Business Job Titles and Job Descriptions

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Careers in business are wide-ranging, and any list of job titles is only going to scratch the surface of potential positions and career paths you can pursue. With that in mind, it's a good idea to be familiar with various job titles and to get you thinking about what type of business career is a match for you.

Some titles exist in virtually every aspect of every industry, such as administrative assistant, office manager, branch manager, and operations manager. Others are specific to certain divisions that most, but not all, businesses have, such as accounting or human relations or resources. Other job titles are specific to certain industries, such as finance or insurance.

The same job can go by many different names, and if you don’t like your current title, it could be possible that your boss will let you change it as long as you ask and provide good reasons. 

Accounting

Accounting involves keeping track of the finances of businesses and, at times, individuals. In general, the responsibility of an accountant is two-fold: make sure money is not lost accidentally through simple error and make sure that all applicable laws and regulations are followed.

Some accountants work within businesses, organizations, or government agencies and serve simply to keep their employers' accounts in order. These include bookkeepers, comptrollers, and treasurers.

Other accountants work for specialized accounting firms, such as credit managers and tax specialists. Others work for the federal government and serve in a regulatory or enforcement capacity, such as auditors. Many are involved in tax preparation and may work for individual clients.

These are some job titles most often associated with accounting:

  • Accounts receivable/payable specialist
  • Assessor
  • Auditor
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget analyst
  • Cash manager
  • Chief financial officer
  • Controller
  • Credit manager
  • Tax specialist
  • Treasurer

Human Resources

As businesses grow, they often create human resources departments to manage and enact the often-extensive policies and regulations involved in the management of employees. Titles here can be rather general, such as human resources manager and employee relations specialist, or very focused, such as benefits officer, retirement plan counselor, and compensation analyst.

These are some common titles:

  • Benefits officer
  • Compensation analyst
  • Employee relations specialist
  • HR coordinator
  • HR specialist
  • Retirement plan counselor
  • Staffing consultant
  • Union organizer

Finance

There are many career avenues to pursue in financial management, also sometimes called fiscal management or wealth management. In these jobs, you help individuals and businesses manage their finances. 

Financial advisers work as consultants to individuals or businesses. The compensation structure often includes residuals, meaning that work performed years earlier continues to pay. As a result, financial advisers can be very well compensated and have very flexible workloads.

Hedge fund managers and hedge fund traders work for very specific types of high-risk/high-return investment opportunities that investors can buy into. Loan officers and mortgage bankers are involved in types of finance more familiar to most people: the lending of money for business or real estate purposes.

There are some of the many job titles common to a career in financial management:

  • Certified financial planner
  • Chartered wealth manager
  • Credit analyst
  • Credit manager
  • Financial analyst
  • Hedge fund manager
  • Hedge fund principal
  • Hedge fund trader
  • Investment advisor
  • Investment banker
  • Investor relations officer
  • Leveraged buyout investor
  • Loan officer
  • Mortgage banker
  • Mutual fund analyst
  • Portfolio management marketing
  • Portfolio manager
  • Ratings analyst
  • Stockbroker
  • Trust officer

Information Technology (IT) and Digital Media

Just about every employer relies on information technology. Some larger businesses or organizations create their own IT departments, while smaller ones might hire a single IT specialist or rely on outside contractors. There also are businesses that specialize in various aspects of information technology, such as software development. For individuals who have the right skills, IT is a very reliable source of employment.

These are some job titles you're likely to find in IT:

  • Business systems analyst
  • Content manager
  • Content strategist
  • Database administrator
  • Digital marketing manager
  • Full stack developer
  • Information architect
  • Marketing technologist
  • Mobile developer
  • Project manager
  • Social media manager
  • Software engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Software developer
  • Systems administrator
  • User interface specialist
  • Web analytics developer
  • Web developer
  • Webmaster

Insurance Job Titles

Working in the insurance industry involves helping people and businesses guard against financial loss and manage risks. Common careers involve sales or claims adjusting, but these are some other titles you're likely to find in the industry:

  • Actuary
  • Claims adjuster
  • Damage appraiser
  • Insurance adjuster
  • Insurance agent
  • Insurance appraiser
  • Insurance broker
  • Insurance claims examiner
  • Insurance investigator
  • Loss control specialist
  • Underwriter

Real Estate

Real estate careers usually involve either residential or commercial properties. Residential real estate deals in personal properties while commercial real estate focuses on business properties. You can specialize in the buying and selling of commercial (business) properties or the brokering of purchases and sales of the businesses themselves.

These real estate job titles include both residential and business real estate: