Most businesses and government offices operate with annual budgets. Assembling a yearly spending plan usually involves submissions from department heads or supervisors of a business unit. A budget analyst will take these pieces of a financial proposal and assemble a budget.
Critiquing that budget includes comparisons with spending in years past by each business unit; an evaluation of the completeness and accuracy of each budget component; and cost-benefit analyses in an ongoing search for greater efficiency and higher rates of return.
Nearly half of all budget analysts work for a government office; in those cases, budget analysis may include a measurement of expenditures against legislative goals, weighing the goal of a spending authorization bill against what was accomplished by the expenditure of those funds.
Entry level budget analysts can usually get consideration if they hold a bachelors degree in finance, economics, business, statistics or public administration. Increasingly, employers are looking for budget analysts with masters degrees; today there are MBAs available with a variety of specializations.
The U.S. Department of Employment estimates there were 62,000 budget analysts working in the United States in 2006. Forty four percent were employed by a government agency. In many businesses, the budget analysis function is performed by the controller or chief financial officer.
Over the next several years, job opportunities for budget analysts are expected to increase at about the same rate as the average overall job expansion rate for all job categories combined. Prospects should be good for applicants with a masters degree.
Lowest 10% $19.92 $41,440
Median Salary $30.50 $63,440
Highest 10% $46.65 $97,030