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In today’s ever-changing business world, the work of a business analyst is essential. Serving as more than just an unbiased investigator to the problems with a company, a business analyst does so much more. A mediator, a connector, and an ambassador, the business analyst build bridges within businesses to solve problems and catalyze successful change.

A business analyst brings the company’s needs together with the needs of the IT department. They can bring change through IT resources and various kinds of software that can help the company grow and expand. Though it is a very IT heavy career, business analysts spread across fields of finance, engineering, technology, even agriculture. There is the possibility to work across all different sectors depending on the business analysts interests and skill set.

Depending on the business analyst path you choose and the education level you have, you can greatly benefit from this lucrative career. Today, we’re going to discuss business analyst salary and some of the factors to take into account when discovering what is average for different types of business analysts.

A Career As A Business Analyst

As you begin exploring a career as a business analyst, you’ll find there are several different hats that business analysts need to wear on a daily basis. There are also certain soft and hard skills required to be good in this career.

Business analysts serve as the bridge to the gaps between departments in various stages of development within a company. The analyst will work with the company to identify problem areas and areas for improvements in different business operations. Because the business analyst works across departments, they are able to work with various teams unbiasedly to solve issues all throughout the company.

Business analysts also are commonly involved with IT and business systems. A business analyst is directly involved with modifying or sometimes even designing the systems that companies use for internal and external functions. For example, if a company is suffering with customer support, the business analyst may help develop or change the customer relation management, or CRM, software.

A business analyst will also work with key stakeholders and experts to understand and address the problems they are having. By being in charge of gathering documents from various departments, the business analyst is the one who knows about every area of the company and is able to fully inform stakeholders about what is going on. If there are any issues, the business analyst will be able to solve problems and give technical solutions.

Typical Career Path

A career as a business analyst isn’t always a clear path. The career path of business analysts tends to vary, and that’s what makes the job so exciting. While it’s definitely an IT-focused career, a business analyst can jump back and forth between working in IT and working in the business. Business analysts often also pick up project management positions or go on the IT management route.

Few business analysts work for one particular company. Many work for a variety of companies as consultants to provide financial and efficiency advice to management. Many business analysts work on a contract basis ranging from a couple of weeks to years. This gives the business analyst freedom to travel and work remotely. Unfortunately, it can also mean long hours and cramped timelines to meet the contract deadline.

If you’re looking to be in innovation, business, and technology, a career as a business analyst offers a dynamic career path that allows individuals to evolve and find their own niche as they become more involved in the field.

Business Analyst Level Of Education


Starting a career as a business analyst isn’t a walk in the park. It requires extensive knowledge of technology. While almost all business analysts have a Bachelor degree in accounting, finance, or business administration, having a background in computer science is also a bonus. Successful business analysts will have knowledge in areas such as computer programming, and IT.

While at least a Bachelor degree is required, many business analysts also have a Masters degree. The degree is usually in the form of a Masters of Business Administration, or MBA. If an MBA or a Masters degree is not in the cards for you, there are also different ways to increase your credibility.

One way to increase your education in the form of business analytics without getting another degree is to get certified by the Institute of Business Analytics (IIBA). The IIBA is a globally recognized organization which serves as the governing body for the business analyst industry.

If neither of these options works for you, there are other ways to get ahead in a business analyst career. If you’re still in college, getting a headstart on summer internships as a business analyst will greatly help your chances at getting a higher paying business analyst position when you’ve finished school. If you’re already out of school and have started working, ask your supervisors to consider you for a role that requires from analysis or to put you on a team with other business analysts.

Business Analyst Average Salary


The current average salary for a business analyst is $65,973 according to Glassdoor. Salaries of business analysts typically fall between $49,000 a year to $96,000 a year: a wide range that fluctuates with experience and education.

In addition to a base salary, business analysts also enjoy quite a few supplemental bonuses to their salaries. Business analysts receive an annual commission average of $10,000. They also have bonuses up to another $10,000 each year. Total pay can be over $100,000 for business analysts with high commission rates and annual bonuses.

While the field holds more female business analysts than males, holding everything else equal, women still earn 7% less than their male counterparts. While there is no logical explanation for this pay difference, one can hope this is a trend that changes quickly.

Business Analyst Salary Factors And Influences


There are many factors that influence the salary of business analysts. When deciding on a career as a business analyst, you should consider a couple of influencers of salary. Among the various factors that should be considered are location, level of education, and industry.

Geographic Location

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Where you’re living is a major influence on your salary, no matter what job you’re doing. When deciding where to take a job, location and respective cost of living is a major factor to consider. Working outside of the U.S. on a contract can also influence your salary greatly. Here are a couple of the best states to work for a larger business analyst salary.

