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Working as a Budget Analyst

What Does a Budget Analyst Do

Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending.

Duties

Budget analysts typically do the following:

  • Work with program and project managers to develop the organization's budget
  • Review managers' budget proposals for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with laws and other regulations
  • Combine all the program and department budgets together into a consolidated organizational budget and review all funding requests for merit
  • Explain their recommendations for funding requests to others in the organization, legislators, and the public
  • Help the chief operations officer, agency head, or other top managers analyze proposed plans and find alternatives if the projected results are unsatisfactory
  • Monitor organizational spending to ensure that it is within budget
  • Inform program managers of the status and availability of funds
  • Estimate future financial needs

Budget analysts advise various institutions—including governments, universities, and businesses—on how to organize their finances. They prepare annual and special reports and evaluate budget proposals. They analyze data to determine the costs and benefits of various programs and recommend funding levels based on their findings. Although elected officials (in government) or top executives (in a private company) usually make the final decision on an organization's budget, they rely on the work of budget analysts to prepare the information for that decision.

Sometimes, budget analysts use cost-benefit analyses to review financial requests, assess program tradeoffs, and explore alternative funding methods. Budget analysts also may examine past budgets and research economic and financial developments that affect the organization's income and expenditures. Budget analysts may recommend program spending cuts or redistributing extra funds.

Throughout the year, budget analysts oversee spending to ensure compliance with the budget and determine whether changes to funding levels are needed for certain programs. Analysts also evaluate programs to determine whether they are producing the desired results.

In addition to providing technical analysis, budget analysts must effectively communicate their recommendations to officials within the organization. For example, if there is a difference between the approved budget and actual spending, budget analysts may write a report explaining the variations and recommend changes to reconcile the differences.

Budget analysts working in government attend committee hearings to explain their recommendations to legislators. Occasionally, budget analysts may evaluate how well a program is doing, provide policy analysis, and draft budget-related legislation.

How To Become a Budget Analyst

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a budget analyst, although some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

Education

Employers generally require budget analysts to have at least a bachelor's degree. However, some employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree. Because developing a budget requires strong numerical and analytical skills, courses in statistics or accounting are helpful. Federal, state, and local governments have varying requirements, but usually require a bachelor's degree in one of many areas, such as accounting, finance, business, public administration, economics, statistics, political science, or sociology.

Sometimes, budget-related or finance-related work experience can be substituted for formal education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Government budget analysts may earn the Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accountants. To earn this certification, candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, 24 credit hours of study in financial management, 2 years of professional-level experience in governmental financial management, and they must pass a series of exams. To keep the certification, budget analysts must take 80 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

Advancement

Entry-level budget analysts begin with limited responsibilities, but advancement is common. As analysts gain experience, they have the opportunity to advance to intermediate and senior budget analyst positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Budget analysts must be able to process a variety of information, evaluate costs and benefits, and solve complex problems.

Communication skills. Budget analysts need strong communication skills because they often have to explain and defend their analyses and recommendations in meetings and legislative committee hearings.

Detail oriented. Creating an efficient budget requires careful analysis of each budget item.

Math skills. Most budget analysts need math skills and should be able to use certain software, including spreadsheets, database functions, and financial analysis programs.

Writing skills. Budget analysts must present technical information in writing that is understandable for the intended audience.

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Average Salary$57,621
Job Growth Rate4%

Budget Analyst Jobs

Budget Analyst Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Budget Analyst. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Budget Analyst Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Budget Analyst resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Budget Analyst Career Paths

Top Careers Before Budget Analyst

Top Careers After Budget Analyst

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Average Salary for a Budget Analyst

Budget Analysts in America make an average salary of $57,621 per year or $28 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $71,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $46,000 per year.
Average Salary
$57,621

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range67k - 95k$80k$80,340
Salary Range66k - 92k$78k$78,323
Salary Range60k - 84k$72k$71,506
Salary Range59k - 84k$71k$71,220
Salary Range55k - 75k$65k$64,754
Salary Range52k - 74k$63k$62,962
$40k
$95k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Budget Analyst
Budget Analyst
Idaho Division of Human Resources
Idaho Division of Human Resources
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$46,57510/30/2020
$46,575
Budget Analyst
Budget Analyst
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$36,46810/30/2020
$36,468
Budget Analyst
Budget Analyst
State of Florida
State of Florida
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$36,46810/30/2020
$36,468
Budget Analyst IV
Budget Analyst IV
Broward County Public Schools
Broward County Public Schools
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$64,61710/29/2020
$64,617
Budget Analyst
Budget Analyst
National Park Service
National Park Service
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$48,36810/29/2020
$48,368
See More Recent Salaries

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Budget Analyst Demographics

Gender

female

51.2%

male

43.6%

unknown

5.2%

Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Black or African American

16.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.6%

French

11.0%

Mandarin

7.7%
See More Demographics

Budget Analyst Education

Majors

Finance
15.8%

Degrees

Bachelors

48.2%

Masters

36.6%

Associate

6.2%

Top Colleges for Budget Analysts

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Tuition and fees
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY

Tuition and fees
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Tuition and fees
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

Tuition and fees
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA

Tuition and fees
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. Boston University

Boston, MA

Tuition and fees
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY

Tuition and fees
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

10. New York University

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Budget Analyst

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Budget Analyst

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.6% of budget analysts listed financial statements on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and math skills are important as well.

  • Financial Statements, 12.6%
  • Financial Management, 9.3%
  • Budget Analysis, 5.5%
  • Budget Execution, 4.4%
  • Budget Formulation, 3.6%
  • Other Skills, 64.6%
  • See All Budget Analyst Skills

Best States For a Budget Analyst

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a budget analyst. The best states for people in this position are Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and California. Budget analysts make the most in Maryland with an average salary of $71,007. Whereas in Virginia and West Virginia, they would average $70,746 and $70,177, respectively. While budget analysts would only make an average of $69,573 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Virginia

Total Budget Analyst Jobs:
797
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
2.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. District of Columbia

Total Budget Analyst Jobs:
273
Highest 10% Earn:
$110,000
Location Quotient:
3.58
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Maryland

Total Budget Analyst Jobs:
438
Highest 10% Earn:
$98,000
Location Quotient:
1.92
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Budget Analyst Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a budget analyst. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless budget analyst resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Budget Analyst Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless budget analyst resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Budget Analyst Employers

1. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Budget Analysts Hired: 
187+
2. United States Department of Defense
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$49,096
Budget Analysts Hired: 
99+
3. U.S. Navy
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$53,690
Budget Analysts Hired: 
44+
4. Northrop Grumman
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$77,082
Budget Analysts Hired: 
43+
5. Johns Hopkins University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$49,142
Budget Analysts Hired: 
40+
6. US MARINE CORPS
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$57,440
Budget Analysts Hired: 
31+

Budget Analyst Videos

Recently Added Budget Analyst Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020