Financial examiners typically must have a bachelor’s degree that includes some coursework in accounting. Entry-level examiners are trained on the job by senior examiners.
Specific requirements for financial examiners vary between federal and state governments. However, all financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree that includes some coursework in accounting, finance, economics, or a related field. Examiners working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) must have at least six semester hours in accounting.
Once hired, financial examiners receive some on-the-job training. Entry-level workers begin under the supervision of senior examiners and learn their basic job duties and the agency’s policies and procedures. This period typically takes between 1 month and 1 year.
After a few years of experience, financial examiners can advance to a senior examiner position. Requirements for these positions vary by employer but often require a master’s degree in accounting or business or becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Analytical skills. Financial examiners need strong analytical skills to evaluate how well bank managers are handling risk and whether the bank’s individual loans are safe.
Detail oriented. Financial examiners must pay close attention to details when reviewing a bank’s balance sheet to identify risky assets.
Math skills. Financial examiners need good basic math skills to monitor a bank’s balance sheet and see if the bank’s available cash is dangerously low.
Writing skills. Financial examiners regularly write reports on the safety and soundness of financial institutions. They must be able to explain technical information clearly.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition