Financial Analyst Career

financial-analyst-500There are two major types of financial analysts. The first category, which is what most people think of when they imagine this occupation, consists of buy-side analysts, who create investment strategies for companies and individuals looking to invest large amounts of money. The second category consists of sell-side analysts, who conduct analysis for people who sell stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

Whichever category sounds more appealing to you, certain responsibilities will remain the same. Financial analysts have to have a good knowledge of stock markets and other economic indicators. They need the ability to think strategically and creatively to come up with the best solutions for their clients. They also need strong writing skills in order to successfully present their strategies to their clients.

Financial Analyst Career Snapshot

Almost all financial analysts work in offices, but the ability to telecommute is becoming increasingly available. You should also expect to spend time meeting with clients in their homes or offices to present your strategies. Financial analysts typically work a 40 hour work week, but they often have to be available outside of normal 9-5 hours in order to react to financial news.

Further details on a career as a financial analyst are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual pay for financial analysts.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 35% have a Master’s degree.

Financial Analyst Education

Entry-level financial analyst positions almost always require at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to business or economics. In addition, 35 percent of financial analysts have a master’s degree, and obtaining one will be useful for career advancement.

Financial Analyst Job Duties

Since financial markets change every day–even every minute–a large part of your time will be spent keeping up to date on the latest news and determining how it will affect your clients. You may find yourself reading major financial publications and using software to analyze changes in the market. You’ll also spend a lot of time communicating with clients about their needs.

Financial Analyst Salaries

Financial analysts are typically well-compensated. According to the, the median salary in May 2015 was $80,310, while the top 10 percent of earners made at least $160,760. The bottom 10 percent of earners made $49,450 or less.

Financial Analyst Job Outlook

In 2014, there were 277,600 financial analysts in the United States. That number is expected to grow at the faster than average rate of 9% through 2024.

Financial Analyst Skills & Abilities

Financial Analyst Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Financial Analysts:Typical Work Activities:
• Critical thinking
• Reading comprehension
• Active listening
• Mathematics
• Speaking
• Deductive reasoning
• Near vision
• Oral comprehension
• Oral expression
• Written comprehension
• Desktop/notebook computers
• Analytical or scientific software
• Financial analysis software
• Working with computers
• Getting information
• Analyzing data or information
• Processing information

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