Management analysts salary & career outlook

The job of a management analyst is probably not quite how it's depicted in the popular film "Office Space," where the consultants come in and fire several people in a ridiculous-yet-humorous way. But there's at least a little bit of truth there.

Management analysts act as consultants to an organization, proposing ways that it can run more efficiently and profitably. This entails meeting with managers, analyzing financial data, recommending new systems to reduce costs and increase profit, and much more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is typically required for management analysts, though some employers prefer an MBA. There are plenty of management analyst schools that can prepare you for this career.

Management analyst salary

According to the BLS, as of May 2012 management analysts made a mean hourly wage of $42.34 and a mean annual wage of $88,070, nationally. The salary of a management analyst could vary widely, though. The bottom 10 percent of earners as of May 2012, according to the BLS, made an average annual wage of $44,370 nationally, whereas those in the 90th percentile made an average annual wage of $142,580.

Salary can vary by industry. The top-paying industries for management analysts in the United States as of May 2012, according to the BLS, were as follows:

  • Petroleum and coal products manufacturing ($113,110 annual mean wage)
  • Other professional, scientific, and technical services ($109,570 annual mean wage)
  • Pipeline transportation of crude oil ($109,240 annual mean wage)
  • Miscellaneous nondurable goods merchant wholesalers ($108,420 annual mean wage)
  • Lessors of real estate ($106,460 annual mean wage)

What state you live in may also make a difference in regards to how much you earn. The top-paying American states for the management analyst profession as of May 2012, according to the BLS, were:

  • Massachusetts ($103,820 annual mean wage)
  • New York ($102,920 annual mean wage)
  • Illinois (98,020 annual mean wage)
  • Virginia ($97,980 annual mean wage)
  • Maryland (95,000 annual mean wage)

Salaries may vary by city, as well. According to the BLS, as of May 2012 the top-paying metropolitan areas in the United States for management analysts were:

  • Taunton-Norton-Raynham, MA NECTA Division ($122,970 annual mean wage)
  • Naples-Marco Island, FL ($122,580 annual mean wage)
  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($118,360 annual mean wage)

The real estate mantra "location, location, location" may ring true in many cases, when it comes to a management analyst salary. Although, there are of course always exceptions.

Management analyst employment outlook

According to the BLS, employment of management analysts is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations. What that actually looks like is approximately 157,200 new jobs in that 10-year time period, the BLS projects.

According to the BLS, there may be strong competition for management analyst positions because of how attractive the job is, due to the high earning potential in the occupation. For this reason, the BLS states, "Job opportunities are expected to be best for those who have a graduate degree or a certification, specialized expertise, and a talent for salesmanship and public relations." Growth will be especially strong in smaller consulting companies, according to the BLS, especially those that specialize in specific industries or types of business function.

It's unclear geographically where the most growth may take place. But as of May 2012, the states with the highest concentration of management analyst jobs and location quotients in the United States, according to the BLS, were:

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Maryland

If trends continue, perhaps those states will still be at the top with the profession. Regardless what happens, it probably won't look anything like "Office Space."