Salary Forecast: Senior Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are at the forefront of business decisions. They are advisors to both businesses and individuals who want to make investments. They evaluate how well bonds, stocks, and other investments perform.  

To become a financial analyst, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree that provides classes in accounting, statistics, mathematics, economics, and finance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You’ll also need a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to sell financial products if you plan to go into the sell-side of financial analysis.  

Becoming certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst from the CFA Institute can also help you get promotions, which will put you on the track to earning the salary of a senior financial analyst. You’ll gain experience working in a particular investment area. Then you can work as a portfolio manager and choose the specific investments for an organization. You might also work as a fund manager for individuals. Finally, getting a master’s degree in finance or business administration can significantly boost your chances of becoming a senior financial analyst.  


The median annual salary for financial analysts, as of May 2016, was $81,760, according to the BLS. The median hourly wage was $39.31. The average annual salary was $97,640, and the mean hourly wage was $46.94.  

Senior financial analysts typically earn on the higher end of the salary continuum for the position. The BLS states that those in the 75th percentile earned $53.73 per hour, or $111,760 per year. Those in the 90th percentile earned $165,100 per year, or $79.38 per hour.  

Those in the lowest 25th percentile earned $30.11 per hour, or $62,640, while those in the lowest 10th percentile earned $24.21 per hour, or $50,350. 

The industries where senior financial analysts could earn the most include Grantmaking and Giving Services, where the hourly mean wage was $68.68, and the annual mean wage was $142,850. Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage came in second at $63.16 per hour on average, or $131,370 per year. Other Investment Pools and Funds was third at $61.09 per hour, or $127,060. Lessors of Real Estate was the fourth highest-paying industry at $59.24 per hour, on average, and $123,210 per year. In fifth place was Other Financial Investment Activities at an average of $57.29 per hour, or $119,170 annually.  

The top paying states for financial analysts were: 1.) New York ($62.33 per hour, on average, and $129,640 per year), 2.) Colorado ($53.84 per hour, or $112,000 per year, on average), 3.) California ($52.72 per hour, or $109,650 per year, on average), 4.) Connecticut ($50.43 per hour, or $104,880 per year, on average), and 5.) the District of Columbia ($49.95 per hour, or $103,900 per year, on average). 

San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA was the highest-paying metropolitan area for financial analysts. There, they earned an hourly mean wage of $68.19 per hour, or $141,840 per year. Next came New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ , where the average hourly salary was $64.00, or $133,130 per year. In third place was San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA , where the average hourly wage was $58.06, and the annual mean salary was $120,750. 

The top three non-metropolitan areas for salary were: 1.) southeast Alaska at $61.68 per year, on average, or $128,290 per year, 2.) west central New Hampshire at $51.22 per hour, on average, or $106,530 per year, and 3.) northern West Virginia at $46.13 per hour, on average, or $95,680 per year.