Budget Analysts Job Description, Career as a Budget Analysts, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Education and Training: College
Salary: Median— $66,310 per year
Employment Outlook: Good
Budget analysts are primarily responsible for developing, analyzing, and executing budgets. They look after the financial resources of an organization, including allocation of current resources and estimation of future expenses.
Nonprofit organizations, private industries, as well as the public sector employ budget analysts. As a consequence, the job roles of these analysts vary from one organization to the other. In governmental organizations, budget analysts are required to distribute funds and resources efficiently among different departments and projects. On the other hand, when employed in the private sector, a budget analyst analyzes the budget and works on improving efficiency as well as increasing profits.
The basic job role of budget analysts centers around certain financial processes. They initially have to check budgets accuracy, completeness, and conformance with regulations and organizational objectives. Following the review process, budget analysts consolidate individual budgets into capital and operating budget summaries. Once these summaries are sent to senior management, analysts work with them to analyze the plan and come up with alternatives in cases where the projected results are unsatisfactory.
Education and Training Requirements
Entry level positions for budget analysts require one to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Interested candidates can choose from degrees in fields like accounting, business, finance, economics, statistics, or public administration. A lot of organizations prefer candidates with a business degree since these programs concentrate on both analytical and quantitative skills — proficiencies that are equally important in the profession. Obtaining a master’s degree is advisable since job opportunities in most urban areas are favorable for master’s degree holders.
Government budget analysts can opt for the Certified Government Financial Manager designation which is granted by the Association of Government Accountants. To obtain this, one must possess a bachelor’s degree, have 24 credit hours of financial management study and at least two years of work experience in a governmental financial management position, and also clear a series of three exams. To maintain this designation, a budget analyst has to complete 80 hours of professional education every couple of years.
Getting the Job
A large number of organizations post their job requirements on the Internet. Those looking to start out in the profession of budget analysis can look up the websites of particular companies and apply directly, or go through job forums that advertise such job openings. Those possessing adequate experience as a budget analyst can apply for overseas assignments through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Technical Assistance.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
When entering the profession, budget analysts usually have limited responsibilities. In most governmental organizations, entry level analysts receive training while on the job. This includes both practical as well as classroom training. In the private sector, one may have to pick up skills by working through a budget cycle.
Even though a bachelor’s degree suffices for entry level jobs, it is beneficial to opt for a master’s degree. This creates better opportunities not only in finding employment, but also in the advancement of career. With around two years of work experience, budget analysts can get promoted to intermediate positions. To excel in the profession, one needs to continue education so as to upgrade skills and also learn about new developments in the field.
The work environment for budget analysts is mostly comfortable with regular work hours. Budget analysts work independently in the analysis and compilation of data and the subsequent preparation of budget proposals. Occasionally, budget analysts may be required to travel in order to obtain first -hand information or to verify funding allocations. Work pressure may prove to be stressful at certain times during the budget cycle. Budget analysts may be required to work longer hours during budget review periods.
Where to Go for More Information
Association of Government Accountants
2208 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22301
National Association of State Budget Officers
Hall of the States Building, Suite 642, 444 North Capitol St. NW.
Washington, DC 20001
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
1900 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20415
Earnings and Benefits
The annual earnings of budget analysts vary in accordance with one’s education and experience. Trainee budget analysts earn around $32,000 per year, while those with master’s degrees earn about $43,731 annually. As per the data of May 2007, the median yearly wage of budget analysts was $66,310.
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