Financial Analyst Salary

What is the average salary of a financial analyst?

The average salary in the US for a financial analyst working in corporate finance is $70,000.

As a recent graduate you can expect to earn a starting salary of ~$50,000 and with a few years of experience this can increase to ~$100,000.

Top 10 cities for the highest starting salaries

  • New York City, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Boston, MA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Washington D.C.
  • Charlotte, NC

How do I earn more as a financial analyst?

Develop in-demand skills

Financial analysts who stay ahead of the curve by acquiring relevant skills can position themselves for higher-paying opportunities. Consider focusing on areas like:

    • Financial modeling: Expertise in building complex financial models used for valuation, forecasting, and M&A analysis is highly sought-after. Mastering tools like Excel and add-ins like Alteryx or Power BI can significantly boost your value Salary data shows financial analysts with “financial modeling” listed on their resume earn an average of 11% more than those without.
    • Data analysis and visualization: The ability to analyze large datasets and translate complex financial information into clear, compelling visuals is increasingly important. Learning tools like Python and data visualization software like Tableau can open doors to higher-paying roles. The median salary for financial analysts with “Python” on their resume is 14% higher than those without.
    • Industry-specific knowledge: Understanding the specific financial metrics and regulations of your industry allows you to provide more targeted insights and can make you a more valuable asset. Consider courses or certifications focused on your industry. For example, a financial analyst in healthcare might pursue a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) designation.

Pursue relevant certifications

Earning industry-recognized certifications demonstrates your expertise and commitment to the field. Here are a few relevant options for financial analysts:

    • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): The premier designation for investment professionals, the CFA program requires passing a rigorous three-level exam series. The median total compensation for holders of the CFA designation is $200,150 according to the CFA Institute (although it is worth remembering that many CFA holders are highly experienced.
    • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): This versatile certification signifies strong accounting and financial reporting skills. The median total compensation for CPAs is $127,990 according to the AICPA.
    • Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA): Offered by the Corporate Finance Institute (CFI), this certification validates your financial modeling expertise. While not as widely recognized as the CFA or CPA, it can demonstrate specific skills to potential employers.

Negotiate your salary

Don’t underestimate the power of negotiation. Do your research on market rates for similar positions in your area with your experience level. Be prepared to clearly articulate the value you bring to the company with concrete examples of your accomplishments.

Consider a job change

If you’ve maxed out your earning potential at your current company, a move to a new position might be necessary to secure a significant salary increase. Larger companies and those in high-paying sectors like tech may offer more competitive salaries than smaller firms or traditional industries

Seek a promotion

Taking on additional responsibilities and demonstrating your leadership potential can pave the way for a promotion with a higher salary. Look for opportunities to lead projects, mentor junior analysts, and contribute strategically to the team. Remember many well-known CFOs started their careers as financial analysts.