Financial Analyst Salary Guide

Updated September 27, 2022 · 5 Min Read

Financial analysts salary averages exceed the national average wage. Explore what factors influence these professionals' earnings and how targeted career decisions can pay off.

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Financial analysts have a major influence on how individuals and organizations invest and grow their money. The Financial Services Global Market Report 2022 projects the financial services market to surpass $37 trillion by 2026, a compound annual growth rate of 9.6%. Ever-evolving markets and complex regulatory environments have increased the demand for these professionals in the investment world.

The salaries financial analysts earn vary depending on their credentials, experience, skills, location, and industry. Here, we explore how these factors can impact a financial analyst salary and what type of earnings these professionals can expect.

How Much Do Financial Analysts Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights considerable variation in financial analyst salaries. These professionals often receive wages based on their fees and the returns on their managed funds. While the median annual salary for financial analysts was $95,570 in 2021, the top 10% of these workers averaged earnings higher than $166,560 per year.

A financial analyst's specialization and industry can impact earning potential, as not all professionals work in the most lucrative sectors. Other factors that influence wages include education, experience, and location, which we explore in more detail below.

$95,570
Financial Analysts
Median Annual Salary, 2021

Source: BLS

Salary by Education

According to the BLS, higher levels of education correlate with higher salaries and lower unemployment rates. Because more advanced degrees tend to provide in-depth, specialized knowledge, graduates of these programs often qualify for higher-level positions with more responsibilities — jobs that typically come with higher salaries.

While professionals typically need a bachelor's degree at minimum to become a financial analyst, a master's degree or other credentials may be preferred. Highly trained and credentialed financial analysts usually have more opportunities to manage large portfolios and funds, which directly impacts their earnings.

Further training, however, does not appeal to everyone. Financial analysts need to determine if higher salaries justify the additional costs and time associated with pursuing advanced education. Other options, like the chartered financial analyst credential, do not require a graduate degree and may provide similar upward mobility.

The following table provides average salaries for professionals with various finance degrees and certifications. This data is not specific to financial analysts.

Salary by Experience

Professional experience usually leads to more career opportunities and higher earning potential. Over time, financial analysts typically develop financial regulation fluency, stronger analytical capabilities, and better customer service skills. Experience also tends to improve job performance, which can result in raises or bonuses.

The following table illustrates how experience impacts the average annual financial analyst salary. The largest jump comes between average early career and midcareer wages — $8,000 higher — which likely reflects when financial analysts begin taking on more responsibility and managing larger portfolios.

Salary by Location

Location also affects financial analyst salaries. According to the BLS, regional demand and high costs of living drive wages up. As a result, urban areas with denser populations typically offer higher financial analyst salaries. However, rural regions can buck this trend, as evident with the state of Wyoming.

Consider these factors when evaluating location-based wages. The tables below highlight states with the highest average annual financial analyst salaries and their respective employment numbers.

Top-Paying States for Financial Analysts, 2021
State Number of Financial Analysts Employed Average Annual Salary
New York 49,620 $131,690
Alaska 270 $127,030
Connecticut 5,680 $114,440
District of Columbia 4,350 $112,820
Wyoming 50 $112,510

Source: BLS

Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Financial Analysts, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Financial Analysts Employed Average Annual Salary
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 2,670 $135,620
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 51,070 $133,640
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 4,060 $132,820
Anchorage, AK 170 $131,670
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL 120 $127,710

Source: BLS

Where Should I Work as a Financial Analyst?

The BLS projects the addition of more than 31,000 new financial analyst positions between 2021 and 2031. This field typically evolves alongside the country's economic activity, growing as new business and markets emerge.

Demand varies by location, with some regions creating more opportunities than others. Population increases, business expansions, and cost of living can all affect career growth projections. An area's emerging markets can also impact job growth as the demand for financial analysts with knowledge of that region and market increases.

+9%
Financial Analysts
Change in Projected Employment, 2021-2031

Source: BLS

Best Areas

Organizations within the same industry tend to cluster together so they can share resources and increase productivity. For example, industries like the financial services sector typically center in populous areas, making it easier for clientele to reach them.

