The following article discusses the career path of Financial Analyst. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Financial Analysts.
Businesses and corporations usually have to report to their owners and shareholders on how they have earned their income and how this leads to greater company wealth. Financial analysts are responsible for conducting studies on microeconomic factors, demographics, and marketplace trends, and then using the information to drive investments. They also advise companies on concerning areas such as splitting stock and issuing bonds.
Their main role is to have a full understanding of where all the different resources have been invested, and how to ensure that the financial outlay is viable and secure for the future. They understand, therefore, the impact of current investments on the business, and also what the impact of this is on both long and short-term growth. Financial analysts report on current financial positions and recommend ways to move forward. For instance, they will advise on the viability of an expansion, acquisition, or merger, or they can provide advice on whether or not issuing bonds may cover various capital improvements. Lastly, they help to keep companies afloat when there is an economic downturn.
Other job duties of a financial analyst include:
- Conducting financial analyses for each element of the business
- Creating detailed budget reports and monthly forecasts
- Helping create financial analysis schedules on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis and to determine how these vary compared to the actual budget
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 296,100 financial analysts in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities: 24%
- Professional, scientific, and technical services: 14%
- Credit intermediation and related activities: 13%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 12%
- Insurance carriers and related activities: 7%
How to Become
A financial analyst is expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in finance or related field, such as business, as a minimum. However, many also complete further education. Furthermore, work experience and proven success are of key importance.
A bachelor’s degree is generally the minimum requirement. While a bachelor’s in finance is recommended, fields such as mathematics, statistics, economics, and accounting are also suitable. Licenses and certifications are also available and sometimes required by employers.
The main licensing body for the securities industry is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). If financial analysts wish to sell financial products, they will need to be licensed. To receive this license, employer sponsorship is required. This means that financial analysts are not expected to be already licensed when they start a job.
Certification is usually recommended depending on the position. The Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), offered by the CFA Institute, is very popular. To obtain CFA certification, a financial analyst must hold a bachelor’s degree, have four years of relevant professional experience, and pass three different examinations. They can also obtain further certification in specialty fields. Doing so will also greatly improve their advancement prospects.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective financial analysts have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Excellent analytical skills
- Great communication skills, both verbal and written, particularly in relation to report writing and holding presentations
- Computer skills, focusing also on financial analysis software
- Strong decision making skills
- Detail oriented
- Excellent mathematical skills
The national average salary estimate for Financial Analyst was $66,611. This number is estimated from over 5,491,424 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $34.69 and monthly of $5,551.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Financial Analyst salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $80,624 while North Dakota had the smallest quoted salary of $41,824.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Financial Analyst. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Leshinsky Finance LLC Financial Analyst||Rhode Island||$200,000|
|AppleOne Financial Analyst||Texas||$183,329|
|Hire Solutions Inc. Financial Analyst||Connecticut||$178,356|
|U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Financial Analyst||DC||$152,124|
|Goldman Sachs Financial Analyst||New York||$151,508|
|U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Financial Analyst||DC||$151,217|
|EY Financial Analyst||New York||$140,065|
|Bank of America Merrill Lynch Financial Analyst||New York||$139,014|
|Deutsche Bank Financial Analyst||New York||$138,775|
|Credit Suisse Financial Analyst||New York||$129,219|
|Morgan Stanley Financial Analyst||New York||$128,982|
|AQR Capital Management Financial Analyst||Connecticut||$122,658|
|ERP Recruiting Financial Analyst||South Carolina||$121,554|
|Nigel Frank International Financial Analyst||Massachusetts||$119,737|
|Bloomberg Financial Analyst||New York||$119,046|
|Apple Financial Analyst||California||$112,948|
|Anderson Frank Financial Analyst||Massachusetts||$112,381|
|Columbia Sportswear Company Financial Analyst||Oregon||$111,602|
|Aset Partners Financial Analyst||Virginia||$111,126|
|Career Brokers, Inc. Financial Analyst||South Carolina||$110,669|
- Financial Analysts : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S …
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- 13-2051.00 – Financial Analysts – O*NET OnLine
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|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Business Operations Manager||$68,007|
|Supply Chain Analyst||$66,387|