Finance Programs in Washington
The coastal state of Washington has 16 colleges and universities that offer degrees in finance. Eight schools have Associate's-level programs in finance and 11 offer Bachelor's degrees in finance. For higher education degrees, ten schools have Master's degrees in finance and PhD degrees are available at six Washington colleges and universities.
Several Washington schools are known for their finance degrees. The three best finance degrees in Washington are at the University of Washington – Seattle, Seattle University, and Western Washington University. All three of these schools have high acceptance rates.
The average cost of tuition in Washington is $13,566, which is typical for a coastal state. There are many grant and scholarship opportunities for finance students; the average scholarship package is $5,652 and the average grant is $8,674.
Washington has plenty of schools that offer Associate's and Bachelor's degrees in finance—you just have to choose which degree will help you reach your career goals. If you only want to spend two years in school, an Associate's degree might be the right choice for you. You can earn an Associate's degree in finance at schools like South Puget Sound Community College. Students gain a foundational education in finance in addition to general education topics. Many four-year colleges and universities accept credits from these schools as transfer credits.
Earning a Bachelor's degree takes approximately four years for most students. Students who have an Associate's degree can often finish a Bachelor's degree in finance in two years. You have to take 40 credits of general education classes, ranging from humanities to social sciences. Many colleges, including the University of Washington, have very strong Bachelor's programs in finance. Students at this degree level can expect to take courses like International Finance, Fixed Income Securities, Corporate Finance, and Investments. Students can make their degree fit their career goals by choosing finance electives that meet their career goals.
Master's degrees are offered at many schools that have Bachelor's degrees, like the University of Washington. This degree takes an average of two years. Most students go part-time, as a Master's program is intensive and requires many hours of study. However, students that go full-time are able to finish their degree in one year or less. Students at this level might focus on Corporate Finance, Business and Finance, or International Finance.
If you want to work as an investment advisor, stockbroker, or financial planner in Washington, you will be required to register with the appropriate department and take any necessary exams.
Investment advisors in Washington are licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions. If you own a firm that manages more than $100 million in assets, you must also register on a national level. Required exams include the Series 65 and Series 66 exams.
Stockbrokers in Washington must also register with the Department of Financial Institutions. You have to pass the Series 63 or 66 exam. You must also pass the Series 7 exam. You must then take a refresher course two years after licensure. The updated version of the course must be repeated every three years.
If you want to work as a financial planner that sells fixed annuities and life insurance, you must register with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Twenty hours of pre-licensing education are required, and you must also pass a Washington licensing exam. Twenty-four hours of continuing education are required every two years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that salaries for Washington finance professionals are very close to national averages; many are above national averages. Average salaries for Bachelor's and Master's degree careers range from $38,360 for credit counselors to $74,430 for budget analysts.
Some of the largest financial employers in Washington are MetLife, Russell Investment Group, Towers Watson, CUSO Financial Services, and Brokerage Consultants Inc.