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Becoming a financial analyst entails completing very specific educational, training and licensing requirements. On the job duties will vary depending on the exact industry the analyst is servicing. Being a financial analyst can be a very rewarding career in terms of financial stability and the opportunity for upward career growth.
In the most general sense, financial analysts are responsible for the daily activities of ledger accounting and reconciliation. They also perform a critical role in financial reporting. Furthermore, as the job title suggests, they carry out the analysis of a company’s financial situation to ensure the accounting process is correct. Perhaps the most important role carried out by an analyst is the compiling of important financial data which is used by business executives to make company wide decisions. The information maintained by an analyst may be used to facilitate strategic business planning and future budget adjustments.
What Does a Financial Analyst Do?
The daily job of a financial analyst really depends on the individual’s level of experience. A junior analyst will primarily work on obtaining necessary data, and creating spreadsheets for later analysis. They might also work on creating financial models and examining industry issues as a whole. Junior level employees also investigate financial stories in the news, and the status of financial markets to determine whether the company is affected. A senior analyst will be responsible for actually providing an opinion on how the company should carry out its financial affairs. Senior level analysts are also responsible for making presentations to executives and mentoring new hires in the analyst department.
How to Become a Financial Analyst
People desiring to become financial analysts will usually begin their journey by studying at a four year college. Future analysts usually major in business, accounting, economics or math. While in college, many potential analysts will do an internship with a firm to get hands on training. Many will be hired by the same company through a post graduate interview, yet some find other employment through the on campus interview process at their university. Following graduation, the future analyst will begin working for the firm or business in a junior level position. During this time, they will also study for licensing exams such as the Series 7 or 63. The type of licensing required will depend on the specific role and responsibilities of the analyst.
Where Do Financial Analysts Work?
Financial analysts are employed in a wide variety of industries. The obvious areas for financial analyst work are in the banking and business industries. However, analysts are also frequently employed by educational institutions, construction companies, biotech companies, electronics and software firms, and utility agencies.
Financial Analyst Average Salary
As of 2015, there were 277,600 financial analysts working in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average (median) pay for this position is $38.61 per hour or $80,310 per year. The BLS expects the field to grow by 12% in the next decade.
Financial Analyst Average Annual and Hourly Wages by State
|Job Title||State||Average Hourly Rate||Average Annual Salary|
|Financial Analyst||District of Columbia||$48.02||$99,890|
|Financial Analyst||New Hampshire||$33.35||$69,370|
|Financial Analyst||New Jersey||$45.36||$94,340|
|Financial Analyst||New Mexico||$36.84||$76,620|
|Financial Analyst||New York||$58.73||$122,170|
|Financial Analyst||North Carolina||$42.40||$88,200|
|Financial Analyst||North Dakota||$35.69||$74,230|
|Financial Analyst||Rhode Island||$36.08||$75,040|
|Financial Analyst||South Carolina||$32.43||$67,450|
|Financial Analyst||South Dakota||$36.09||$75,080|
|Financial Analyst||West Virginia||$28.49||$59,260|