Business Analyst Salary: 4 Key Things to Know

Business analyst jobs serve an especially vital role within companies. Not only are they tasked with analyzing processes and systems with an eye toward making everything more efficient (and profitable), but they must often figure out how technology can smoothly integrate with teams’ workflow. 

As you might expect, the role can pay quite a bit in terms of salary and other compensation. But how much? Let’s find out—and answer some other key questions about the business analyst role in the process. 

Are business analysts in demand?

Before we dig into the numbers, it’s worth mention that, according to analyst firm Breaking Glass, business analyst jobs are projected to grow 14.3 percent over the next decade. Right now, the average time to fill an open position is 34 days, indicating a high level of demand as employers seek out available candidates.

What are the most valuable skills for a business analyst?

If business analysis interests you as a career, it’s also worth noting the skills that pop up most often in job postings. These include: 

In addition to “hard” skills relevant to the role, such as data analytics and budgeting, business analysts also must possess considerable “soft skills” such as communication and teamwork. On a weekly basis, analysts are usually discussing their findings and making recommendations to various stakeholders, and securing buy-in for a particular course of action is vital. Keep that in mind for your business analyst resume(s) (and prepping for business analyst interview questions). 

What is a business analyst’s average salary?

The median salary for a business analyst is $78,676, according to Burning Glass. That obviously rises with education, specialized skills, and experience. Take a look at this chart (amounts listed are in U.S. dollars):

As is typical for many jobs, the longer your tenure in the position, the more you’ll get paid. For those who have racked up a decade or more, there’s a good chance you can land a six-figure salary—and that’s before you consider other forms of compensation, such as stock and bonuses. 

Do I need a degree to become a business analyst?

For those who are interested in business analysis as a career, but don’t necessarily want the time (or expense) of obtaining advanced degrees, there’s some good news: Some 90.2 percent of business analyst jobs require a bachelor’s degree and nothing higher. Certifications also aren’t a stated factor in many open positions, although certifications for business analysts can always help you stand out from other applicants when applying (and once you’re in the position, certifications can likewise give you leverage in negotiating for raises and bonuses). 

As you can see from this breakdown, possessing a master’s degree can give a business analyst salary something of a limited boost, but it’s not always significant:

When applying for any business analyst job, of course, it’s crucial to keep in mind that every job is unique, and that you should tailor your résumé and application materials to meet the particular needs of the position. For example, if you’re applying for a business-analyst job at a healthcare company, you should highlight your familiarity with HIPAA and with various kinds of medical technologies that may prove relevant. 

Although analysts often can’t reveal any hard data about the companies they’ve previously worked for, which can sometimes make it hard to highlight your past accomplishments, you can definitely talk about how your analysis contributed generally towards a company’s business goals and performance. 

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