How to Become an Investment Analyst

Career Path Guide

A career as an investment analyst could be a great fit for you if you have a keen interest in the financial world, you enjoy analyzing financial and related data, and you don’t mind working long hours.


This field can offer great pay, a chance to put your skills in data analysis and work ethic to use, as well as plenty of room for career advancement.


So, if you'd like to know more about the ins and outs of this field then read on; we’ll fill you in on what you would be doing for a living, how much you could earn, and what you’ll need to become an investment analyst!



Education Needed to Become an Investment Analyst

Most employers will prefer that you have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, or a closely related field.


Some employers will only hire you if you have a master's degree in one of these fields (such as an MBA), while others may consider an advanced degree to be an asset.





Certification Needed

Many employers will only hire you if you have earned, or are intent to earn relevant financial industry certification, such as the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) or the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation.


Some employers may accept an advanced degree (such as an MBA) or 5-10 years of directly relevant work experience in lieu of certification.



Investment Analyst: General Job Description

In a nutshell, your main objective as an investment analyst would be to provide investment advice for your company and its clients.


In order to accomplish this goal, you would be responsible for collecting and analyzing financial information, including economic forecasts, trading volumes, the financial backgrounds of companies, historical performance and the movement of capital. 



Typical Job Duties

Although the duties you would perform as an investment analyst would vary from job to job, you would generally be responsible for the following:


• Analyzing financial and economic forecasts and preparing recommendations

• Evaluating financing scenarios and other documents concerning the management of capital

• Analyzing investment projects

• Use daily stock and bond reports, company financial statements and securities manuals to collect information about an investment

• Preparing company specific and industry outlooks, analytic reports and briefing notes





Is Investment Analysis Right for You?

In order to survive the ups and downs of working in this field, you’ll need to have certain core competencies, personal traits, as well as professional interests, including:


• You have a keen interest in financial data analysis

• You don't mind working long hours in an office setting

• You have an interest in a well-paying career, with room for advancement

• You enjoy advising others in areas in which you have expertise

• You enjoy preparing reports and providing recommendations

• You’re willing to take accountability for the conclusions of your analysis



Typical Average Salary Level

The salary level you could earn as an investment analyst can vary, depending on the following factors:


• Your level of education

• Your level of experience

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• The scope of your job duties


Investment Analyst Salary - Alberta: According to the 2013 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Financial and Investment Analysts occupational group earn an average salary of $84,271 per year.


Salary - British Columbia: According to WorkBC (Province of British Columbia), the annual provincial median salary of British Columbians working in the Financial and Investment Analysts occupational group is $71,947.


Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the Financial Analysts occupational group is $78,620 per year.



Who Employs Investment Analysts?

As a investment analyst, you could be employed with a variety of different organizations within the financial sector, including:


• Securities firms

• Investment banking firms

• Banks

• Trust companies

• Governments

• Insurance companies

• Mutual and pension funds

• Accounting firms

• Investment consulting firms

• Other large private corporations


Please Note: Jobs for investment analysts are usually found in very large urban centres. 



Job Postings

Our job board below has "Investment Analyst" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.




Work Environment as an Investment Analyst

Setting: As an investment analyst, you would work in an office in a large urban centre. You may be required to travel outside of the office to meet clients and attend meetings.


Hours: Much of your workday would involve telephone calls and meetings. Because of this, you could expect to frequently work overtime in order to perform research, analysis, and report preparation.


Working Conditions: Your work would involve long hours in an office environment, while being under near-constant pressure to meet deadlines. Work in this field is intense, detail oriented, and often involves working with computers and custom-designed software. Some travel may be required of you from time to time.



Career Advancement Opportunities

Displaying competence and a good work ethic can afford you plenty of career advancement options, including:


• Earning a higher salary

• Taking on bigger clients

• Eventually moving into an executive role, even if it involves moving to a different company

• Moving into specialized areas, such as Portfolio Management

• Taking on a similar role in another company, or moving to a smaller company that has better opportunities for advancement or ownership



Similar Occupations in Our Database

Listed below are occupations in our database that have similar responsibilities, and/or require similar skills, or be in the same sector of industry, as Investment Analyst:


• Financial Advisor

• Financial Analyst

• Financial Trader

• Forecast Analyst

• Investment Banker

• Investment Portfolio Manager




Please consult the following references to learn more about how you can become an investment analyst:


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Financial Analyst.” (March 30, 2017). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

Explore Careers:Financial and investment analysts.” (January 24, 2018). WorkBC website. Retrieved February 10, 2020.

Business & Financial:Financial Analysts.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

Student: Investment Analyst.” (n.d.). Canadian Securities Institute website. Retrieved December 28, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming an Investment Analyst

The "Relevant Fields of Study" section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as an investment analyst. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on the following pages:


Accounting Scholarships

Business Administration 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 college/university majors listed below can be helpful (or are necessary) for working in this field. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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