Financial Analysts analyze investment opportunities and help individuals and companies decide where to invest their money. Sometimes Financial Analysts are called “Investment Analysts” or “Securities Analysts.”
Financial Analyst Requirements
Obviously, it takes some math skills to become a Financial Analyst, but it also takes good communication skills. Financial Analysts need to be able to explain complicated ideas to their clients, and they also often have to prepare written reports.
Financial Analysts must also be detail-oriented, be good decision makers, and have solid computer skills.
Education and Training — How to Become a Financial Analyst?
Many employers will require Financial Analysts to become licensed through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Aspiring Financial Analysts probably don’t need to worry about licensing until after they secure a job. Most licenses require an employer to sponsor the licensee.
Once you have at least four years of experience, you may want to get certified. To become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), you will need to have four years of experience, to hold a bachelor’s degree, and to pass three exams.
Financial Analyst Salary — How Much Do Financial Analysts Make?
In May of 2012, Financial Analysts made a median wage of $76,950. The lowest 10 percent made less than $47,130, with the upper 10 percent making upwards of $148,000. In 2012, about a third of Financial Analysts worked more than 40 hours per week (BLS).
Financial Analysts work for banks, securities firms, insurance companies, pension funds, and mutual funds.
Look for job titles like “Financial Research Analyst,” “Financial Sales Analyst,” “Portfolio Manager,” “Fund Manager,” “Risk Analyst,” “Rating Analyst,” and of course, sometimes just “Financial Analyst.”
If you’re looking for a Financial Analyst Career, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has good news for you. From 2012 to 2022, jobs for Financial Analysts are expected to grow by 16 percent. This is a faster than average growth rate.
Opportunities will be especially good for those Financial Analysts who are able to specialize in a region. In this global economy, companies are looking for Analysts who know the languages and cultures of other countries.
On the flipside, because Financial Analyst jobs generally pay well, expect tough competition in the applicant pool.