The median wage for financial analysts was $73,150 excluding bonuses. The bottom ten percent in the profession earn less than $43,400 and the top ten percent earn over $141,070. Annual bonuses are very common in the industry and can account for a substantial portion of the total earnings (OOH, 2010). Benefit packages are typically very strong for financial analysts. Specific information for Miami-Dade County is unobtainable, but the city does have a small financial community that will allow for some career opportunity. Note that in Miami-Dade County, a working knowledge of Spanish is often a valuable asset if not an outright prerequisite for employment.
The salary range is determined largely by experience. The profession is hierarchical and junior financial analysts are expected to "pay their dues." Salary can also be impacted by the contacts that people make -- building a large network of contacts opens up better opportunities for skilled analysts (Princeton Review, 2010). In addition, having a specialty outside of finance will also help to drive up salary, in particular in fields that have relatively high demand for specialized analysts but relatively short supply.
The working conditions are also characterized by the corporate culture. Financial analysts typically work in a relatively conservative field, with high standards of attire and formality. The field remains male-dominated, and at some firms the culture can still be somewhat oppressive for female analysts, complete with a glass ceiling. Vacation time is limited during the first few years in the business, but eventually the high degree of autonomy financial analysts have allows more senior analysts to set their own schedule.
The demand for financial analysts is expected to increase 20% by 2018. The industry is on a long-term growth trajectory as the field becomes more complex and the general public becomes savvier about investing. Employment in the field in 2008 was 250,600, and this is expected to climb to 300,300 by 2018 (OOH, 2010). Despite this, competition for jobs is expected to be intense. The field is lucrative and high profile, so it attracts more people that there are positions. This intense competition demands that prospective financial analysts build for themselves the strongest possible academic background. The level of competition for financial analyst positions is likely to increase. The role tends towards geographic concentration -- the number of available positions in New York is much higher than in Miami. Competition in New York is also higher, such that it may be easier to find work as a financial analyst is smaller centers that are off the radar screen of the majority of candidates.
The financial analyst career option is a good one for me. What I did not know before is just how much work goes into the career. The technical aspect of the job is high, requiring many years of training even after a master's degree is obtained. The field is highly attractive so even though it is expected to experience steady growth, competition for jobs is expected to increase.
I would almost certainly enjoy a career as a financial analyst. The strong emphasis on math and communication plays to my strengths. There are certain turn-offs, the long work hours being one of them, but the high pay and high level of autonomy in this position are strong points of attraction that can make the high level of sacrifice in the early years worthwhile in the long run.
I did not realize how much training is required to become a financial analyst. That competition for jobs is increasing means that a master's degree will be necessary to give myself the best chance to enter the field. Even then, further years of sacrifice and intense training will be required before the benefits of the position are to be realized. Armed with this knowledge, I understand that if I wish to pursue a career as a financial analyst that the process going to be grueling. I believe that the career is still attractive, and if I am sufficiently driven I will be handsomely rewarded in the long run.
Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-11 Edition: Financial Analyst. (2010). Retrieved April 15, 2010 from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos301.htm
Princeton Review. (2010). Financial Analyst. Princeton Review. Retrieved April 15, 2010 from http://www.princetonreview.com/Careers.aspx?cid=68
College Board Book of Majors, 4th Edition
CareerKey.org website, various pages. (2010). Retrieved…