Budget Analysts
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Examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. Analyze budgeting and accounting reports.
Undergraduate program resulting in the highest median salary ($95K): Civil Engineering
Largest undergraduate program (15.7% of workers): Business Management and Administration
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Titles for this career often contain these words
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Responsibilities and activities

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.

Median salary: $78,970 annually
Half of those employed in this career earn between $62,540 and $100,060.
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for this career compare to other jobs' salaries?
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Salary growth for budget analysts
Is this job likely to reward you for sticking with it through pay raises and promotions? The higher a job’s “experience quotient,” the more you are likely to get as you stay there.
Experience quotient percentile
Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?
Salary distribution
Number employed
About Budget Analysts
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs? The availability of health care, especially employer provided health care, and pension plans can add significantly to the value of compensation you receive in a career. These charts compare how this career compares to other careers with regard to health care and pension plans.
Employee has health insurance
Employer is providing health insurance
Employer-provided pension plan is available
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of budget analysts who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (76%)
  • Consequence of Error (42%)
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Personality and skills
Can you see yourself in the ranks of Budget Analysts? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.
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.
Education pathways to this career
Education attained by budget analysts
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), budget analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree.
Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as budget analysts as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.
Details: Education and training recommended for budget analysts

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.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for budget analysts

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.

Education level of Budget Analysts
About 76% of budget analysts have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by budget analysts
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 74% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
  1. Business Management and Administration
  2. Accounting
  3. Finance
  4. Business/Commerce
  5. Economics
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College majors held by budget analysts
This table shows the college majors held by people working as budget analysts. If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!
Salary comparison for bachelor's only
Career salary (tail) versus Career/Major salary (dot)
Does the bachelor's-only salary rise or fall with this major?
Salary for bachelor's-only
For people with this career and major
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Salary for all workers
For people with this career and major
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education for Career and Major
Workers with this career/major
Percentage in this career with this major
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The link between degrees and this career
With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as budget analysts, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.
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Business Management ...AccountingFinanceGeneral BusinessEconomicsPolitical Science an...MarketingPsychologyMathematicsHistoryAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majors
Where are the jobs
State-by-state employment numbers
Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.
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Number of Budget Analysts per 1,000 workers (ACS)
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Job density versus job count
Which states hire the most budget analysts? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as budget analysts. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where budget analysts earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio
We use two methods to compare salaries across states:
  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for budget analysts compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for budget analysts.
We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which budget analysts earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this figure might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
Location-adjusted median salary for Budget Analysts (ACS)
3% of Budget analysts are working part time.
We’ve found that some jobs have a huge number of part-time workers, and typically that is because they are unable to find full-time work or the job itself can’t provide full-time hours. With 3% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 89% of careers.
Employer types
This donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire for this career.
Employers of undefined (ACS)
Private for-profit
Private not-for-profit
Local government
State government
Federal government
Self-employed incorporated
Self-employed not incorporated
Working without pay
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Distribution: Salaries of budget analysts by type of employer
Here are the salary distributions based on employer type.
$75K$86K$68K$70K$75K$61K$139K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Self-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Budget analysts and gender
With 62% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 74% of careers.
Gender of Budget analysts
Men (38%)
Women (62%)
Distribution: salaries by gender
Does gender greatly influence your salary in this career? The closer the bars are, the less discrepancy there is.
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.
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Context: Women in the workforce
How does this career compare to other careers with regard to the percentage of women in the career.
Context: Salary inequity
The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for budget analysts, with the median salary for men 13% higher than the median salary for women.
Race and origin of Budget analysts
This donut shows the distribution of race and origin among those employed as Budget analysts.
Race/origin of budget analysts
White (70% )
Black (16% )
Asian (9% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Distribution: salaries by race/origin
Some careers might have a pay disparity based on race or origin, the closer the below bars are the less of a discrepancy is present.
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.