Budget Analysts

Career, Salary and Education Information

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a budget analyst with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Budget Analyst Jobs

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst - The Autism Therapy Group - Wauconda, IL

    Part-time BCBAs are eligible for a sign on bonus of $500 after 3 months. The Autism Therapy Group offers a reimbursement on mileage, an annual

  • INL Budget Analyst - Prime Source Technologies, LLC - Washington, DC

    INL/AME has substantial resources in program accounts that require such Presidential Determinations and

  • Budget Analyst - Other Agencies and Independent Organizations - Washington, DC

    The Gallery is administered, at a high level, by the Office of the Administrator (A), which oversees and coordinates the Gallery's many functions

See all Budget Analyst jobs

What Budget Analysts Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Budget Analysts

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, to legislators, and to 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 they recommend funding levels based on their findings. Although government officials 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 cutting spending on particular programs 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 communicate their recommendations effectively 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 may 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.

Work Environment for Budget Analysts[About this section] [To Top]

Budget analysts hold about 58,400 jobs. The largest employers of budget analysts are as follows:

Federal government 20%
Educational services; state, local, and private 15
State government, excluding education and hospitals 11
Professional, scientific, and technical services 11
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 10

Although budget analysts usually work in offices, some may travel to get budget details firsthand or to verify funding allocations.

Budget Analyst Work Schedules

Most budget analysts work full time, and overtime is sometimes required during final reviews of budgets. The pressures of deadlines and tight work schedules can be stressful.

How to Become a Budget Analyst[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Budget Analysts near you!

A bachelor's degree is typically required to become a budget analyst. Courses in accounting, economics, and statistics are helpful.

Education for Budget Analysts

Employers generally require budget analysts to have at least a bachelor's degree. Because developing a budget requires strong numerical and analytical skills, courses in accounting, economics, and statistics 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 for Budget Analysts

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, and 2 years of professional-level experience in governmental financial management. They must also pass a series of exams. To keep the certification, budget analysts must take 80 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

Important Qualities for Budget Analysts

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 to the intended audience.

Budget Analyst Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for budget analysts is $73,840. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,300, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $111,460.

The median annual wages for budget analysts in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $81,550
Federal government 78,750
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 69,420
Educational services; state, local, and private 64,890
State government, excluding education and hospitals 62,950

Most budget analysts work full time, and overtime is sometimes required during final reviews of budgets. The pressures of deadlines and tight work schedules can be stressful.

Union Membership for Budget Analysts

Compared with workers in all occupations, budget analysts have a higher percentage of workers who belong to a union.

Job Outlook for Budget Analysts[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of budget analysts is projected to grow 7 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Demand for efficient use of public funds at the federal, state, and local levels will lead to continued demand for budget analysts. Although many states are facing budget shortfalls, employment of these workers should remain steady. Because budget analysts are responsible for managing the allocation of resources, the need for these workers remains even during times of tight budgets.

Job Prospects for Budget Analysts

Since this occupation has relatively few job openings due to separations, jobseekers are likely to face competition for the limited number of budget analyst positions.

Employment projections data for Budget Analysts, 2016-26
Occupational Title Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26
Percent Numeric
Budget analysts 58,400 62,200 7 3,800


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Explore more careers: View all Careers or Browse Careers by Category

Search for jobs: