Management Analysts

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

Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

Duties of Management Analysts

Management analysts typically do the following:

  • Gather and organize information about the problem to be solved or the procedure to be improved
  • Interview personnel and conduct onsite observations to determine the methods, equipment, and personnel that will be needed
  • Analyze financial and other data, including revenue, expenditure, and employment reports
  • Develop solutions or alternative practices
  • Recommend new systems, procedures, or organizational changes
  • Make recommendations to management through presentations or written reports
  • Confer with managers to ensure changes are working

Although some management analysts work for the organization that they analyze, most work as consultants on a contractual basis.

Whether they are self-employed or part of a large consulting company, the work of a management analyst may vary from project to project. Some projects require a team of consultants, each specializing in one area. In other projects, consultants work independently with the client organization’s managers.

Management analysts often specialize in certain areas, such as inventory management or reorganizing corporate structures to eliminate duplicate and nonessential jobs. Some consultants specialize in a specific industry, such as healthcare or telecommunications. In government, management analysts usually specialize by type of agency.

Organizations hire consultants to develop strategies for entering and remaining competitive in today’s marketplace.

Management analysts who work on contract may write proposals and bid for jobs. Typically, an organization that needs the help of a management analyst solicits proposals from a number of consultants and consulting companies that specialize in the needed work. Those who want the work must then submit a proposal by the deadline that explains how the consultant will do the work, who will do the work, why they are the best consultants to do the work, what the schedule will be, and how much it will cost. The organization that needs the consultants then selects the proposal that best meets its needs and budget.

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

Management analysts held about 758,000 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most management analysts were as follows:

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 22%
Finance and insurance 10
Federal government 8
State and local government, excluding education and hospitals 7
Management of companies and enterprises 5

Management analysts usually divide their time between their offices and the client’s site. Because they must spend a significant amount of time with clients, analysts travel frequently. Analysts may experience stress when trying to meet a client’s demands, often on a tight schedule.

In 2014, about 1 in 5 management analysts were self-employed. Self-employed analysts can decide how much, when, and where to work. However, self-employed analysts often are under more pressure than those who are wage and salary employees, because their livelihood depends on their ability to maintain and expand their client base.

Management Analyst Work Schedules

Analysts often work many hours under tight deadlines. In 2014, about 3 in 10 worked more than 40 hours per week.

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

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

Most management analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree. The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation may improve job prospects.

Management Analyst Education

A bachelor’s degree is the typical entry-level requirement for management analysts. However, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

Few colleges and universities offer formal programs in management consulting. However, many fields of study provide a suitable education because of the range of areas that management analysts address. Common fields of study include business, management, economics, political science and government, accounting, finance, marketing, psychology, computer and information science, and English.

Analysts also routinely attend conferences to stay up to date on current developments in their field.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA) offers the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation to those who meet minimum levels of education and experience, submit client reviews, and pass an interview and exam covering the IMC USA’s code of ethics. Management consultants with a CMC designation must be recertified every 3 years. Management analysts are not required to get certification, but it may give jobseekers a competitive advantage.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many analysts enter the occupation with several years of work experience. Organizations that specialize in certain fields typically try to hire candidates who have experience in those areas. Typical work backgrounds include experience in management, human resources, and information technology.

Advancement for Management Analysts

As consultants gain experience, they often take on more responsibility. At the senior level, consultants may supervise teams working on more complex projects and become more involved in seeking out new business. Those with exceptional skills may eventually become partners in their consulting organization and focus on attracting new clients and bringing in revenue. Senior consultants who leave their consulting company often move to senior management positions at nonconsulting organizations.

Important Qualities for Management Analysts

Analytical skills. Management analysts must be able to interpret a wide range of information and use their findings to make proposals.

Communication skills. Management analysts must be able to communicate clearly and precisely in both writing and speaking. Successful analysts also need good listening skills to understand the organization’s problems and propose appropriate solutions.

Interpersonal skills. Management analysts must work with managers and other employees of the organizations where they provide consulting services. They should work as a team toward achieving the organization’s goals.

Problem-solving skills. Management analysts must be able to think creatively to solve clients’ problems. Although some aspects of different clients’ problems may be similar, each situation is likely to present unique challenges for the analyst to solve.

Time-management skills. Management analysts often work under tight deadlines and must use their time efficiently to complete projects on time.


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

The median annual wage for management analysts was $80,880 in May 2014. 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 $45,360, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $148,110.

In May 2014, the median annual wages for management analysts in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $86,220
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 85,710
Management of companies and enterprises 81,080
Finance and insurance 78,640
State and local government, excluding education and hospitals 62,350

Management analysts working for consulting firms are usually paid a base salary in addition to a year-end bonus. Self-employed analysts are paid directly by their clients, typically either by the hour, or per project.

Analysts often work many hours under tight deadlines. In 2014, about 3 in 10 worked more than 40 hours per week.

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

Employment of management analysts is projected to grow 14 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for consulting services is expected to grow as organizations seek ways to improve efficiency and control costs. As markets become more competitive, firms will need to use resources more efficiently.

Demand for management analysts is expected to be strong in healthcare. This industry segment is experiencing higher costs in part because of an aging population. In addition, federal health care reform has mandated changes to business practices for healthcare providers and insurance companies. More management analysts may be needed to help navigate these changes.

Growth will be particularly strong in smaller consulting companies that specialize in specific industries or types of business function, such as information technology or human resources. Government agencies will also seek the services of management analysts as they look for ways to reduce spending and improve efficiency.

Growth of international business will also contribute to an expected increase in demand for management analysts. As U.S. organizations expand their business abroad, many will hire management analysts to help them form the right strategy for entering the foreign market.

Management Analysts Job Prospects

Jobseekers may face strong competition for management analyst positions because the high earning potential in this occupation makes it attractive to many jobseekers. Job opportunities are expected to be best for those who have a graduate degree or a certification, specialized expertise, fluency in a foreign language, or a talent for sales and public relations.

Employment projections data for Management Analysts, 2014-24
Occupational Title Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Management analysts 758,000 861,400 14 103,400


*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Used by permission.

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