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Financial analysts assist with the preparation of weekly, monthly and quarterly financial analysis schedules of actual versus budget variances. They prepare detailed annual financial budget and monthly financial forecasts and provide financial analysis support to various areas of the company. As part of their duties, they evaluate current and historical data, study economic and business trends study a company’s financial statements and analyze commodity prices, sales, costs, expenses, and tax rates to determine a company’s value by projecting the company’s future earnings.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a financial analyst in Boston is $78,000. That’s 14 percent higher than the national average pay for a financial analyst. Similar jobs in Boston include contract financial analysts, averaging $51,000; associate financial analysts who earn $56,000; business financial analysts who average $73,000; and private equity financial analysts who top the ledger at $91,000.
According to PayScale Inc., popular employers for financial analysts include International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Wells Fargo Bank, and Siemens. Popular industries include financial services, healthcare, banking, aerospace and defense, and investment banking. Sixty-three percent of financial analysts are men and 56 percent have between one and four years of experience.
Education requirements for financial analysts are a bachelor’s degree, although individuals with advanced degrees, such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Science in Finance, substantially boost their earning potential.
While a bachelor’s degree (usually in a finance-related field) is required, many financial analysts also earn master’s degrees in finance or business administration and take additional financial analyst courses. Many in the field opt to become certified financial analysts, and employers often sponsor various certification and licensing programs. You’ll get a leg up by obtaining a certification, such as becoming a chartered financial analyst, or taking advanced courses in subjects related to your specialty. The ambitious can look forward to taking on larger responsibilities and advancing to supervisory positions. The best of the best may go on to become fund managers.
Education requirements for billing manager positions are surprisingly minimal, with many employers requiring no more than an associate degree. Sometimes, an employer will hire someone who has no college degree at all, provided they have prior professional experience as a bill or account collector. They must possess strong math and computer skills. Financial analysts are expected to exhibit excellent reporting, financial, and forecasting skills, as well as the ability to inform others. They should possess advanced abilities in financial diagnosis, financial software, statistical analysis, process improvement, financial planning, and strategy.
Job opportunities abound for financial analysts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of financial analysts is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than all other occupations. A growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regions are expected to lead to strong employment growth.