30 Fastest-Growing Salaries for Financial Institutions in 2024

By Jordan Summervill

30 Fastest-Growing Salaries for Financial Institutions in 2024

For the second year in a row, BalancedComp has projected a near 5% labor budget increase.

These projections were seen as strikingly high in 2022, and yet, there were certain asset sizes in which these estimations ended up being rather conservative, particularly for credit unions. Sources like World At Work, Mercer, and Payscale have estimated 4% salary increases this year. With the 3.5% midpoint movement seen in BalancedComp’s 2024 salary ranges, this will not leave adequate room for differentiating for higher performance and moving the pay levels of employees whose salaries are less than the market rate.

2022-2023 – Historic for Labor Market Wage Growth 

From the 23-24 BalancedComp Survey, it was reported that 73% of respondents gave out-of-cycle raises in 2022, and 53% planned to in 2023. Another finding from the 23-24 survey was that out of 135 positions, the Blended Median across asset sizes showed an average increase of 5.85%. In 2022, the BLS reported greater than 5% increases for the second and fourth quarters in the Financial Activities Industry. Fast forward to the 3rd quarter of 2023, that figure has slowed down to 4.1%; However, this does not yet reflect the current budget season.

Inflation and Interest Rates Affect Pay Increases

Inflation peaked at 9.1% in June of 2022. In January of 2023, it was down to 6.4% and by October of 2023, inflation halved at 3.2%. COLA (Social Security Cost-Of-Living Adjustments) can be found directly following inflation’s lead, moving from 8.7 in 2022 to 3.2 in 2023. After analyzing the Federal Reserve’s prompt increase of rates in response to inflation, it paints a fairly transparent picture of the correlation between interest rates and the Consumer Price Index. While everyone hopes inflation will keep on track towards the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2%, it’s important to remember it is not the employer’s responsibility to follow the inflation rate and align their salary increases with it. That becomes more of a social justice mission, than a business efficiency mission. Following the Pandemic and Great Resignation, the labor market was thrown into a turbulent environment while facing poor economic conditions. The employers’ focus should remain first on paying competitively to the market. Extra available funds can be allocated on social justice initiatives. It is crucial to utilize market data for your industry, and ideally, partner with Compensation Consultants to establish your salary ranges/grades and provide their expertise. 

While we do not recommend following alongside inflation with your pay increases, rushing back to conservative budgets below annual price increases may put upward pressure on inflation and create frustration for your workers. However, base pay is only one component of an employee’s total compensation package. Increasing incentives, benefits, rewards, PTO, remote work options, or stock programs for your employees are a few additional ways to empower and enable them to keep pace during times of high inflation.

Loan Departments Cooling Down

In 2022, before interest rates had climbed past 4%, 7 out of the 30 fastest-growing salaries were within the Mortgage department. We anticipated that demand for these roles may cool in the short term as home buyers wait for interest rates and pricing to return to lower levels. This year, only the Mortgage Loan Underwriter made the list of hot jobs. Now that interest rates exceed 5%, mortgage purchase applications are down 23% from last year with around 20% fewer available homes for sale. Despite the Fed’s decision to hold rates steady for the time being, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate climbed to the highest it’s been in 20 years, between 7-8%. In comparison to the median monthly household income, home prices are 14% higher than the average of the last 25 years. Despite these numbers, home prices are still rising, albeit at a slower rate. Regardless, salaries for Commercial Loan Officer II and Commercial Loan Assistants showed significant movement.

Meanwhile, as rates remain high, financial institutions will find a reduction in their margin and liquidity. For example, the U.S. money supply has dropped by 3.6% in the last year. During the first two-thirds of the year, credit union deposits rose only $12.4 billion, one-fifth of the $60 billion increase reported during the first two-thirds of 2022. While higher rates will initially increase collections at financial institutions, they also face significant risks from defaulting loans, as well as a decrease in the value of bonds and debt securities. These risks can be better minimized by stress testing your institution as well as actively monitoring its access to central lending facilities.

