dcsimg

The task of determining the best way to allocate limited financial resources is a critical function for any type of successful business enterprise. The individuals who perform this function are called Budget Analysts. Analysts are found in a wide variety of business settings. Some work in private industry, while others work for nonprofit organizations or government agencies. Budget analysts have a key role in the development and execution of budgets. They are responsible for allocating existing resources as well as estimating future financial requirements.

Budget analysts provide value to organizations in a variety of ways; however, their most important function is to provide advice and technical assistance to firms in the preparation of annual budgets. Operational and financial plans generated by a corporation's management representatives need to be carefully reviewed by a budget analyst in light of funding needed for new initiatives along with capital expenditures needed to fund existing programs. For private firms, analysts primarily focus on efficiency and new ways to improve company profits. Those analysts who work for nonprofit organizations or government agencies are not usually concerned with profits, but still must seek out the most efficient distribution of organizational resources among a variety of programs and departments.

Responsibilities

Budget analysts comprise the centerpiece of an organization's annual budget cycle. At the outset of each budget cycle, the organization's managers and department heads submit proposed operational and financial plans to budget analysts for review. Within these plans are program outlines, estimates of each program's financial requirements, and propose funding initiatives to meet those requirements. The budget analyst will then conduct an initial review. Estimates are examined for accuracy, completeness, and conformance to organizational objectives and established procedures and regulations. The analyst conducts this examination using cost-benefit analyses, information on past budgets, and research into outside economic developments affecting the organization's ability to spend.

Once the initial review is completed, budget analysts consolidate individual departmental budgets into budget summaries which encapsulate the cases for or against funding requests. The summaries are then submitted to senior management, whose representatives, with the assistance of budget analysts, carefully scrutinize the proposals. Working together, the management reps and budget analysts devise alternatives to problems they encounter and achieve a finalized budget plan. The final decision to approve this budget is usually made by the organization head in a private firm, or by elected officials (e.g., legislators) in a government entity.

As the fiscal year unfolds, analysts monitor the budget by conducting periodic reviews of reports and accounting records in order to verify that allocated funds are being spent as specified. If discrepancies between the approved budget and the actual execution are found, budget analysts often explain the variations in writing and recommend revised procedures. These recommendations may include cuts to programs or a reallocation of excess funds. In addition, budget analysts perform assessments of the efficiency and effectiveness of new programs or existing ones which are being changed. While doing all these things, analysts continually keep program managers and others within the organization in the loop on the status and availability of funds in different accounts.

In addition to the work they do during the budget cycle, analysts are also often involved in long-range financial planning. In recent years, budget analysts have seen their role broadened even further, in response to widespread corporate and government downsizing caused by reduced funding. Analysts now are often involved in measuring organizational performance and assessing the effects of various corporate policies on the budget. Those who work for the government are sometimes involved in the drafting of budget-related legislation. In addition, budget analysts are occasionally called upon to conduct employee training sessions to inform personnel about new budget procedures.

To an increasing extent, budget analysts are relying heavily on computerized financial software to help them do their work. Database software, electronic spreadsheets, and word processing software have become powerful tools in the analysis of financial data. This technology has expanded the amount of data and information available to budget analysts and has enabled then to analyze more data than ever.

Job Characteristics

Work schedules tend to vary according to milestones in the yearly budget cycle. Periods of initial development, midyear reviews, and final reviews of budgets require long hours; during these periods it is not uncommon for budget analysts to work well in excess of 40 hours per week. The typical work environment for analysts is a comfortable one; they normally work in office settings. For some analysts, there is a certain amount of travel associated with the job, mostly to obtain first-hand information or verification of budget details.

Budget analysts spend a significant amount of their time working independently. There is a fair amount of stress that comes with the job, mostly in the form of tight work schedules and pressure to meet deadlines at certain times of year. In order to be a good budget analyst, a person needs not only mathematical skills but also the ability to communicate well orally and in writing, in order to present and defend budget proposals to decision makers. In addition, analysts must adhere to strict ethical standards at all times and must always display integrity, objectivity, and confidentiality in dealing with financial information. They must also have an ability to work under rigid time constraints.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL BLS) anticipates job growth in this field to progress about as fast as the average for all occupations over the upcoming decade. Both the public and private sectors will have a continued need for sound financial analysis during this span. Because of the continual importance of the financial analysis function throughout all phases of the yearly business cycle, budget analysts as a general rule tend to be less vulnerable to layoffs than workers in many other job categories.

