How to become a Financial Analyst

The field of the financial analyst is less rigid than others and there are no mandatory education requirements. The requirement for being licensed also depends on the duties of the job and the employer. However, there is a preference for those with a bachelor's degree in areas of economics, statistics or finance. A few of the skills necessary for success include strong problem-solving skills, above-average communication skills, adeptness in the use of logic and math and good report writing skills.

First, start your career by the successful completion of the Chartered Financial Analyst Program, the Series 7 and Series 63 or the Securities Industry Essentials exam (SIE) exams. They have different and requirements of difficulty but are all designed to demonstrate your competence in the field finance.

Then, get an entry-level job in areas of buying or selling investments at investment firms or start in investment banks. There different types of financial analysts and a large number of areas in which to work that may even include media houses or marketing firms.

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What skills help Financial Analysts find jobs?

  • Financial Analysis
  • Forecasting
  • Accounting
  • Financial Modeling
  • Hyperion
  • Budgeting
  • Pivot Tables
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Access
  • Analysis Skills
  • Cognos
  • Financial Planning
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Career progression for Financial Analyst

Education levels for Financial Analysts

Based on the requirements of Financial Analyst job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's Degree76.5%
Master's Degree16.8%
High School Diploma or GED3.0%
Associate's Degree2.9%
Doctoral Degree0.8%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Financial Analyst in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0-4$57,300
4-8$68,400
8-12$74,700
12-16$77,300
16-20$76,900
20-24$78,600
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Common qualifications for Financial Analysts

  • CPA
  • Certified Management Accountant
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist
  • Certified Defense Financial Manager
  • Certified Fraud Examiner
  • Certified Government Financial Manager
  • PMP
  • Six Sigma Certification
  • RCES
  • FINRA License
  • Certified Valuation Analyst
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Frequently asked questions

Common questions about career advices for a Financial Analyst

What certifications are beneficial to financial analysts?

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a well-rounded certification that proves financial analysts' professional competence. Candidates need to hold a bachelor's degree, have three years or more of relevant professional experience, pass the exam administered through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and adhere to a code of ethics. Topics covered in the CFP exam include:

  • Debt management
  • Emergency fund reserves
  • Employee benefits planning
  • Financial planning
  • Income taxes
  • Insurance planning
  • Investment and real estate planning
  • Planning liability
  • Retirement planning
  • Risk management
  • Statistical modeling
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What are the career advancement opportunities for financial analysts?

Analysts can become portfolio managers with experience, where they selects instruments for investments. They can also advance to be fund managers with the ability to manage large investment portfolios for companies or individual investors.

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