  • Virginia: Average annual salary of $103,000 a year and 46,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Georgia: Average annual salary of $93,000 and 25,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Washington: Average annual salary of $102,000 and 16,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Texas: Average annual salary of $96,000 and 36,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Illinois: Average annual salary of $91,000 and 29,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Michigan: Average annual salary of $87,000 and 14,000 business analyst positions available.
  • North Carolina: Average annual salary of $89,000 and 14,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Alabama: Average annual salary of $91,000 and 5,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Colorado: Average annual salary of $92,000 and 8,400 business analyst positions available.
  • Kansas: Average annual salary of $83,000 and 3,500 business analyst positions available.

Level Of Education And Experience

It’s a given that the more education and experience you have, the higher of a salary you’ll be able to expect. For entry level business analysts, salaries averaged around $58,000. A senior level business analyst can expect a salary of $120,000 a year or more.

Similarly, business analysts with Masters degrees earn more than those who don’t. But on top of your degree, it also makes a difference of where you earned said degree. Graduates from the MIT Sloan School of Management can expect a salary of $110,000 right out of school.

Graduates from the USC Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles can expect $85,000 a year their first year out of school. Unfortunately, the prestige of a school does play a significant role when getting a Masters in business analytics.

Industry


The amount of salary you are paid also depends on the industry you’re working in. There are definitely some industries that pay better than others. Some of the best industries to go into for higher salaries are banking, finance, technology and consulting. A business analyst job in one of these fields can earn you $90,000 a year or more.

By far the highest earning business analysts worked in the natural resource mining industry. Business analysts in this field could expect to make an annual salary of at least $115,000.

When comparing other industries, agriculture, entertainment, retail, and construction fell on the lower end of the spectrum, all ranging around or below $60,000 a year. The companies that fell in the middle of the spectrum consisted of government, transportation, and manufacturing industry jobs which earn around $70,000-$80,000 annually.

While working in the industries that have the highest salaries might be more appealing, it’s also smart to check out which industries have the highest number of jobs for business analysts. While natural resource management paid their business analysts the highest, they were also tied for the lowest number of jobs available for new business analysts with only around 100 jobs in the United States.

On the other hand, tech services and IT have the highest number of jobs available in the United States at about 670,000 jobs. If you’re looking for a career that is high paying but also secure, the IT industry is an ideal place to look. The financial industry comes in second with 380,000 jobs available and also a high paying salary.

How Business Analyst Salaries Compare To Related Fields

Types Of Business Analysts And Corresponding Salaries


While you might have a decent level of understanding on what general business analysts do, you might still not know about all the different job titles a business analyst can have. There are several different positions and responsibilities for business analysts to take on. We will examine a few of them and also note their corresponding salaries.

  • Data Scientist: A data scientist spends the bulk of their day focusing on the statistics that make a company run. They will analyze numbers to see what’s working and what can be improved by looking for trends and analyzing complicated data. Data scientists can expect an annual salary of $120,000.
  • Data Analyst: A data analyst is the scaled-back version of the higher paid data scientist. A data analyst is a person who creates the data representations to report to management or stakeholders. This person will work with different types of data analyzing software to understand the effects of a company’s techniques. They can expect a salary of $65,000 a year.
  • Operations Research Analyst: An operations research analyst acts as a means to help a company solve operational problems at the root. This person will conduct research on the company’s current procedures to see what can be fixed operationally and how better decisions can be made. An operations research analyst will make around $69,000 annually.
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: Both big and small businesses depend on the work of business intelligence analysts. Companies will hire business intelligence analysts long term or for consultations on how to maximize their data collection and make sustainable changes. These individuals help big executives make data-driven choices. Business intelligence analysts make $79,000 a year on average.
  • Management Consulting Analyst: Management consulting analysts work to help companies be better in all areas of what they do. They start with management and transcend this into lower level professionals and how management can better support them. These positions earn around $75,000 per year.

Business Analyst Salary Outlook - Conclusion

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In the United States, business analyst jobs are expected to grow 14% in the next ten years. This is much quicker than many other jobs today, making a career as a business analyst very secure. Of the many careers available in business and technology today, a promising business analyst salary and a secure career make this a great career path.

Business analyst positions are more available for those with higher education and more years of work experience. To make yourself competitive in the field, make sure you’re getting certified, learning under current business analysts, and becoming familiar with technology and computer systems.

Consider making the switch to a career as a business analyst to enjoy a high paying and fast growing career in almost any business industry you can imagine.

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About Diane Turner

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