Financial analysts work for firms to examine the feasibility of a deal. They prepare plans of actions based on their analysis completed by researching all possible (non-legal) information about potential deals, creating spreadsheets and reports and drawing conclusions on the deals.
Financial analysts research and report in-depth information about deals and advise their firm on the feasibility of a deal. They work in financial-advising firms or banking houses with a corporate atmosphere, and put in excruciatingly long hours at the start as they read widely to keep up with financial trends reported in newspapers, magazines, and books and often travel for any length of time as part of a project. Financial analysts must meet strict deadlines as they research and compile information, meet and interact with clients, work as part of a team and create computer spreadsheets and valuation programs.
Entry-level positions are extremely competitive, so going through on campus recruiting programs at college, completing summer internships during college or leverage people you know (perhaps alumni) in the company are key to getting in the door. Bachelor’s degrees must show ability to work with numbers; computer science physical science or biology all are relevant. Each company trains the incoming class of analysts before they start working.
The first few years are brutal, with long hours and heavy workload, but sticking through it will result in large pay increases supplemented with enormous bonuses. Putting in “face time” by going to social events and conferences and socializing with workmates is extremely important for rising in the industry. After a few years of successful work analysts become “associate” or “senior” financial analysts and see more contact with clients. Many analysts move companies or change jobs within the industry and there is little company loyalty, so standing out with your degree and skills is important.
Some analysts with excellent reputations and good contacts open their own financial consulting firms. Others move into other jobs in finance like investment banking, investment advising, or management consulting, or practice financial advising within their own firm. Within five years of starting, 45% of analysts get their MBA, while a tenth go to law school. With an MBA and years of experience, financial analysts after ten years of work can move up to VP positions in financial analysis, valuation or investment banking departments of a company. With more responsibility comes more pressure to build business, but by this point hours have decreased compared to early years and the pay has likely skyrocketed.
Median salary for a Financial Analyst 1, with 1-4 years of experience, is $48,000. The overall range, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is approximately $40,000 to $140,000+. Here’s some additional salary information: