The final vote was 85 to 12 in favor of confirmation.
Powell — known more casually as "Jay" — assumes the top Fed position following his nomination by President Donald Trump in November. He comes to the position amid a critical time for the Fed, which is normalizing policy after years of extraordinary accommodation triggered by the financial crisis.
Though he was confirmed Tuesday, he likely won't officially assume his duties until Janet Yellen's term expires in February. Yellen has said she will leave the Fed after Powell is sworn in, though her term does not expire until Jan. 31, 2024.
Where Fed chairmen tend to be economists, Powell comes to his position with a more markets-based background, particularly in venture capital. Previous stints included time at the Carlyle Group, Severn Capital Partners and the Global Environmental Fund.
In addition, he spent time at the Treasury Department and most recently, before coming to the Fed in 2012, served as a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank.