Foreign Trade Analyst: Job & Career Info

Foreign trade analysts track the exchange of goods and services between nations in a world that is becoming ever more interconnected. They work in both the private and public sectors because various companies and government entities have an interest in understanding international markets. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits and requirements of this profession.

Career Definition for Foreign Trade Analyst

Foreign trade analysts examine trends that exist during the international exchange of goods and services. In order to effectively perform the job, foreign trade analysts must have a fundamental understanding of finance, economics and other disciplines, so a rigorous course of study will be necessary to lay the groundwork for this profession.

Education Bachelor's degree; master's degree or doctorate can be pursued for better career prospects
Job Skills Computer literacy, mathematics aptitude, foreign language skills
Median Salary (2015)* $80,310
Career Outlook (2014-2024)* 12%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Students interested in a career as a foreign trade analyst can pick from a variety of academic subjects. Undergraduate degrees that can be a good fit for this career include a Bachelor of Science in Finance, a Bachelor of Arts (or Science) in Economics or a Bachelor of Science in International Business. An MBA in international business or finance could provide further knowledge for this profession, as could a master's degree or doctorate in economics, finance or international business. Students in these majors can expect to take classes heavy in math, computer science, economics, introductory business, foreign language, political science and finance. Undergraduate programs typically take four years to complete while master's degree programs take two; however, internships and work co-ops may extend the time it takes to graduate.

Skills Required

Foreign trade analysts must be strong in mathematics, since people in this career constantly have to calculate exchange rates, shipping costs and other details heavy with numbers. Foreign trade analysts who speak more than one language are in constant demand. Expertise with computers is also desired by employers because much of the data involved with the job is examined in spreadsheets and other software applications.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that, between 2014 to 2024, employment for financial analysts will increase by 12%, which is faster than the average. The BLS attributes this to the growing complexity in the world of finance. As of May 2015, the annual median wage for financial analysts was $80,310; people at the top of the industry made in excess of $160,760.

Alternate Career Options

Similar careers in this field are:

Budget Analyst

At least a bachelor's degree is normally required for budget analysts, who assist private and public institutions in the organization of their finances. According to the BLS, these analysts earned median wages of $71,590 per year in 2015, and could expect a slower than average increase in positions through 2024 with only 3% growth predicted.

Personal Financial Adviser

Often holding at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as economics, finance, math, accounting or law, these advisers provide individuals with financial advice. Much faster than average employment growth of 30% was anticipated by the BLS for personal financial advisers from 2014-2024, and median earnings of $89,160 per year were reported in 2015.


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