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Financial Analyst

Financial analysts provide analysis and guidance to businesses and individuals in making investment decisions. These specialists gather financial information, analyze it, and make recommendations.

Hours: Financial analysts and personal financial advisors usually work in offices or their own homes. Financial analysts may work long hours, travel frequently to visit companies or potential investors, and face the pressure of deadlines. Much of their research must be done after office hours because their days are filled with telephone calls and meetings.

Opportunities: Many financial analysts work at the headquarters of large financial institutions, most of which are based in New York City or other major financial centers. More than 2 out of 5 financial analysts worked in the finance and insurance industries, including securities and commodity brokers, banks and credit institutions, and insurance carriers. Others worked throughout private industry and government.   Employment of financial analysts and personal financial advisors is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be especially strong for personal financial advisors, which are projected to be among the 10 fastest growing occupations. Despite strong job growth, keen competition will continue for these well paid jobs, especially for new entrants.

Pay: Median annual earnings, including bonuses, of wage and salary financial analysts were $66,590 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $50,700 and $90,690. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,340, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $130,130. The bonuses that many financial analysts receive in addition to their salary can be a significant part of their total earnings. Usually, the bonus is based on how well their predictions compare to the actual performance of a benchmark investment.

Training: Financial analysts and most personal financial advisors must have a bachelor's degree. Many also earn a master's degree in finance or business administration or get professional designations. Because the field is so specialized, workers frequently attend training and seminars to learn the latest developments.

Citation: Suggested citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition , Financial Analysts and Personal Financial Advisors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos259.htm (visited July 22, 2009 ).

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