How to Become a Business Valuator


Are you interested in finance, accounting and/or economics? Does the idea of a well-paying career that involves working with models (…financial) appeal to you? If so, a career as a business valuator is worth considering. Here are some quick highlights of working in this field:


• High level of average pay

• Opportunity to apply skills in valuation theory and financial modeling

• Officer-based work that may involve travel

• Detail-oriented and analytical work


If you want to know more about the ins and outs of this career, then read on; we’ll fill you in on the details, including an overview of what these valuation professionals do, how much they can earn, and what you’ll need to qualify!



Educational Requirements for Becoming a Business Valuator

Employers generally require that you have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics or a closely related field, although many employers prefer that you have an advanced/post-graduate degree.





General Job Description

A business valuator is responsible for performing valuations of business entities, intellectual property, intangible assets, common and preferred stock and other securities, private debt instruments, options, warrants and other derivative products.


They provides these services to assist clients with mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, taxation planning and compliance, succession, litigation and dispute resolution, bankruptcy and restructuring as well as strategic planning.



Typical Job Duties

• Communicate understanding of risk associated with various actions such as acquisitions and mergers

• Assist in reviews of third party appraisals for audit support purposes

• Assist in drafting reports and findings

• Create financial models based on business issues or transactions that are being analyzed

• Prepare valuation reports and presentations

• Brief client on findings and deal with any concerns that may arise

• Assist in researching technical and industry specific issues

• Develop strong relationships with attorneys, accountants and fiduciaries



Experience Needed to Get Into This Field

Employers generally prefer to hire candidates with 1-3 years of work experience in a financial/investment/accounting environment.


Success Tip: Many job postings will state that experience is preferred. If you do not have in-field experience yet, and all of the jobs you’re looking at say that you need relevant experience, you can still be hired if you are the best available candidate!



Certification Requirements

You are typically not required to hold certification in order to work as a business valuator. Some employers however, may prefer to hire candidates who hold various credentials.


Relevant credentials may include professional designations in accounting, finance and/or litigation support. There are also various valuation-specific credentials that you can earn, which we will outline below:


Valuation Credentials in Canada: The Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV) is considered the pre-eminent business valuation organization in Canada. They offer the Chartered Business Valuator credential (CBV).


Valuation Credentials in the United States: The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) offers a variety of accreditations, such as the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) accreditation.


Success Tip: While having certification is not mandatory to work is this field, it is highly recommended for the purpose of career advancement. Being certified will inspire confidence in potential employers and clients, and may also qualify you for a higher level of pay.



Skills Needed to Be Effective in This Field

To effectively perform the duties of a business valuator, you will need the following skills:


• A solid understanding of valuation theory and application

• The ability to work on multiple engagements simultaneously

• Strong skills in research, writing, presentation, and general accounting and finance

• Strong skills with office software, including Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, and PowerPoint

• Strong proficiency with research of companies, industries, and economic conditions





Helpful Characteristics and Interests to Have

To be successful and fulfilled in this profession, you need to have certain personal characteristics, and certain professional interests. These attributes will ensure you have a positive attitude towards your work, and that you are able to enjoy the highs, and endure the lows, of your career:


• Enjoy detail-oriented and analytical work

• Positive attitude and a strong work ethic

• Demonstrated leadership and strong personal integrity

• Enjoy managing rapidly changing assignments

• Enjoy working in a team environment

• Enjoy working with and creating financial models

• Commitment to obtaining outstanding results

• Interest in an office-based career that involves meeting with stakeholders and traveling  

• Interest in working with related professionals such as accountants, lawyers and fiduciaries



Who Employs Business Valuators?

Business valuators are typically employed by the following types of organizations:


• Accounting firms

• Business valuation consulting firms

• Law firms

• Management consulting firms



Typical Salary Level

The amount you could earn as a business valuator is dependent on many different factors, including:


• Your level of education

• Your level of experience

• The region in which you work

• The size and type of your employer

• Many other factors


Mean Salary - Canada: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Assessors, Valuators and Appraisers occupational group earn an average salary of $74,614 per year. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available from reliable sources for other Canadian provinces or territories at the time of writing (June 26, 2019).


Median Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Financial Analysts occupational group* is $76,950 per year, while that of workers in the Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate is $49,540 per year.


*There is no American salary information available for this specialized profession. We can however, get a good idea of what business valuators earn by looking at the salary of workers in closely related professions.



Current Job Opportunities

Our job board below has business valuator postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, when available:




Work Environment

Hours: Business valuators often work normal weekday working hours, although evenings and weekends (like many other professions) may be needed to meet deadlines, and to meet with clients and other stakeholders.


Setting: Business valuators spend much of their time in an office setting, performing analysis, making presentations or attending meetings. They may have to travel on occasion, locally or otherwise, to meet with clients and other stakeholders. 



Similar Occupational Profiles in Our Database

Listed below are professions in our database that are similar in nature to business valuator, as they may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities:


• Appraiser

• Commercial Realtor

• Financial Analyst

• Investment Analyst

• Real Estate Appraiser





Please consult the following resources to learn more about this profession:


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Assessors, Valuators & Appraisers.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 31, 2019.

Business & Financial:Financial Analysts.” (September 4, 2019). Business & Financial - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 31, 2019.

Business & Financial:Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate.” (September 4, 2019). Business & Financial - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 31, 2019.

Resources:Become a CBV.” (May 13, 2011). CBV Institute website. Retrieved October 31, 2019.

Degrees & Certifications:Chartered Business Valuator (CBV).” Will Kenton (April 5, 2019). Investopedia website. Retrieved October 31, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Business Valuator

The scholarships in our database that are relevant for becoming a business valuator are those that are matched to relevant fields of study. The appropriate scholarships can be found on the following pages:


Accounting Scholarships

Economics Scholarships

Finance Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below can serve as an excellent foundation for a career in this field. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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Business Valuator