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Become A Budget And Policy Analyst

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Working As A Budget And Policy Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Budget And Policy 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.

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How To Become A Budget And Policy 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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Do you work as a Budget And Policy Analyst?

Average Yearly Salary
$84,000
Show Salaries
$51,000
Min 10%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$137,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Colorado Department of Revenue
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.4 years
How much does a Budget And Policy Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Budget And Policy Analyst in the United States is $84,509 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $51,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $137,000.

Real Budget And Policy Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Budget and Policy Analyst World Resources Institute Washington, DC Oct 15, 2016 $85,000 -
$95,000
Budget/Policy Analyst & Compliance Supervisor Raphacare Services Inc. Dallas, TX Aug 31, 2016 $73,045
Budget & Policy Analyst Mark's Bookkeeping Services New York, NY Sep 11, 2015 $66,061
Budget and Policy Analyst CAFE & Wine Bar 31 Inc. New York, NY Jul 08, 2015 $63,066
Budget & Policy Analyst First Image Design Corp Great Neck, NY Sep 03, 2015 $61,086
Budget and Policy Analyst Disons Gems, Inc. New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $60,000
Budget and Policy Analyst University of Massachusetts Boston Boston, MA Jun 06, 2012 $60,000
Budget and Policy Analyst JV Logic, Inc. Doral, FL Oct 01, 2012 $60,000
Budget and Policy Analyst JV Logic, Inc. Doral, FL Oct 01, 2009 $60,000
Budget and Policy Analyst 3S Network, Inc. Dallas, TX Oct 01, 2014 $58,718
Budget and Policy Analyst JV Logic, Inc. Doral, FL Oct 01, 2009 $56,000
Digital Agency's Budget and Policy Analyst Flying Croco, LLC Pacific Grove, CA Oct 01, 2012 $55,000
Digital Agency's Budget and Policy Analyst Flying Croco LLC Pacific Grove, CA Oct 01, 2012 $55,000
Budget and Policy Analyst GSG Consultants, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 10, 2015 $54,800
Budget and Policy Analyst GSG Consultants, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 17, 2014 $54,800
Budget and Policy Analyst Multilingual Psychotherapy Centers, Inc. West Palm Beach, FL Dec 08, 2016 $54,408
Budget and Policy Analyst CAFE & Wine Bar 31 Inc. New York, NY Sep 22, 2015 $54,000

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Top Skills for A Budget And Policy Analyst

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Department Budget
  3. Capital Budget Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Review financial statements and analyze revenues, and cost expenditures for the Disability Determination Bureau.
  • Created the first spreadsheet version of the Colorado State department budget (the "long bill").
  • Researched, analyzed, and made budget recommendations for operating and capital budget development and execution.
  • Analyzed and made recommendations on new programs and their funding for 10 state agencies' annual budget proposals.
  • Staffed cross-agency team to develop Medicaid reimbursement processes for school districts.

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Top 10 Best States for Budget And Policy Analysts

  1. Colorado
  2. Alaska
  3. Minnesota
  4. Virginia
  5. Massachusetts
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Maryland
  9. Utah
  10. North Dakota
  • (108 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (586 jobs)
  • (180 jobs)
  • (258 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (302 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)

Budget And Policy Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

47.1%

Female

43.8%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Black or African American

14.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

8.4%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.5%

German

25.0%

Russian

25.0%

Belarusian

12.5%
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Budget And Policy Analyst Education

Schools

University of Wisconsin Extension

14.9%

Florida State University

10.6%

Georgia State University

8.5%

New York University

6.4%

University of Louisville

6.4%

Brown University

4.3%

Colorado Heights University

4.3%

American University

4.3%

Auburn University

4.3%

University of Washington

4.3%

University of North Texas

4.3%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.3%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

4.3%

Pfeiffer University

4.3%

Columbia University

4.3%

Winthrop University

2.1%

DeVry University-Illinois

2.1%

Syracuse University

2.1%

Touro University

2.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.1%
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Majors

Public Administration

17.1%

Business

14.4%

Finance

13.5%

Accounting

9.9%

Political Science

9.0%

Economics

7.2%

Law

4.5%

Health Care Administration

3.6%

Public Policy Analysis

3.6%

Natural Resources Management

2.7%

International Business

1.8%

Urban Planning

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

International Relations

1.8%

Public Relations

1.8%

Clinical Psychology

1.8%

Sociology

0.9%

Landscape Architecture

0.9%

Management

0.9%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

67.2%

Bachelors

20.9%

Doctorate

6.0%

Other

5.2%

Certificate

0.7%
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