Career Definition for Budget Managers
Budget managers evaluate the financial needs of programs, develop organizational budget strategies, and make presentations before top executives. During the developmental and implementation stages of the budget process, they may review proposals, prepare financial documents, and make sure that the organization remains in compliance with financial goals, final budgets, and industry regulations. They may also provide financial advice or estimate future revenues.
|Education||Bachelor's or master's in business or related field|
|Job Duties||Develop budget strategies, make presentations to executives, review proposals|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$76,220 (budget analysts)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||7% (budget analysts)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Budget managers usually have a bachelor's degree in business, economics, or accounting; many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in similar fields of study. Relevant coursework may include topics in macro and microeconomics, statistics, mathematics, finance, and ethics. The Certified Government Financial Manager, an optional credential, is available through the Association of Government Accountants. Aside from the degree, organizations usually look for budget managers with a few years of prior experience in finance. Some organizations, including the government, require tests for incoming budget managers and provide opportunities for additional education.
Budget managers should have good judgment and analytical skills. Proficiency in the use of computer data-mining and spreadsheet programs are useful when conducting an analysis. Communication skills and the ability to express budgetary details and complex facts before an audience are key. Budget managers should also have good organizing, planning, and decision-making skills, and be able to lead a team of analysts.
Employment and Salary Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), budget analysts earned a median annual salary of $76,220 as of May 2018. The BLS has predicted that the employment of budget analysts will grow by about 7% nationwide, or as fast as average, between 2016 and 2026. Opportunities for qualified entry-level professionals are expected to be good (www.bls.gov).
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options in this field include:
Financial analysts use their critical-thinking and decision-making skills to help clients and companies make profitable investment choices. In addition to a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, math, or another closely related major, professional requirements may include a Chartered Financial Analyst designation, a license, or a related credential.
As of May 2018, financial analysts earned a median annual salary of $85,660, according to the BLS; earnings were highest for those working with commodity contracts, financial investments and securities. Between 2016 and 2026, employment opportunities for financial analysts were expected to grow by 11% nationwide, or faster than average, as reported by the BLS (www.bls.gov).
Management analysts or consultants find ways for companies and organizations to become more effective and profitable. Relevant majors for aspiring analysts include business, economics, finance, and psychology, among other fields of study; candidates who meet certain education and professional requirements may pursue the Certified Management Consultant credential.
As reported by the BLS, management analysts who were employed in May 2018 earned a median annual salary of $83,610, with those working for the federal government earning $94,350 during the same time. From 2016 to 2026, the BLS projects a 14%, or faster-than-average, increase in employment nationwide for management analysts (www.bls.gov).