How much do financial analysts make?
It’s a lucrative and interesting career, and financial analysts can expect to make around $85,000 per year, but that number is going to look very different depending on the route an individual financial analyst takes.
What Do Financial Analysts Do?
A financial analyst uses a mathematical, methodical brain to carefully study the market and draw conclusions about business decisions. Financial analysts will need to watch for trends and to make predictions to best meet the business needs of their clients. A financial analyst is essentially the computer of an organization, using high-powered analytical skills to advise their client in whatever way is needed.
A financial analyst job description may include:
- Gathering detailed financial information relevant to the company/client
- Researching market and industry trends
- Writing reports
- Investigating the success of various business plans
- Generating financial models and predictions
- Managing investments, equity, and risk
- Presenting of findings
- Coordinating with other departments & companies
What to Expect From Financial Analyst Jobs
Financial Analyst jobs are known for demanding a lot from those who pursue them. According to the Princeton Review, financial analyst jobs are incredibly strenuous but there isn’t much burnout because those attracted to financial analysis generally understand the following expectations:
Time: Entry-level financial analyst jobs will often require 50+ hours a week, with very little flexibility due to the pressing needs of business deals and decision deadlines. For example, a board may request a certain financial report or model for a board meeting and the financial analyst will be responsible for doing the research and generating a report for the meeting, regardless of how much time it may take them.
Responsibility: A financial analyst is a highly respected position, and their research and recommendations can have a dramatic impact on the company. This can translate to performance-based compensation and high levels of stress.
On-the-Job Training: The analysis needs of every job will be different. You may work with a consulting firm and rotate through a variety of clients or you may provide in-house financial analysis for a small business. Most companies will train their financial analysts once hired so they can learn the unique needs of the position.
Steep Curve: Entry-level financial analyst jobs are extremely competitive and can start at low salaries. However, within 3-5 years a financial analyst can be classified as “senior” and enjoy higher salaries, more flexibility, and greater options for jobs and consulting.
The day-to-day of a financial analyst can vary widely, but you can see some examples at Investopedia.
Financial Analyst Salary
Financial analyst salaries traditionally start with relatively low, entry-level base pay. Because the success of the client or company is often directly tied to the performance of a financial analyst, it’s very common for this base pay to be supplemented with bonuses or profit-sharing that is contingent on financial growth.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median financial analyst salary is around $85,000, but this number can be misleading because the average financial analyst salary is closer to $100,000 due to the extreme growth in earnings over time. Experience and bonus structure heavily influence this number, as well as the type of financial analyst job.