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Military Analyst: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Military analysts require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the educational requirements, job description, duties and the employment outlook statistics to see if this is the right career for you.

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There are a plethora of possible job responsibilities may fall on the shoulders of a military analyst. However, despite these distinctions, the main focus of a military analysis is to gather military information and use these findings to make suggestions for the most strategic and efficient course of action. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a huge increase in operation research analyst careers through 2024.

Essential Information

A military analyst, sometimes called an intelligence analyst, works within the government or the armed forces. An analyst compiles information to help make decisions regarding military strategy. Analysts may work in the field interpreting data about enemy operations, or they may evaluate broader military processes in consulting positions. Military analysts typically have a background in the U.S. Armed Forces, and formal undergraduate or graduate education in areas like operations research, military history, political science or international relations is preferred.

Required Education Bachelor's degree for entry-level positions; master's degree needed or preferred for advanced positions
Other Requirements U.S. military experience
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 30% (for operations research analysts)
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $78,630 (for operations research analysts)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

The type of information with which a military analyst works will vary by organization. An analyst who works for a federal organization evaluates the effectiveness of military processes and procedures and presents findings to a committee. An intelligence analyst enlisted in the armed forces interprets data to determine a strategic course of action, sometimes regarding enemy capabilities or the distribution of supplies.

To become a military analyst, a military background is useful and previous study of military history, political science, international relations, or security management is strongly desired. A military analyst position may include foreign travel and language training. An analyst working within the federal government will most likely work for the Department of Defense. Positions are also available in the armed forces. Applicants will need to meet all general requirements of the armed forces in addition to any specific attributes necessary for an analyst position.

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Duties

An analyst receives and prioritizes incoming information and determines how reliable that information is. An analyst for the military must be able to keep detailed records and communicate information clearly to others, sometimes to multiple departments and parties at once. Analysts in higher positions may supervise these activities, or they may be responsible for working more closely with sensitive information, such as material information gathered from captured enemies.

A successful military analyst will have an interest in charts and maps, and be able to efficiently gather and organize information. Some positions may involve the use of specific technology, such as radar tracking devices or global satellite receivers, to obtain information.

Outlook

In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted the employment of operation research analysts in general to grow at a rate of 30% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). It may be difficult to find work as a military analyst with a federal department as government agencies become more concerned with cutting costs. However, job prospects should remain excellent for all branches of the military.

The BLS published the median annual salary earned by all operation research analysts as $78,630 in May 2015. Analysts working for the federal government, such as members of the military, earned an average of $110,600 annually, per the BLS.

Military analysts work on or supervise military operations. Along with having a military background, analysts typically have a firm understanding of military history, international relations, and military operating procedures. They must be able to gather and interpret data, communicate these findings, and utilize problem solving skills as they make proposals to military officials.

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