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Budget Analysts: Job Duties & Career Information

Learn about the work responsibilities of a budget analyst. Explore educational requirements, employment outlook and salary to decide if this is the right career for you.

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Career Definition of a Budget Analyst

Budget analysts review department budgets to ensure completeness, accuracy and compliance with company and governmental regulations. They also provide assistance with regards to cost analysis, fiscal allocation and budget preparation. Budget analysts also develop new ways to improve efficiency and increase profits.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's or master's degree
Job Skills Strong math skills, familiar with typically used software programs and strong communication skills
Median Salary (2018)* $76,220
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Employers will generally ask candidates to have a bachelor's degree, although some positions may require a master's degree. It typically takes four to six years to complete a bachelor's or master's degree in finance, economics or business administration. Coursework may include mathematical methods for management decisions, business strategy and operations management. Students will also study financial accounting, economics and bookkeeping.

Skills Required

Budget analysts need good mathematical skills and should be familiar with spreadsheets, databases, financial analysis and graphics programs. They also need good verbal and written communication skills in order to prepare, present and defend budget proposals to decision makers.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual income for budget analysts was $76,220 in May 2018. Overall, the employment of budget analysts is expected to increase by 7% between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS.

Alternative Careers

Someone interested in a budget analyst job might also want to consider the following positions:

Accountant

For those interested in keeping track of expenditures and inspecting financial documents, a career in accounting should be considered. Accountants use specialized software to record deposits and withdrawals, in addition to making recommendations to increase profits. They also put together tax returns, assure all records are accurate and manage financial bookkeeping activities.

To work as an accountant, earning a bachelor's' degree in accounting is required, and many accountant positions are only open to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To qualify for this designation, one must complete 150 credit hours of college coursework and pass a national CPA examination. The BLS has predicted an 10% increase in job opportunities for accountants and auditors between 2016 and 2026, with 139,900 new positions opening up during this period. In May of 2018, the BLS determined that accountants earned a median salary of $70,500.

Management Analyst

If discovering ways for companies to generate more profit and increase productivity sounds appealing, becoming a management analyst could be the right career move. Management analysts find out what issues exist by conducting interviews, examining financial documents and researching personnel data. They come up with solutions that could include new inventory or systems procedures, employment restructuring or purchasing additional technology.

Some management analysts can find employment with only a bachelor's degree in a business field, but many employers are more commonly looking for those with an MBA. The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) professional certification may also improve job prospects. According to BLS projections, management analysts should see employment growth of 14% during the 2016-2026 decade. The BLS also determined that these management professionals received a median wage of $83,610 in 2018.

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