Budget analysts develop, analyze, and execute budgets, which are used to allocate current resources and estimate future financial needs.
Sample of Reported Job Titles
Budget Analyst, Budget Officer, Budget and Policy Analyst, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Cost Accountant, Staff Analyst, Accounting Supervisor, Budget Coordinator
Budget analysts examine budget estimates and proposals for completeness; accuracy; and conformance with established procedures, regulations, and organizational objectives. Sometimes they employ cost-benefit analyses to review financial requests, assess program tradeoffs, and explore alternative funding methods.
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 operation officer, agency head, or other top managers analyze the proposed plan 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
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. For the federal government, a bachelor's degree in any field is enough for an entry-level budget analyst position. 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.
Median Salary 2018
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a Budget Analyst in 2018 was $76,220.
Federal, State, and local governments are major employers, accounting for 44 percent of budget analyst jobs. Many other budget analysts worked in manufacturing; financial services; management services; professional, scientific, and technical services; and schools.
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