Bureau of Labor Statistics

Budget Analysts

budget analysts image
Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances.
Quick Facts: Budget Analysts
2020 Median Pay $78,970 per year
$37.97 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2019 55,400
Job Outlook, 2019-29 3% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2019-29 1,900

Summary

What Budget Analysts Do

Budget analysts help public and private organizations plan their finances.

Work Environment

Budget analysts work in government agencies, private companies, and universities. Most work full time.

How to Become a Budget Analyst

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

Pay

The median annual wage for budget analysts was $78,970 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of budget analysts is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The demand for budget analysts should continue because of their role in managing how an organization’s funds are allocated.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for budget analysts.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of budget analysts with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about budget analysts by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Budget Analysts Do

Budget analysts
Budget analysts prepare budget reports and monitor spending.

Budget analysts help public and private organizations plan their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor organizational spending.

Duties

Budget analysts typically do the following:

  • Work with program and project managers to develop the organization’s budget
  • Review managers’ budget proposals and funding requests for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with laws and other regulations
  • Combine program and department budgets into a consolidated organizational budget
  • Explain funding requests to others in the organization, to legislators, and to the public
  • Help 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 organizations—including governments, private companies, and universities—about the details of 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 decide 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 funds.

Throughout the year, budget analysts oversee spending to ensure that organizations comply with the budget and to determine whether certain programs need changes in funding. Analysts also evaluate programs to determine whether they are producing desired results.

In addition to providing technical analysis, budget analysts must communicate their recommendations effectively within the organization. For example, if there is a difference between the approved budget and actual spending, budget analysts may write a report explaining those discrepancies and recommend changes to reconcile them.

Budget analysts working in government may attend committee hearings to explain their recommendations to legislators. Occasionally, budget analysts evaluate how well a program is doing, assess policy, and draft budget-related legislation.

Work Environment

Budget analysts
Budget analysts work in a variety of settings including government agencies, universities, and companies.

Budget analysts held about 55,400 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of budget analysts were as follows:

Federal government 22%
Educational services; state, local, and private 13
Professional, scientific, and technical services 11
State government, excluding education and hospitals 11
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 11

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

Work Schedules

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

How to Become a Budget Analyst

Budget analysts
Budget analysts must present technical information in writing that is understandable for the intended audience.

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a budget analyst. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master's degree. Courses in accounting, economics, and statistics are helpful.

Education

Employers generally require that budget analysts have at least a bachelor's degree in fields such as business, finance, or public administration. Because developing a budget requires numeracy and analytical skills, coursework in accounting, economics, and statistics is helpful.

Sometimes, budget- or finance-related work experience may be substituted for formal education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Budget analysts working in federal, state or local government may earn the optional Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) credential from the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). CGFM candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree, abide by the AGA’s Code of Ethics, pass examinations, and complete a designated period of professional-level experience in governmental financial management. To maintain certification, CGFMs must complete continuing education.

Although the CGFM is not required, having a designation may help with career advancement.

Important Qualities

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 must be able 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. Budget analysts need math skills and the ability to use financial-management software and programs.

Writing skills. Budget analysts must present written technical information in a way that is understandable to the intended audience.

Pay

Budget Analysts

Median annual wages, May 2020

Budget analysts

$78,970

Financial specialists

$73,840

Total, all occupations

$41,950

 

The median annual wage for budget analysts was $78,970 in May 2020. 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 $51,220, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $121,360.

In May 2020, the median annual wages for budget analysts in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $86,480
Professional, scientific, and technical services 84,050
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 74,870
State government, excluding education and hospitals 70,650
Educational services; state, local, and private 67,800

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

Job Outlook

Budget Analysts

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Total, all occupations

4%

Financial specialists

4%

Budget analysts

3%

 

Employment of budget analysts is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Demand for efficient use of public funds 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 manage resource allocation, the need for these workers remains even during times of tight budgets.

Job Prospects

About 4,300 openings for budget analysts are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment projections data for budget analysts, 2019-29

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Occupational Title

Budget analysts

SOC Code13-2031
Employment, 201955,400
Projected Employment, 202957,300
Percent Change, 2019-293
Numeric Change, 2019-291,900
Employment by IndustryGet data

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of budget analysts.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2020 MEDIAN PAY
Accountants and auditors

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records.

Bachelor's degree $73,560
Cost estimators

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to make a product or provide a service.

Bachelor's degree $66,610
Economists

Economists

Economists collect and analyze data, research trends, and evaluate economic issues for resources, goods, and services.

Master's degree $108,350
Financial analysts

Financial Analysts

Financial analysts guide businesses and individuals in decisions about expending money to attain profit.

Bachelor's degree $83,660
Financial managers

Financial Managers

Financial managers create financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.

Bachelor's degree $134,180
Management analysts

Management Analysts

Management analysts recommend ways to improve an organization’s efficiency.

Bachelor's degree $87,660
Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents determine how much is owed in taxes and collect tax from individuals and businesses on behalf of the government.

Bachelor's degree $55,640
Actuaries

Actuaries

Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty.

Bachelor's degree $111,030
Financial examiners

Financial Examiners

Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws that govern institutions handling monetary transactions.

Bachelor's degree $81,430
Insurance underwriters

Insurance Underwriters

Insurance underwriters evaluate insurance applications and decide whether to provide insurance, and under what terms.

Bachelor's degree $71,790

Contacts for More Info

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 9, 2021

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Budget Analysts,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm (visited June 10, 2021).

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

View this page on regular www.bls.gov

Permanently disable mobile site