What Does a Budget Analyst Do?

If you're a person who is good at math and enjoys crunching figures, a job as a budget analyst may be the perfect fit. The job outlook for budget analysts is considered to be stable and is even projected to enjoy some growth, meaning that the probability of finding work is good and that the likelihood of staying in work is very favorable.

Budget Analyst Job Description

The budget analyst's main responsibility is to determine where a corporation or government entity's money is going to go. He or she will create budgets to meet the spending needs of the employer, and their job will also be to project future financial needs. Analyzing the budget is an important task, as it will need to be adjusted to fit the changing needs of the business.

Increasing the efficiency of a corporation's spending is essential, and the budget analyst plays an integral role in making sure spending is accounted for and stays on track. In profit-driven applications, the budget analyst will try to find ways to increase the bottom line, and in government settings, the budget analyst will be tasked with distributing funds to various programs and departments.

It is not uncommon for a budget analyst to be included in writing policy related to government funding, and he or she may also conduct training for staff when new budget procedures are put in place. Budget analysts are also in charge of reviewing budget change proposals set forth by managers, and they will conduct cost-benefit analyses to determine program efficacy, procedures, and financial performance.

Required Education

A bachelor's degree is needed to become a budget analyst, and some companies will require a master's degree. The federal government will accept a bachelor's in any field for an entry-level position, and jobs at the state and local level will necessitate candidates to possess a bachelor's in either accounting, economics, finance, or public administration. Statistics courses are also of immense benefit, and if looking for a job within the government, political science and sociology are useful courses to take.

Job seekers can also obtain their budget analyst certification by completing coursework relating to financial management, equity markets, and management related to corporations. Classes will also include training relating to not-for-profit organizations and those operating in the public sector. Budget analysts will also need to learn their role while on the job, and they must work through an entire budget cycle to understand what their duties will be on a long-term basis.

Budget Analyst Salary Expectation

The median pay rate per hour for a budget analyst is $35, and this translates to roughly $70,000 per year. The average rate of pay is $59,361 or about $30 per hour, and the lower end of the pay scale is around $46,000, with the upper end resting at about $80,000. The highest salaries tend to be reserved for those employed by the government or those who are senior budget analysts. This path can be forged by applying for positions within the U.S. government, by striving for promotions within your corporation or department, and by pursuing a graduate degree. The position of senior budget analyst can pay as much as $111,000 per year.