Encompassing sectors such as investment, insurance, accountancy and securities trading, the West Midlands financial services industry covers a range of areas and remains one of the UK's largest financial centres outside of London. Nearly 136K West Midlands professionals are employed in the sector with Birmingham alone being responsible for over a third of this figure. Jobs in the sector can vary and local specialist financial services recruitment agencies will typically supply staff such as investment managers, internal auditors and commercial loan advisors for permanent or temporary roles.
The West Midlands is an excellent location to enter the industry with Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry all offering plenty of job opportunities. Candidates looking to enter a finance role can expect a salary of around £30K per annum, however this is an average and earnings are largely dependent on experience, size of organisation and specific job role. Senior professionals such as pensions or investment managers can earn £60K+, whereas administration or telesales personnel may earn between £18K-£25K.
The most common route into the financial services is via a university degree with employers increasingly searching for graduates to fill entry level positions. What is considered a relevant qualification will depend on the desired job role, but the University of Birmingham offers a BSc in both Economics and Money, Banking and Finance. Less specialist positions may benefit from an NVQ or Diploma, but candidates may also be expected to have undertaken relevant work experience.
A West Midlands financial services recruitment agency will have a specialist knowledge of the local finance industry and be able to source suitable and skilled candidates for their list of clients. These agencies are likely to recruit in the cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton as well as Dudley, Solihull, Walsall and West Bromwich.