Financial analysts use their expertise in finance and markets to guide companies and individuals on how to make wise investment-related decisions. Financial analysts can work in several different capacities, focusing on buy-side or sell-side investments, or taking on specific roles as portfolio managers, fund managers, ratings analysts, and risk analysts.
Financial analysts are in demand, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of these professionals may grow by 6% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than average. This guide offers much more information about employment trends and financial analyst salary expectations, so keep reading to learn more.
HOW MUCH DO FINANCIAL ANALYSTS MAKE?
Exactly how much does a financial analyst make? The average salary of a financial analyst is about $85,660 each year, according to BLS data. Keep in mind that several factors determine a financial analyst’s earnings. A professional’s education level, how much experience they have obtained, and location all affect salary.
Experience is one of the more significant factors affecting salaries. An experienced employee picks up advanced skills and knowledge over time, and they can help by mentoring younger professionals. The table below shows that experience level can increase a financial analyst’s salary by about $17,000.
Salary by Degree
Many degrees can lead to a career in finance, including economics, accounting, mathematics, and statistics, but a major in finance can specifically prepare graduates for financial analyst jobs. Therefore, this table focuses on master’s and bachelor’s degrees in finance, emphasizing the full range of salaries for people who hold specific degrees, not just the average earnings.
Median Salary: $73,000
Median Salary: $101,000
Another way to increase your earning potential is moving up the career ladder by landing a promotion. Financial analysts can advance to positions as senior financial analysts, financial controllers, or finance managers. The table below displays the salaries for experienced individuals in each of these positions.
|POTENTIAL NEXT STEP||SALARY|
|Senior Financial Analyst||$79,000|
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What Are the Top States for Financial Analyst Pay?
Financial analyst salaries also depend on location. This table lists the top states for financial analysts and the median salaries for each state. Unsurprisingly, New York, home to Wall Street and one of the most important financial capitals of the world, is a great place for financial analysts.
- WYOMINGAnnual Mean Wage: $139,660
- NEW YORKAnnual Mean Wage: $137,270
- CALIFORNIAAnnual Mean Wage: $109,640
- COLORADOAnnual Mean Wage: $109,120
- NEW JERSEYAnnual Mean Wage: $106,100
This table shows the top industries for financial analysts relating to their pay, according to the BLS. The highest-paying industries may seem surprising, with the grantmaking and mining industries topping the list. The annual mean wage for these two industries exceeds $130,000. Several industries pay financial analysts over $100,000, as shown below.
|INDUSTRY||ANNUAL MEAN WAGE|
|Grantmaking and Giving Services||$137,170|
|Support Activities for Mining||$134,600|
|Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities||$130,360|
|Health and Personal Care Stores||$114,160|
|Federal Executive Branch||$110,210|
ARE FINANCIAL ANALYSTS IN DEMAND?
Historical Career Growth
BLS data shows that the number of financial analysts has steadily risen over the past few years. The states with the highest employment of financial analysts remained the same over these years too: New York, California, Texas, and Illinois.
Number of Financial Analysts Employed Across the U.S., According to BLS:
- 2016: 281,610
- 2017: 294,110
- 2018: 306,200
Future Career Growth
Short- and long-term employment projections show very different numbers for financial analysts. Projections Central, a federally-funded website, estimates that from 2018 to 2020, the number of financial analysts may stay flat or grow up to 7.3%, depending on the state. In contrast, long-term projections from 2016 to 2026 show the occupation could grow by over 20% in eight different states.
Top States for Job Growth
Long term projections show that job growth for financial analysts may expand the most quickly in western states. With the exception of Tennessee, all states listed below have experienced the greatest population increase in recent years, according to the Census Bureau.
- Utah: 27.3% change from 2016-2026
- Arizona: 23.9% change from 2016-2026
- Tennessee: 23.4% change from 2016-2026
- Colorado: 22.9% change from 2016-2026
- Washington: 21.6% change from 2016-2026
HOW DO FINANCIAL ANALYSTS COMPARE TO OTHER ACCOUNTING CAREERS?
Several other finance-related occupations require knowledge and skills similar to analyst positions. For example, personal financial advisors guide individuals on how to invest their money wisely. But they also help clients with every aspect of their financial lives, including creating budgets and planning for college or retirement funds.
Financial managers also advise companies on how to invest money, but on top of that, they direct everything relating to money at companies and organizations. The BLS provides salary information and job growth projections for these occupations. Take a look at the data comparisons below.
|JOB TITLE||MEDIAN SALARY||PROJECTED JOB GROWTH (2018-28)|
|Personal Financial Advisor||$88,890||7%|
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LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL ANALYST SALARIES AND JOB GROWTH
- Projections CentralThis website operates with funding from the federal government to show both long-term and short-term projections for various occupations. Users can also learn about data specific to their home states.
- BLS Occupational Outlook HandbookThe BLS occupational outlook handbook offers a wealth of information about different occupations. For example, readers can find out about job responsibilities and salary information. They can also learn what degree or certifications they need to qualify for a job.
- PayScalePayScale collects data to create salary estimates for hundreds of occupations. The website even breaks down this information by experience level and educational attainment, so workers know what to expect from their earnings at every stage of their career.
- InvestopediaThis online encyclopedia offers information for anything finance related. The website publishes an entire guide for financial analyst careers, breaking down information about salary expectations, job growth, and daily responsibilities.
- Robert HalfThis company began providing staffing and employment services over half a century ago. Today, the company also produces data-informed guides and advice about various occupations. Robert Half publishes an accounting and finance salary guide, as well.
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