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Career and Education Opportunities for Budget Analysts in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for budget analysts. Currently, 840 people work as budget analysts in Alabama. This is expected to grow 13% to 940 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for budget analysts are expected to grow by about 15.1%. In general, budget analysts examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations.

A person working as a budget analyst can expect to earn about $30 hourly or $63,000 annually on average in Alabama and about $31 per hour or $65,320 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for budget analysts are better than earnings in the general category of Accounting and Auditing in Alabama and better than general Accounting and Auditing category earnings nationally. People working as budget analysts can fill a number of jobs, such as: fiscal agent, chief financial officer , and budget coordinator.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a budget analyst. Budget analysts usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a budget analyst if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Budget Analyst

In general, budget analysts examine budget estimates for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with procedures and regulations. They also analyze budgeting and accounting reports for the purpose of maintaining expenditure controls.

Budget analysts furnish advice and technical assistance as well as cost analysis and budget preparation. They also examine budget estimates for completeness and conformance with procedures and regulations. Equally important, budget analysts have to inspect operating budgets to analyze trends affecting budget needs. They are often called upon to confer with managers to insure that budget adjustments are made in accordance with program changes. They are expected to direct the preparation of regular and special budget reports. Finally, budget analysts perform cost-benefit analyses to compare operating programs, review financial requests, or explore alternative financing methods.

Every day, budget analysts are expected to be able to deal with basic arithmetic problems. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they decide how to think about problems involving math.

It is important for budget analysts to seek new ways to further optimize efficiency and increase profits. They are often called upon to interpret budget directives and establish policies for carrying out directives. They also match appropriations for specific programs with appropriations for broader programs, including items for emergency funds. They are sometimes expected to analyze monthly department budgeting and accounting reports to maintain expenditure controls. Somewhat less frequently, budget analysts are also expected to testify before examining and fund-granting authorities, clarifying and promoting the proposed budgets.

And finally, they sometimes have to perform cost-benefit analyses to compare operating programs, review financial requests, or explore alternative financing methods.

Like many other jobs, budget analysts must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Accountant. Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Auditor. Examine and analyze accounting records to determine financial status of establishment and prepare financial reports concerning operating procedures.
  • Business Management Analyst. Conduct organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, conduct work simplifications and measurement studies, and prepare operations and procedures manuals to assist management in operating more efficiently and effectively. Includes program analysts and management consultants.
  • Cost Analyst. Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.
  • Credit Analyst. Analyze current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepare reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
  • Financial Analyst. Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
  • Financial Examiner. Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify correctness of, or establish authenticity of records.
  • Income Tax Advisor. Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses but do not have the background or responsibilities of an accredited or certified public accountant.
  • Loan Counselor. Provide guidance to prospective loan applicants who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. Guidance may include determining the best type of loan and explaining loan requirements or restrictions.
  • Loan Officer. Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of commercial, real estate, or credit loans. Advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments. Includes mortgage loan officers and agents, collection analysts, loan servicing officers, and loan underwriters.
  • Personal Financial Planner. Advise clients on financial plans utilizing knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, and financial objectives to establish investment strategies.
  • Tax Examiner. Determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Budget Analyst Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Accounting which graduated thirty-seven and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Miles College - Fairfield, AL

Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd, Fairfield, AL 35064. Miles College is a small college located in Fairfield, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,773 students. Miles College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has 2 areas of study related to Budget Analyst. They are:

  • Accounting, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Finance, bachelor's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Accounting which graduated five, twenty-eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Herzing College - Birmingham, AL

Herzing College, 280 West Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209. Herzing College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 314 students and an admission rate of 82%. Herzing College has a bachelor's degree program in Accounting which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has 2 areas of study related to Budget Analyst. They are:

  • Accounting, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated six and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Finance, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package: Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package course list: Better Requests for Proposals for Better Projects; Continuous Improvement Through Monitoring; Contracting; New Coding System for the 21st Century; Procurement; and Writing Winning Grant Proposals.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.