In general, analysts holding advanced degrees beyond the bachelor level are expected to have the best job opportunities. Those who are familiar with spreadsheet, database, graphics, and financial-analysis computer software will also enjoy a distinctive edge in the job market. As time goes on, it is expected that the role of budget analyst will continue to expand in many organizations to encompass such functions as performance evaluation and policy analysis, which will make the budget analyst even more valuable to the organization.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Candidates for budget analyst jobs need at least a bachelor's degree, although a master's degree is required for some jobs and preferred nearly everywhere. There are occasional circumstances where a sufficient amount of relevant work experience can be substituted for formal education. Degree majors can be in accounting, business, finance, public administration, economics, political science, statistics, or sociology. For jobs in certain firms, a degree major in a field closely related to that of the employing organization (e.g., engineering) may be preferred. Regardless of the degree major, coursework in accounting and statistics are always helpful due to the strong quantitative and analytical skills required for the profession.

Once employed, budget analysts typically receive a fair amount of on-the-job training to learn their craft. Analysts in many organizations, including the Federal Government, also receive extensive classroom training. Familiarization with the steps involved in the budgeting process is typically achieved by an entry-level analyst working through a complete one-year budget cycle. Many government analysts seek out the prestigious Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) designation granted by the Association of Government Accountants. To earn this certification, an analyst must hold a bachelor's degree and also 24 credit-hours of financial management coursework and two years of government work experience in financial management. They must also pass a series of three exams covering topics related to the government and government financial management. The certification must be renewed every two years and during every two-year interval, analysts must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education in order to renew the certification.

Resources

Major Employers

Nearly half of all budget analysts work in the public sector for either the Federal Government or governments at the state or local level. Other major employers of budget analysts include schools; financial, scientific, or management services; and the manufacturing industry.

Schools for Budget Analysts are listed in the column to the left.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Budget Analysts

