniority.


Corporate Treasurer working on a laptop


What Qualities Should a Corporate Treasurer Possess?

Since these essential business leaders are responsible for managing risk and overseeing high-level financial strategy and coordination for their organizations, treasurer job requirements are varied, but they invariably include strong number sense and deft problem-solving abilities.

Corporate treasurers must also be able to work with a wide variety of people and departments in an organization and have a strong aptitude for detail-oriented work.

As with many occupations, as one advances through an organization’s ranks, soft skills related to management capabilities and interpersonal aptitude will become increasingly important as responsibilities expand. Treasurers will also need to keep up to date with the latest developments in the financial world as their careers progress.

Some of the soft skills needed for this job are strategic thinking and the ability to connect technical details with larger systems. People who already have those soft skills are in a good position to acquire more technical knowledge about the financial world to prepare for corporate treasurer roles.


In What Environments Does a Corporate Treasurer Work?

A career in treasury management could commence in many business environments. According to the Corporate Finance Institute, treasurers typically enter the field through roles in corporate accounting, or they may move toward corporate treasury roles from accounting firms or banking institutions.

Ultimately, corporations that operate in many different industries have a need for experienced treasurers, so highly skilled professionals in this field might ascend to the upper echelons of their organizations, whether they started inside the company or moved over from banking or accounting.


What Does a Corporate Treasurer Earn?

Since these financial professionals can be found at many levels of seniority, from analysts to CFOs, the corporate treasurer salary range can seem particularly broad.

As of this writing, the most recent figures from PayScale indicate that the average treasurer salary is $84,716. Base salaries range from $37,000 to $200,000. Those at the manager level and above should look for base salaries in the upper half of that range. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the 2018 median salary for financial managers was $127,990.


How Does One Become a Corporate Treasurer?

Generally speaking, treasurers need at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant major. However, standard treasurer education requirements are not fixed, and those who are changing careers might find it difficult to get started on this trajectory without relevant educational or professional experience.

A professional looking to change careers to become a corporate treasurer would be wise to consider additional educational opportunities. There are multiple credentials that could help individuals market themselves in the field.

In particular, an advanced degree from a respected university could add significant cachet to the resumé of a job seeker in this field.

The D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University offers an Online Master of Science in Finance to help busy professionals prepare for financial careers with major employers.

This program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), and it emphasizes experiential learning, so graduates learn by doing and can bring that experience to their first jobs in the field.


What Is The Career Outlook for Corporate Treasurers?

The BLS predicted opportunities for financial managers will grow by 16% from 2018 to 2028. The agency notes that risk management occupations, including corporate treasurers, will be in particularly high demand, and adds that master’s degrees in relevant disciplines, including finance, will be particularly helpful for job seekers in this field over the coming years.

Overall, the corporate treasury career path seems promising, especially for individuals who possess the right soft skills, an advanced degree in a relevant field, and direct experience with applicable work.

Those who are interested in entering this career path might want to consider enrolling in the D’Amore-McKim School’s Online Master of Science in Finance program. Classes are available 100% online to meet the needs of working professionals, and graduates will exit the course having accumulated relevant experience to help them in their career development as corporate treasurers.


Recommended Readings

What Can You Do with a Finance Degree?

Choosing Your Future: Financial Advisor Careers

Northeastern University Online MSF Program