Budget Analyst Job Description
Budget analysts help businesses and other organizations organize their finances by analyzing costs and making recommendations on how money should be spent.
At regular intervals during the year (normally either monthly or quarterly), budget analysts create reports that document how an organization is performing versus the budget. These reports are distributed to top level officials, and they can have a major impact on the decisions that an organization makes.
Work Environment and Schedule
Most budget analysts work for government agencies and universities, but there are many employment opportunities in the private sector as well.
Budget analysts usually work in offices, where they analyze financial data and prepare budget proposals. Those who work for consulting firms may need to travel frequently to visit client sites.
Many budget analysts are able to work regular schedules from Monday through Friday, but this is a very deadline driven occupation. As deadlines approach, working nights and weekends is often necessary.
How to Become a Budget Analyst
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required to become a budget analyst, but some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.
Regardless of the level of education you pursue, a strong background in math is very important. While in school, taking classes in accounting, economics, business, and statistics will help give you a good foundation for the skills you will need to develop in your career.
In most organizations, entry level budget analysts are trained on the job. Training usually lasts one year, which is enough time to experience an entire budget cycle.
Budget analysts who work for government agencies often earn the Association of Government Accountants certification. This certification requires a bachelor’s degree, two years of experience, and the successful completion of several exams. Earning this certification can open up many advancement opportunities for you.
There are currently 62,100 budget analysts in the United States, with 1,960 new budget analyst job openings created each year.
Budget Analyst jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Budget Analyst Salaries
Budget Analyst salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most budget analysts make between $55,300 – $86,500 per year, or $26.57 – $41.60 per hour.