If you enjoy watching financial markets and have a good investment sense, you should consider a career as a stock analyst, or as it is sometimes referred to, a financial analyst. A stock analyst analyzes and evaluates stocks and other financial investment opportunities. To be such an analyst, you need to have a good sense of numbers and how they correlate to the real world. Still, talented financial analysts can make hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. So make sure you consider such a career if you are looking for an exciting and lucrative opportunity.
Pay and Working Conditions as a Stock Analyst
As we already mentioned, the best of the best can make huge sums of money working on financial analysis. But we can’t all be the next Warren Buffet, can we? So how much does the average person make in the financial analysis field? According to the United States Department of Labor, the average financial analysis earns $76,950 dollars per year. That breaks down to about $37.00 dollars per hour.
Just over 250,000 people work as financial analyst, so you won’t be alone in your efforts. About 20% of these analysts work with stocks and other financial instruments. The rest work for insurance companies, the government, and other organizations. The market is expected to grow by a solid 16% over the coming years, so now is a great time to consider a career in the field.
Most financial analysts working with stocks will work while markets are open, which is generally from 9 to 5 on weekdays. Some analysts might put in extra time conducting research before or after markets are open. Also, analysts working for Forex, commodities, and other 24 hour markets may work odd hours. Many analysts work in New York City and other major financial markets around the world. However, analysts are employed in many different areas.
As a financial analyst, you’ll usually be working in a nice office environment. You will have access to high quality computers and other amenities essential for your job. If you get a job with a top firm, you might gain access to a lot of other perks. This may include on-site gyms, chauffeur services, and other benefits.
Landing a Job as a Stock Analyst?
So how do you land a job as a financial analyst? For most people, a degree in business, finance, accounting or a similar field is necessary. Often, a bachelor’s degree is a must, but many analysts also hold a MBA or other Master’s degree. We won’t lie, it helps to have a degree from a prestigious university, especially if you want to get a job with a top firm. Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, all of the other similar caliber universities are very popular with hiring managers.
Of course, a degree isn’t everything. Another important way to open doors is to go through an internship, which will provide hands on training. Most of the time, you apply for an internship while in school. Internships normally run during the summer break period between classes. Some internships are paid, while others are unpaid.
Throughout college and your career you should position your resume to demonstrate why you would make a good financial analyst. Getting good grades in class, volunteering with non-profits working in related fields (such as entrepreneurship training), having a verifiable and high-performing trading portfolio, and other things can help prove that you have the skills to succeed as a stock analyst.
Working as a stock analyst can be a rewarding and lucrative career. We won’t lie, the stakes can be high and the stress can be enormous, especially during turbulent economic periods. Still, if you are cool under pressure, have sound critical thinking skills, and know how to react to fast changing circumstances, you can excel as a financial analyst.