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Budget Analysts jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Huntsville 390 $84,840
Hoover 150 $76,090
Birmingham 150 $76,090
Montgomery 120 $54,850
Mobile 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 130 $75,430
Fairbanks 50 $72,170
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 770 $66,000
Scottsdale 770 $66,000
Mesa 770 $66,000
Tucson 130 $59,680
Sierra Vista 60 $72,540
Douglas 60 $72,540
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 260 $58,200
North Little Rock 260 $58,200
Little Rock 260 $58,200
Pine Bluff 30 $54,450
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 3050 $87,290
Los Angeles 3050 $87,290
Anaheim 3050 $87,290
San Francisco 1010 $83,850
Hayward 1010 $83,850
Oakland 1010 $83,850
San Diego 650 $77,910
Carlsbad 650 $77,910
Arcade 620 $68,580
Arden 620 $68,580
Roseville 620 $68,580
Sacramento 620 $68,580
San Bernardino 460 $61,350
Riverside 460 $61,350
Ontario 460 $61,350
San Jose 400 $88,190
Santa Clara 400 $88,190
Sunnyvale 400 $88,190
Oxnard 220 $61,350
Ventura 220 $61,350
Thousand Oaks 220 $61,350
Bakersfield 130 $78,180
Santa Maria 120 $79,950
Santa Barbara 120 $79,950
Fresno 80 $66,190
Visalia 60 $55,110
Porterville 60 $55,110
Salinas 60 $80,650
Modesto 50 $68,860
Vallejo 50 $83,100
Fairfield 50 $83,100
Santa Rosa 40 $75,630
Stockton 40 $76,870
Lodi 40 $76,870
Yuba City 30 $64,180
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 670 $77,880
Lakewood 670 $77,880
Denver 670 $77,880
Colorado Springs 200 $72,230
Boulder 100 $70,260
Fort Collins 40 $73,330
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 630 $83,470
West Hartford 630 $83,470
Hartford 630 $83,470
New Haven 60 $83,660
Norwalk N/A $87,230
Stamford N/A $87,230
Bridgeport N/A $87,230
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 50 $58,340
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 750 $61,440
West Palm Beach 750 $61,440
Fort Lauderdale 750 $61,440
Tampa 410 $72,570
St. Petersburg 410 $72,570
Clearwater 410 $72,570
Tallahassee 230 $52,150
Jacksonville 210 $59,520
Sanford 200 $62,410
Orlando 200 $62,410
Kissimmee 200 $62,410
Crestview 150 $68,320
Fort Walton Beach 150 $68,320
Destin 150 $68,320
Titusville 130 $77,460
Palm Bay 130 $77,460
Melbourne 130 $77,460
Gainesville 120 $57,490
Daytona Beach 60 $51,860
Deltona 60 $51,860
Ormond Beach 60 $51,860
North Port 50 $56,180
Bradenton 50 $56,180
Sarasota 50 $56,180
Winter Haven 40 $57,110
Lakeland 40 $57,110
Fort Myers 40 $59,890
Cape Coral 40 $59,890
Pensacola 40 $61,020
Ferry Pass 40 $61,020
Brent 40 $61,020
Naples 40 $61,730
Marco Island 40 $61,730
Immokalee 40 $61,730
Panama City 30 $64,420
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 1050 $72,190
Atlanta 1050 $72,190
Sandy Springs 1050 $72,190
Savannah 60 $66,360
Athens 40 $47,110
Clarke County 40 $47,110
Macon 40 $48,680
Hinesville 40 $70,190
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 280 $75,210
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 100 $62,850
Idaho Falls N/A $72,240
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 60 $53,800
Peoria N/A $38,960
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 190 $60,090
Anderson 190 $60,090
Carmel 190 $60,090
West Lafayette 30 $61,010
Lafayette 30 $61,010
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 140 $75,220
Des Moines 140 $75,220
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 50 $58,090
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elizabethtown 100 $62,480
Fort Knox 100 $62,480
Fayette 80 $62,530
Lexington 80 $62,530
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 170 $61,280
Metairie 120 $64,430
New Orleans 120 $64,430
Bossier City 60 $66,370
Shreveport 60 $66,370
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 60 $62,250
Portland 60 $62,250
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 1260 $75,720
Columbia 1260 $75,720
Baltimore 1260 $75,720
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lansing 960 $67,880
East Lansing 960 $67,880
Dearborn 690 $85,320
Warren 690 $85,320
Detroit 690 $85,320
Ann Arbor 60 $74,850
Grand Rapids 50 $67,890
Wyoming 50 $67,890
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 100 $44,320
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jefferson City 60 $52,210
Columbia 40 $55,430
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 40 $24,310
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 130 $56,490
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 170 $64,430
Henderson 170 $64,430
Las Vegas 170 $64,430
Carson City 60 $64,630
Reno 50 $75,570
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 310 $72,950
Hammonton 50 $60,160
Atlantic City 50 $60,160
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 240 $70,270
Santa Fe 50 $51,290
Las Cruces 50 $68,320
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 490 $66,350
Troy 490 $66,350
Schenectady 490 $66,350
Rochester 130 $69,110
Niagara Falls 130 $70,030
Buffalo 130 $70,030
Cheektowaga 130 $70,030
Ithaca 60 $71,730
Syracuse N/A $67,550
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayetteville 220 $77,160
Raleigh 190 $67,600
Chapel Hill 130 $72,300
Durham 130 $72,300
High Point 60 $62,690
Greensboro 60 $62,690
Asheville 40 $50,020
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 410 $77,510
Elyria 290 $69,950
Cleveland 290 $69,950
Dayton 170 $73,850
Akron 40 $65,710
Toledo 30 $63,400
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 410 $68,730
Tulsa 170 $59,560
Lawton 50 $68,310
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 240 $70,020
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carlisle 290 $63,230
Harrisburg 290 $63,230
Pittsburgh 270 $62,860
Hanover 50 $63,810
York 50 $63,810
Hazleton 40 $70,520
Wilkes 40 $70,520
Scranton 40 $70,520
Barre 40 $70,520
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 380 $39,000
Carolina 380 $39,000
San Juan 380 $39,000
Isabela 150 $50,360
Aguadilla 150 $50,360
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 200 $58,080
Charleston 200 $58,080
Mauldin 190 $48,710
Greenville 190 $48,710
Anderson 190 $48,710
Columbia 90 $68,310
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 40 $65,320
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 190 $61,600
Murfreesboro 190 $61,600
Davidson 190 $61,600
Nashville 190 $61,600
Knoxville 60 $60,160
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 1270 $80,470
Fort Worth 1270 $80,470
Dallas 1270 $80,470
The Woodlands 1070 $79,020
Houston 1070 $79,020
Sugar Land 1070 $79,020
Austin 770 $63,420
Round Rock 770 $63,420
New Braunfels 770 $71,210
San Antonio 770 $71,210
El Paso 120 $61,710
Killeen 90 $66,370
Temple 90 $66,370
Waco 80 $60,730
Lubbock 40 $59,040
Beaumont 30 $62,080
Port Arthur 30 $62,080
College Station N/A $63,490
Bryan N/A $63,490
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 160 $68,560
Clearfield 120 $77,220
Ogden 120 $77,220
Provo 50 $72,680
Orem 50 $72,680
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 30 $58,090
Burlington 30 $58,090
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 480 $69,130
Charlottesville 90 $68,440
Roanoke 30 $61,130
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 1180 $75,670
Tacoma 1180 $75,670
Seattle 1180 $75,670
Tumwater 140 $65,530
Olympia 140 $65,530
Spokane Valley 80 $63,630
Spokane 80 $63,630
Richland 40 $97,380
Kennewick 40 $97,380
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 50 $53,170
Morgantown 50 $54,540
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 50 $62,470

