Should I Consider Becoming a Budget Analyst?
Feb 27, 2015 | 8:00 am
Every successful business owner has a budget they must stick to in order to maintain a profitable business. Even government entities and offices have fiscal yearly budgets they must follow. Budgets are an integral part of any financial situation involving operating costs and sometimes it takes expert advice for businesses or entities to find the best way to organize and maximize a spending budget.
As with any financial job, budget analysts must possess a specific skill set and knowledge base. Analysts have to be detail oriented and analytical by nature. Strong communication and writing skills are beneficial and outstanding math skills are vital. As technology advances, so does the need for computer and tech savvy end users like budget analyst. For that reason, PC skills and software knowledge are a must for anyone working as a budget analyst.
Salary & Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently stated the median pay for budget analysts is $33.31 per hour or $69,280 per year. The field is expected to grow by 6% over the next 8 years with over 3,800 new jobs added through the year 2022. The expected growth rate is not substantial, but there is still enough room for qualified, persistent analysts to find a place in the field.
A Bachelor’s degree in Statistics or Accounting is required to become a budget analyst and some employers even demand employees to have a Master’s degree. In addition, government budget analysts can take things a step further by earning the Certified Government Financial Manager certification from the Association of Government Accountants.
The main purpose of a budget analyst is to organize finances. In order to do that, analysts perform tasks like reviewing budget proposals for things like accuracy and legal compliance, monitoring organizational spending, advising managers and department heads about improper spending habits, and estimating future financial needs of the organization.
Budget analysts work in several different places such as government agencies, private companies, colleges and universities, and from home as independent contractors. All work is done via computer or with a combination of PC and good old fashioned pen and paper. Analysts work full time with some overtime when deadlines or company budget emergencies arise.
The question of what it takes to be successful as a budget analyst should be answered by first asking if the work environment, tasks, and skills involved sound interesting. Potential candidates looking to enter the field have to be passionate about math and organization and if they aren’t, working as a budget analyst will never be truly satisfying.
Due to the nature of the work, creative individuals might do well to choose an alternate path, but people with a desire to problem solve and figure out complex mathematical problems will thrive in the role of budget analyst. If a decent salary, challenging workload and professional work environment is important, then a career as a budget analyst is a good fit.
Anyone considering pursuit of a career as a budget analyst should review the facts and carefully weigh their options. Once you’ve decided to start down the career path of a budget analyst, commitment and dedication is the key. By working hard and choosing a good personal fit, the right career as a budget analyst is just around the corner.