How To Become A Financial Analyst
Career Video: Financial Analyst
Financial analysts are key personnel in all sectors of business. As the name implies, a financial analyst looks into the performance of various types of investments (stocks, bonds, etc.), and provides advice which financial managers use to make financial decisions. Financial analysts may also provide their guidance to individual customers.
Why Become A Financial Analyst
This is a great job for someone who likes to work with numbers and enjoys accounting and investing. You must be a financial expert to do well in this field. It is a good step toward becoming a financial manager. There will be more job openings, however, and the pay is still reasonably high. As a financial analyst, you empower others in making financial decisions that are vital to the health of a company or organization. You can also help individuals to make smart investing decisions which will impact their futures. You need to be willing to work hard and long however, since you will probably be asked to put in extra hours. Great attention to detail and consistency are a must, as are strong skills in research.
Financial Analyst Work Environment
Financial analysts usually work in office environments. Some may work for banks or investment firms, while others may be employed under a financial manager at a different type of company. The majority work full time, and many work overtime, putting in more than 40 hours a week. This is a good on ramp to becoming a financial manager.
Financial Analyst Salary
This is a well-paid position. The median annual pay recorded in 2010 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was $74,350 per year, or $35.75 per hour. This is not nearly as high as the earnings for financial managers, but analysts deal with less personal responsibility. They also may get started with less experience and education.
Financial Analyst Career Outlook
There is substantially more opportunity for financial analysts than there is for financial managers right now. Financial management is growing slowly at a rate of only 9%, but financial analyst positions are opening up at a rate of 23%. That is faster than the average for all other occupations. Even though there will be a large number of candidates for these jobs, it is going to be easier to get a start as a financial analyst than it will be to get a start as a financial manager. There are more and more financial products on the market these days, and geographic specialization is expected top lay a role in job growth.
Financial Analyst Degree
To become a financial analyst, you will need a bachelor’s degree at the very least. For advanced positions, you will need a master’s degree. A master’s degree can also make you more competitive and help you to eventually become a financial manager if that is something which interests you. Keep in mind that even though this field is growing quickly, you will be up against a lot of other job candidates, since this is a popular area to specialize in.