Business analyst salary guide
A business analyst can fill different roles in different organizations, but generally speaking the job is thought of as a bridge between the business side of a company and the IT department. A full guide to business analyst trends, career development, required skills and qualifications, and future outlook can be viewed here. As the power of information becomes increasingly evident and is held in higher regard by today’s organizations, those with the knowledge and skills to translate data into sound business decisions have become more valuable. Business analyst salaries have been on the rise as a result up to now.
Business analyst salary overview
The median salary for business analysts as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is $93,000 per year as of their May 2021 report. However, it’s important to note that the BLS classifies business analysts as management analysts. Bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing may increase an analyst’s total income.
Business analyst salary trends
Business analyst positions have become somewhat more difficult than average for employers to fill because these skills are in high demand. According to a research study done by Burning Glass Technologies in 2017, there were 2.35 million job listings for all positions categorized as data science and analytics (DSA) in 2015. They predicted that that number would increase to 2.72 million by 2021. That’s an annual growth rate of 15% over 5 years. Within the broader DSA category, business analyst positions are expected to grow about 17% annually. The pressure that this staff demand puts on salaries is real, and employers are having to adapt their pay scales quickly.
For instance, Burning Glass’s research says 2015 DSA job listings offered an average salary of $80,265 — much lower than the $93,000 median salary for business analysts the BLS reported in May 2021. And that’s only one role in the larger DSA complex. As of May 2021, the BLS says the median salary for data scientists is almost $102,000 annually.
Because the BLS doesn’t track salary data for the DSA industry as a whole, it proves difficult to compare their findings with Burning Glass’s research. However, one thing seems apparent: the salaries for data science professionals like business analysts appear to be climbing. Inflation may have something to do with it, but given how important data is to the modern economy, demand for talented analysts may also plays an important role in this upward trend.
Business analyst salaries as experience increases
Business analyst salaries are highly dependent upon the experience level of the job candidates, particularly in the first ten years of a professional’s career.
According to the BLS, top-earning management analysts often earn upwards of $163,760 a year. Their lower-earning, potentially entry-level counterparts sometimes earn less than $50,190.
Specific skills that tend to increase compensation for data analysts include:
- Data analysis
- Business analysis
- Process improvement
- Microsoft Office
Industries most in need of business analysts
The BLS reports that 950,600 management analysts held jobs in 2021. Many of these professionals worked in one of five industries.
The industries that employ and potentially need the most business analysts per BLS data are:
- Professional, scientific, and technical services (33% of management analyst employment)
- Government (17% of employment)
- Self-employed professionals (15% of employment)
- Finance and insurance companies (13% of employment)
- Company and enterprise management (4% of employment)
The specific job title and duties may change with the industry but using data to create actionable goals remains at the heart of a business analyst’s job.
Business analyst career paths and salary impact
Although business analysts don’t appear high on the corporate ladder, these are often key positions in companies that take business data and its potential to improve operations seriously, particularly smaller companies. And today, if a company doesn’t take full advantage of its data, it probably won’t be around for long. Because the role of a business analyst is often so integral to understanding the key aspects of any business, these positions can be, and usually are used as launching pads for much bigger things. Migrating to more advanced analytical roles is typical, as is moving up the corporate ladder into management roles.
The one caveat to the business analyst role in modern business is that technology is evolving so quickly, particularly in data mining and artificial intelligence, that the traditional business analyst may be at risk of becoming irrelevant. For as long as business analysts are still in high demand, and they still are, one bit of advice to entry-level analysts would be to advance their analytical and/or programming skills as quickly as possible. This will enable them to transition to more technically advanced roles with lower risks of long-term obsolescence, such as data science.
2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for business and management analysts reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed January 2023.