Financial Analyst

Woman financial analyst listens on the telephone while sitting at a desk reviewing finance charts and graphs next to computer
Career Clusters: Finance

What you need to know


Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

What is this career like?

Financial analysts work primarily in offices but travel frequently to visit companies or clients. Many financial analysts work at large financial institutions based in New York City or other major financial centers.

Some of the things a financial analyst might do:

  • Recommend individual investments and collections of investments, which are known as portfolios
  • Evaluate current and historical financial data
  • Study economic and business trends
  • Examine a company’s financial statements to determine its value
  • Meet with company officials to gain better insight into the company’s prospects
  • Assess the strength of the management team
  • Prepare written reports

Watch this video to learn about some of the things our financial analyst role models do in their careers:

What skills are needed?
  • Analytical skills: Financial analysts must process a range of information in finding profitable investments.
  • Communication skills: Financial analysts must explain their recommendations to clients in clear language that clients can easily understand.
  • Computer skills: Financial analysts must be adept at using software packages to analyze financial data, see trends, create portfolios, and make forecasts.
  • Decision-making skills: Financial analysts must provide a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell a security.
  • Detail oriented: Financial analysts must pay attention to details when reviewing possible investments, as small issues may have large implications for the health of an investment.
  • Math skills: Financial analysts use mathematical skills when estimating the value of financial securities.

Watch this video to learn more from our financial analyst role models:

What is the pay?

The average pay for financial analysts in the United States was $99,010 in May 2023 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A financial analyst’s pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.

What is the career outlook?

About 27,400 new job openings for financial analysts are projected each year, on average, over the next 10 years in the United States.

Overall employment of financial analysts is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

A growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regions are expected to lead to strong employment growth.

Demand is also projected to increase as the growth of “big data” and technological improvements allow financial analysts to access a wide range of data and conduct high-quality analysis.

What education is required?

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. A number of fields of study provide appropriate preparation, including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, and mathematics.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the main licensing organization for the securities industry. A license is generally required to sell financial products, which may apply to some financial analyst positions. Because most of the licenses require sponsorship by an employer, companies do not expect individuals to have these licenses before starting a job.

Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Accounting, Economics, Finance, or Mathematics.

Watch this video to learn more from our financial analyst role models: