Working in finance with GCSEs (or similar)

Finance jobs at entry level include working in administration, clerical and sales jobs.

There are opportunities for school and college leavers in banks, insurance, pensions, accountancy, financial services and advice. To work in this sector, you generally need skills in ICT, numeracy, communication, team working and problem solving.

Example jobs

Accounts clerk
Working in a business, keeping financial records and helping to prepare accounts.

Payroll administrator or clerk
Making sure that staff are paid the correct amount and on time.

Insurance claims handler
Dealing with people who are making claims on their insurance policies. The job title for this role could also be claims administrator, settler, technician or assessor.

Customer service adviser in a bank or building society
The first point of contact for customers. You should enjoy talking to people and be interested in finance.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • You will be based mainly in an office or branch of a bank or building society.
  • You may have to travel for meetings.
  • You will usually work standard office hours and some Saturdays if you are working in a bank or building society. Part-time work is possible.

Qualifications needed

Although entry requirements will vary, employers often prefer you to have some GCSEs (A–C), including maths. It will be helpful to have previous experience of office work. You should feel confident with numbers and using computers. Some employers offer apprenticeships at Level 2 in providing financial services, accountancy, advising on financial products and payroll.

Career path

To progress in your career, for example to become an Accounting Technician or take charge of a team, you can take finance qualifications at Levels 1 to 3. These are offered by various professional bodies such as the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB), Pearson, OCR, ABC Awards, City & Guilds, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). An apprenticeship will allow you to learn while you are working and to progress to more senior roles.

Useful links

Pearson is not responsible for content on external websites.

National Skills Academy for Financial Services

The National Apprenticeship Service

Information and advice about becoming an apprentice