Budget analysts are specially hired to analyze budget and finance for U.S. companies, assisting them to prepare new budgets, forecast future expenses and profit, and reach specific financial goals for profitability. In a recession, this is truly an important job whether it’s handled internally or through a consulting firm.
The employment rate for budget analysts is set to grow 10 percent over the next ten years, which is about average for every industry. However, it is not growing faster than average, indicating that the industry is changing.
Growth, Limitations and Opportunities
Workers are discovering that the job is becoming even more complex than originally thought, as new types of data and statistics are being gathered for analysis. This complexity is promising, and yet puts more pressure on applicants to have above average knowledge of finance.
When a company is forced to make cutbacks they rely on the expertise of the analyst, particularly in the public sector. Another reason for this growth limitation is because there is now limited government spending available and many positions are within government offices.
Besides government, there is also opportunity within educational facilities, health care institutions and financial firms. As recently as 2012, the field appears to be stable and steady for workers with proven experience. Salaries range from $45,000 to over $100,000 depending on work experience level, education level, and location.
Students might do well, not only to gain work experience early on, but also to work with the budget cycle over a one year period. Excellent communication skills in written form and verbally are also requested, as this job does involve working with people and communicating with high level personnel. Another avenue to consider is that of military jobs.
Navy business management is a field that is growing and requires the same logistical approach as a traditional business. There are openings in air force financial management, and army financial management.
Skills That Matter in Budget Analysis
As the experienced, educated worker, an applicant must demonstrate an ability to work with other project managers, communicate across multiple departments, and be able to conduct research, analyze data and compile financial records for an evaluation.
You not only report back on basic budgeting, but also on funding level and where to make cuts. You are also expected to know what is within legal parameters as far as regulations go, laws, and even company standards and culture.
When it comes to education, budget analysts can’t get very far without at least a bachelor’s degree although, to be frank, most companies prefer master’s degree or higher workers who have proven themselves dedicated to a skill. In considering your subjects, remember that you will be working with numerical and analytical data and thus accounting, business, finance, and political science seem to be sure bets for majors.
If you are interested in a stable career and have the careful attention to detail that companies count on to remain profitable, you will always find a position in this market—and all the more so if you remain flexible and able to travel.