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What does a Pricing Analyst do?

As a private-sector pricing analyst, it is your job to help your company or organization spend its money wisely--your work can help the company make or lose money. Pricing analysts, also called budget analysts and sometimes contract analysts, perform a variety of financial functions:
  • Reviewing business accounts to ensure accurate pricing
  • Establish criteria to achieve the best customer pricing
  • Help a company's sales force with price negotiations
  • Analyze contracts for under performance
In the private sector, your main duties as a pricing analyst are to examine a company's budget and eliminate waste or overspending. If you seek work with a county, state or federal government, your job is to help properly disperse funds to various programs and departments through close examination of operational and financial proposals and reports.

Your work could take in a multitude of directions, from working with state budgets and taxes, pensions, health and human services, healthcare, energy, education, transportation and technology. You could find yourself analyzing costs associated with winter storms, or helping a conservation group allocate federal funding--the field has limitless possibilities.

Training and educational requirements

Most pricing analysts are required to hold at least a bachelor's degree in business, economics, finance, public administration, statistics or mathematics, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. A strong aptitude for statistics and accounting can help you go a long way in the field of budget analysis, the BLS says.

Jobs with a great deal of financial responsibility often require a master's degree, however. Pricing analysts with associate degrees usually are limited to entry-level work for a few years until they establish a proven work history. Additionally, you should be willing to adhere to strong ethical standards since you are dealing with sensitive financial information.

Work in the public sector often requires extensive experience, and you may have to earn the Certified Government Financial Manager designation, the Association of Government Accountants states.

Pricing analyst salary and job outlook

The field is expected to grow by 15 percent, the BLS reports. Job growth should be spurred by strong demand for financial analysis and accountability in the public and private sectors. Job seekers with master's degrees face the best job prospects.

The federal government employed the largest number of pricing analysts, followed by state and local governments. These organizations accounted for 43 percent of employment. California was the largest state employer.

Budget analysts earned the best median annual wages in Washington D.C., Virginia, California and Connecticut.

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