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Budget Analysts

To find out more about building a career as Budget Analysts, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Budget Analysts

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 25,240 40% $63,350
Education 8,000 12% $57,940
Professional And Technical Services 6,980 11% $70,650
Business Management 4,520 7% $70,460
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 4,310 6% $71,050
Electronics And Computer 1,780 2% $74,090
Insurance 1,520 2% $68,670
Telecommunications 1,050 1% $66,390
Hospital 1,040 1% $61,650
Office Services And Staffing 950 1% $67,460
Banking And Credit 670 1% $63,570
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
Programs
  • MS in Finance
  • Saint Xavier University, Chicago’s oldest Catholic university, has a long history of educating students to prepare them for professional success and lay the foundation for personal fulfillment.

Programs
  • Business Administration - Finance (BS) (Online)
  • Business Administration - Accounting (BS) (Online)
  • Welcome to Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs
  • BA Consumer and Family Financial Services
  • BA Sports and Recreation Management - Finance
  • BA Finance
  • Become the leader you know you can be. The Forbes School of Business & TechnologyÒat Ashford University

Programs
  • Financial Management - PhD in Bus. Admin.
  • Financial Management - D.B.A.
  • Advanced Accounting - PhD in Bus. Admin.
  • Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs
  • MBA - Finance/Accounting
  • What They’re Known For

    Founded in 1946 and located in the heart of central New York, Utica College is a regionally accredited, independent, private institution that features many of the advantages of a large university — such as undergraduate and graduate degree options, excellent academics, and outstanding faculty — with the intimacy and high degree of personal attention more closely associated with smaller private institutions.

Programs
  • Business Management and Accounting
  • Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.
camnpus icon
Panorama City
Request Info
Programs
  • Business Management & Accounting (AAS)
  • Accounting (BS)
  • Congratulations! Your interest in Independence University is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

Programs
  • Master of Arts in Economics - Applied Economics
  • Change the World with American University

    Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Programs
  • Accounting - Bachelor's
  • Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

     

Programs
  • Accounting
  • You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

    For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

camnpus icon
Clovis
Request Info
CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Budget Analysts.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top