Financial analysts have a lot of responsibility for the economic health of a company. They analyze incoming revenue and outgoing expenditures and determine the financial health of a business. A financial analyst job description will show that they regularly work with senior executives to make investment decisions.
Finance is a hard field to break into and holding the position of financial analyst signifies some degree of expertise and experience. What exactly do these professionals do? What are the skills needed to complete this job? We will answer these questions, in addition to the education, experience required and the working schedule and job outlook for these professionals.
What Does a Financial Analyst do?
A financial analyst job description emphasizes a background in accounting to analyze financial data and make decisions to lead future financial decisions. They identify areas for cost-savings and increased efficiencies to improve the bottom line for companies. These professionals also recommend investment decisions based on the performance of stocks and the economic climate.
Some financial analysts do not work for a company or business, but rather research the overall trends and directions of the finance department of a group of similar businesses. It is very typical in a financial analyst job description to see their focus on the global nature of finance. These professionals may regularly work more than 40 hours a week. They require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. The median financial analyst salary is $80.310.
Financial Analyst Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities
They have a lot of weight on their shoulders. The difference between a good and bad decision can cost a company thousands of dollars. Therefore, they must be careful when attending to their duties and responsibilities. These should be taken into consideration when writing a financial analyst resume.
- Collect data on financial performance and run past and future performance profiles.
- Evaluate the current financial growth or depreciation of the company.
- Spend time exploring and recording notes on possible investment opportunities.
- Keep current on trends in the field and assess how these trends will impact the business you work for.
- Use computer software to predict different outcomes of various investment strategies.
- Align financial investments with the mission and vision of the company.
Financial Analyst Required Skills
- Data analytic skills. These professionals must be able to look at data, analyze what is meant by the data, and communicate results in a clear way.
- Computer skills. Financial analysts will use computer software programs to create visualizations of data and analyze different financial pictures. Thus, being able to interpret generated data is vital to their success.
- Decision-making skills. These professionals need to make decisions every day. They need to consider all of the necessary factors that impact a portfolio of stocks and know when to buy or sell investments.
- Math skills. Using math is a daily requirement for financial analysts. These professionals must be able to know what math equations to use and when. In addition, if a computer program generates incorrect outputs, an adept analyst will understand where the possible error could be.
How to Become a Financial Analyst
The minimum educational requirement for financial analysts is a bachelor’s degree. Many upper-level positions require a master’s degree. Typical majors are business, economics, or finance. Most positions require a license or certificate and progress from managing one to several areas of investment.
Education & Training Requirements
The majority of financial analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree. Students should gain experience in their undergraduate studies in investment and the nature of the stock market. If they want an easier way to achieve it, they can go through simulated business situations or internships.
Higher-level positions require a master’s degree in either business or finance. It is possible to begin working in a position that only requires a bachelor’s degree. Later on, they can pursue a master’s degree while working. If this is the path you take, consider completing your degree online for maximum flexibility.
Most financial analysts need a license to practice. However, they can earn it after they obtain employment as an analyst as well. A company can select which permits they require for which positions.
Certificates are optional for financial analysts, but they can lead to advancement opportunities. It is a good idea to ask around at the company and see which certificates are valued. In addition, these will have different requirements. Two examples of certificates are the chartered financial analyst and the financial analyst certification.
A typical career path for financial analysts is to begin as a junior financial analyst working on one investment area. After, they progress to a portfolio manager or senior financial analyst. A select number of people will progress to the position of chief financial officer.
A good plan is to gain practical experience as a junior analyst and then pursue a master’s degree. Getting certificates is also a way to gain more experience and advance to higher-level positions.
Do not be discouraged if it takes a long time to land a position as a financial analyst. It’s an extremely competitive field. Therefore, experience beyond classes and projects can help one to stand out in the job market.
The vast majority of financial analysts work full-time, and many of them work at least 50 hours a week. Therefore, it’s a challenging job that takes quite a lot of time.
Their day starts at about 6:00 AM with checking updates from the market and deciding if they need to take any action based on them. The first meeting typically starts at 7:00 AM and involves internal reports and updates. At 8:00 AM, they will work with other team members to check on updates. It is typical in the financial analyst job description that they work till 10 or 11 at night. This is a very long day, but the field has the potential to be very lucrative.
The job outlook is very positive. It is predicted to grow 12% by the year 2024. However, the field is also very competitive. There will be new positions created, but because of the high salary, here will be more applicants than positions. Analysts who have additional expertise in a global market will be very valuable to the company.
The median salary is $80,310 but some professionals can end up making more than a million dollars a year. That is the case of bonuses and commissions. States with the highest number of financial analysts are New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
Overall, financial analysts work in one of the most sought-after fields. There will always be fierce competition to become a professional. They have to work long hours and obtain additional licenses and certificates to be successful. A financial analyst job description will almost always have an urban geographic area. Finance is a challenging domain, but there are many more equally trying. You can check out the bookkeeper job description if you want to see another job in the industry.