How Much is a Business Analyst Salary?
In the US, the average business analyst salary is about $59,000 per year. Not all business analyst roles are the same, so let’s take a look at the various roles. Within the field of business analysis, there are several general roles:
IT/software business analyst
Functional business analyst
Academic business analyst
Business analyst project manager
Consulting business analyst
Data business analyst
Business Analyst Manager
The IT/software business analyst role makes about $10,000 a year more than a general business analyst position, which is not surprising considering that tech jobs frequently pay more than non-tech roles.
Consulting business analysts also typically make more than general business analysts. If you land a job in this field at KPMG, Deloitte, or McKinsey your salary will probably be quite a bit more than $59,000 per year, depending on your location and experience level. In fact, experience level makes a big difference and senior business analysts, on average, have salaries of about $84,000. If you are very much into numbers, Data Business/Quantitative Analysts can make up to $126,000 a year, also depending on variables like who the employer is, location and experience.
Business analyst managers plan budgets and oversee teams of business analysts. This role is obviously a senior position so the salary level is going to be in accordance with this degree of knowledge and experience: about $103,000 per year.
Naturally, it’s good news that business analysts can reach management level positions and earn such large salaries. Money alone is not fulfilling for many people, but Business Analyst Managers accumulate knowledge in order to create impact, and having the ability to make things happen in a positive way is what people typically do find to be meaningful.
In fact, if you use our Fishbowl app, you can communicate about salaries and other compensation considerations like benefits and perks with thousands of other business analysts from management consulting companies such as Deloitte, EY, PwC, KPMG, Boston Consulting Group, Accenture, Booz Allen, McKinsey and others.
Why is salary not the only financial consideration?
Broadly speaking, business analyst salaries vary by which employer you work for, job location, kind of business analyst role, experience level, education level and total compensation package. Not all business analysts only earn an annual salary — some have stock packages, profit sharing, performance bonuses, benefits, and perks.
For example, if your stock package was potentially worth $100,000 and vested over four years, that might be an additional gross income of about $25,000 per year. Add that to the average business analyst salary and you have $84,000 a year. Not all companies offer stock packages of course, but it’s an option at some of them. Certain benefits like tuition reimbursement can increase a business analyst total compensation as well. If you work for a company that provides up to $2,500 per year in tuition reimbursement and you take advantage of it, your total compensation would be increased. The same is true if your employer had a generous 401k retirement plan match like 8% of your annual salary. If that was the case, and you had an average salary of about $60,000 the company would give $4,800 per year. Nearly $5,000 per year extra is a lot of money for a middle-class worker. Similarly, profit-sharing might result in several thousand a year in additional income.
So, if you are trying to figure out what a business analyst salary might be it’s going to be beneficial to factor in all the value an employer contributes not just one line item. For example, if your worked as a business analyst making $60,000 a year, for an employer that provided you with 4 weeks of paid vacation each year that’s usually more than most companies offer. So, you might have two weeks more than most employees receive and what amounts to an extra paycheck each year.
Some employers offer educational support for their employees children and everyone knows how expensive colleges and universities can be. How much value such a program would add to a business analyst’s total compensation would most likely be significant.
Performance bonuses and holiday pay can also boost total compensation. Travel is another benefit for some business analysts. Not all of them travel but some do, like consulting business analysts who may travel 2-3 days a week domestically or 1-2 times per month internationally.
If you are single and don’t have children, frequent travel that’s all paid for might be appealing — especially if you get to visit some cities in other countries you are interested in. Work travel is very different from vacationing but at least you would be able to spend some time in a new location like Berlin, London, Zurich, Hong Kong, etc. and you wouldn’t have to spend your own money.
How do you prepare to become a business analyst?
Generally speaking, business analysts go to a college or university to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in fields like:
Management Information Systems/IT.
If you want more income and responsibility, one way to advance your career as a business analyst is to go back to school and get a graduate degree like an MBA, Master’s in Accounting, Master’s in Data Science, Master’s in Analytics, or JD. It’s not a very popular option due to the time commitment, but some more academically-oriented adults also earn PhDs in business.
For IT/software business analyst positions, some typical employers are:
M & T Bank
Anthem Blue Cross
JP Morgan Chase Company
For Data business/quantitative analyst positions, some top employers are Google, Salesforce, SAP, StreamSets, Microsoft, Dataiku, and Informatica.
At hi-tech companies like Google, Salesforce and Microsoft the stock packages may be more attractive than the yearly salaries because their stocks values tend to rise reach year and sometimes the increases are considerable. Many hi-tech employees have worked for less than ten years for one employer and make hundreds of thousands of dollars or sometimes even more when they sell their stock. In some rare cases, a few might even be able to retire early.
If you are more of a conventional business analyst working at a consulting company like KPMG, McKinsey, PwC and so on, stock packages with such large upsides won’t be readily available.
So, if you are looking for information on business analyst salaries, it might be beneficial to consider total compensation and targeting companies with stock packages.
How much are business analyst salaries outside the US?
So far, all this information has been US-centric, but business analysts work all over the world. In Canada, an IT business analyst salary is about $64,000 — of course that’s in Canadian dollars.
In Paris, France a general business analyst salary is about €42,000 which is about $47,000 US dollars. In the UK, the same kind of business analyst will earn about 40,000 pounds per year which is around $48,000 in US dollars. These figures can vary significantly depending on who the employer is. For example, if you work as a business analyst for one of the Top 4 management consulting firms like KPMG, or McKinsey and you live abroad, your salary may be considerably more. If you work for a much smaller local employer, the salary will probably be on the lower side.
If you were employed as a business analyst in Brazil, you might make about 117,000 real or about $26,000 US dollars per year.
Another point to consider as it relates to business analyst salaries is that you might work as a business analyst, save most of your income, and then start your own consulting business. Small consultancies sometimes can operate in a more personal and nimble way with their clients. If you had 5-10 years of experience working as a business analyst and then left to start your own venture you some of the clients you served in your former position might come with you.
Your income would no longer be pegged to an employer’s salary scheme because you would be paying yourself. In such a scenario, you might earn less or more but you would not have a cap in your income. If you are great at bringing in new clients but don’t want to do the hands-on work you could hire some junior consultants and concentrate on business development. Running your own company could eventually make you several times more than working for someone else as a business analyst.
Also, you would probably have more work/life flexibility, which is exactly what so many people want — not more money.
When you think about what a business analyst salary is, of course, it is about dollars, euros, pounds, etc. The value of the experience and contacts you gain along the way may one day translate into the creation of your own business.