Financial services also congregate in regions with high business density. Since financial analysts typically meet directly with their clients, establishing headquarters in a metropolitan location can reduce work-related travel.

According to a 2020 survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, however, many U.S. financial services firms are committed to integrating more remote work into their operations in the future. This could change the way financial analysts work and where they tend to live.

When determining where to seek financial analyst employment, consider areas with significant projected growth. For example, states like Utah and Arizona host increasing populations and burgeoning financial services sectors, which will create numerous job opportunities for financial analysts.

In the tables below, we spotlight the states and metropolitan areas with the largest and fastest-growing financial analyst workforces in the nation. In addition to the number of working financial analysts and job openings, consider how location affects cost of living and job market competition.

Top-Employing States for Financial Analysts, 2021
State Number of Financial Analysts Employed Average Annual Salary
New York 49,620 $131,690
California 35,360 $108,060
Texas 23,820 $89,020
Illinois 14,920 $103,870
Florida 13,160 $93,450

Source: BLS

States With the Greatest Projected Increase in Employment for Financial and Investment Analysts, 2020-30
State Percentage Projected Change, 2020-30 Average Annual Openings
Greatest Projected Percentage Increase
Utah 26.7% 560
Arizona 22.2% 810
Texas 21.2% 3,950
Florida 19.7% 2,350
Tennessee 18.7% 980
Most Projected Average Annual Openings
New York 10.2% 5,670
California 14.9% 5,610
Texas 21.2% 3,950
Florida 19.7% 2,350
Illinois 6.1% 1,860

Source: Projections Central

Top-Employing Metropolitan Areas for Financial Analysts, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Financial Analysts Employed Average Annual Salary
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 51,070 $133,640
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 12,680 $107,490
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 11,760 $97,150
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-VA-MD-WV 11,440 $109,700
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 10,270 $105,750

Source: BLS

Best Industries

A financial analyst's industry can change how and where they work, along with how much they make. According to the BLS, certain industries pay financial analysts considerably more than the median annual salary for the field due to factors like demand and industry size.

Some industries pay higher wages because they may require financial analysts to hold specialized skills and industry knowledge. This can be seen in the water and sewage systems, petroleum and coal manufacturing, and pipeline transportation industries in the tables below.

When choosing an industry, aspiring financial analysts should consider what skills the field requires and how job responsibilities differ from other industries.

Top-Paying Industries for Financial Analysts, 2021
Industry Number of Financial Analysts Employed Average Annual Salary
Other Information Services 1,810 $126,240
Water, Sewage, and Other Systems 40 $124,320
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities 74,650 $124,020
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing 120 $122,070
Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil 60 $121,210

Source: BLS

Top-Employing Industries for Financial Analysts, 2021
Industry Number of Financial Analysts Employed Average Annual Salary
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities 74,650 $124,020
Management of Companies and Enterprises 37,700 $95,460
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 and 5223 only) 26,010 $100,250
Insurance Carriers 13,130 $102,170
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 12,500 $107,700

Source: BLS

Questions About Financial Analyst Average Salary

Do financial analysts get paid well?

According to the BLS, the median annual financial analyst salary was $95,570 as of 2021. This exceeds the median annual salary for all occupations — $58,260 — by more than $35,000.

What is the highest salary of a financial analyst?

According to the BLS, the top 10% of financial analysts made more than $166,560 per year as of 2021. In the top-paying industry, information services, the average annual salary for financial analysts was $126,240.

Where is the best state to work as a financial analyst?

By both salary and projected employment growth, New York is the top state for financial analysts. According to the BLS, professionals there made an average annual salary of $131,690 in 2021, and Projections Central data projects 5,670 new positions between 2020 and 2030. Other states with high salaries include Alaska and Connecticut, while California and Texas are also among the states projected to add the most new financial analysts.

What is the best industry to work in as a financial analyst?

According to the BLS, the securities industry has the largest workforce for financial analysts. The information services sector pays the highest average financial analyst salary as of 2021.

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