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Financial Analyst

Career Overview

Financial analysts provide knowledgeable analysis and advice to individuals and business with regard to investment options. Analysts investigate the performance and economic condition of various companies that have public stock or that have some other form of investment available. Analysts generally work for business banks, securities firms, insurance companies, pension managers and others with available investment funds. Some work for the business media.

Financial analysts may work on the "buy side," helping potential investors select good investments. They may also work on the "sell side," assisting securities firms and brokers sell their products.


Financial analysts at minimum have a bachelors degree in business, economics or a related major. Most breaking into the industry today have an MBA, often with a focus in a particular market sector or function, such as global investment.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the licensing body for the securities industry. Most financial analysts are sponsored by their employer, so the licensure comes after the employment has been established. Analysts can also become a Chartered Financial Analyst through the CFA Institute.

Current Employment

There were nearly a quarter of a million financial analysts working in 2007. Most were employed by large banks and businesses, based in major cities.

Job Outlook

Job growth is expected to be exceptionally strong for this profession. Growth between 2006 and 2016 was projected at 38%, far beyond the overall growth rate for job categories in general.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $20.33  $42,280
Median Salary  $33.85  $70,400
Highest 10%  $65.87  $137,210

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