Risk, Compliance, and Audit Salaries Are Booming

Particularly during this season of economic fluctuations, banks and credit unions need highly-trained specialists to help them thrive within the strict rules and regulations exclusive to the financial sector. With exceptional need and precise knowledge comes a heftier salary, which each institution will likely need to absorb to remain competitive. The following Risk-categorized positions made the list of fastest-growing salaries (in order):

  1. Internal Auditor I
  2. Director of Internal Audit
  3. Head of Risk (3rd year in a row)
  4. Internal Auditor II
  5. Compliance Officer

Considering the Pandemic’s lasting changes in everyday life on top of the expansion of electronic banking and cybersecurity, it is well known that the complexity and volume of risk management has increased drastically in the last few years. Something to keep in mind: Just like the Tech department, the Risk department can be lured away by other industries for the same skill sets – your Head of Risk in particular. It is critical to stay vigilant and data-informed to help ensure you don’t lose valuable talent or leadership in your Risk department.

IT Positions Remain Key 

Information Tech positions within the organization remain in high demand across multiple industries, making it more competitive to recruit for and retain than ever before. Within this key area of support, the following IT positions made the list of fastest-growing salaries (in order):

  1. Network Engineer
  2. IT Specialist I
  3. IT Director

Readjustment in the Labor Market

With unemployment hovering below 4%, equivalent to 2.2% in the Financial industry, employee recruitment and retention continue to be extremely challenging for many. Fortunately, The Great Resignation, also known as “The Great Readjustment”, made leaps and bounds in terms of employers providing their workers with better pay/benefits, flexibility, diversity, and attention to wellbeing. As wages continue to rise at post-pandemic levels, workers are reporting higher job satisfaction rates, though are still open to looking around to better their position. Still, we expect turnover to slow down somewhat heading into 2024. With that, wage growth should prove to cool off by the end of 2024.

Based on our primary research, the following are the top 30 positions that have seen pay increases 150-500% faster than the average annual market rate. This is truly another historic year for compensation analysis. Based on 2024 projections, these salary figures are seen on the tail end of a scorching labor market and record inflation. 

According to 2023-2024 BalancedComp Salary & Incentive Survey research data, these are the 30 fastest-growing salaries by job title in the financial sector for the upcoming year:

Fastest-Moving Jobs Ave. Percentage Increase
Director of HR 15.81%
Internal Auditor I 15.58%
Network Engineer 13.55%
Investment Officer I 13.54%
Assistant Branch Manager II 13.19%
CLO II 12.95%
Head of Marketing 12.90%
Cash Treasury Management Specialist 12.27%
IT Specialist I 12.08%
Admin Assistant II 11.86%
Director of Internal Audit 11.55%
Virtual Teller 11.10%
Trust Officer 10.96%
Mortgage Loan Underwriter 10.89%
Call Center Rep I 10.78%
Chief Credit Officer 10.72%
Benefits Specialist 10.35%
Head of Risk 10.14%
Head of HR 10.07%
Teller Supervisor 9.75%
Indirect Loan Manager 9.75%
Call Center Manager 9.74%
Market President 9.72%
Teller I 9.66%
IT Director 9.64%
Business Development Manager 9.30%
Training Manager/Director 8.83%
Commercial Loan Assistant 8.82%
Chief Operating Officer 8.71%
Senior Trust Officer 8.67%
Operations Rep I 8.66%
Universal Banker 8.63%
Project Manager 8.59%
Consumer Loan Processor 8.49%
Agriculture Loan Officer 8.45%
Credit Analyst I 8.43%
Trust Investments Admin Assistant 8.26%
Consumer Loan Officer/Underwriter 8.15%
Graphic Designer 7.98%
Accounting Specialist I 7.89%
SBA Manager 7.84%
Accounting Specialist II 7.78%
Software Developer/Engineer 7.72%
Internal Auditor II 7.70%
Fraud Specialist 7.43%
Mortgage Closer 7.42%
Help Desk Specialist 7.21%
Assistant Branch Manager I 7.19%
Compliance Officer 7.03%
Receptionist 6.96%

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