Computer systems analysts study an organization's computer system, recommend improvements and help implement them. Although a particular degree is not required, many analysts have a bachelor's degree in computer science or information science, while others have a different bachelor's degree or a master's degree in business administration or computer science. In addition to training, other factors in the salary of a computer systems analyst include the industry and location of the job.
Average Salary Range:
The average salary for full-time systems analysts came to $82,320 per year as of May 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, wages varied widely, with 10 percent earning $49,370 per year or less. The highest-earning 10 percent earned at least $120,060 per year. The government survey included 487,740 systems analysts in the nation and did not include self-employed consultants. Most analysts work full time, and overtime is common.
The largest employer of systems analysts in the 2011 government study was computer systems design services, which had more than 27 percent of the jobs. These analysts averaged $86,910 per year. Analysts working for company and organizational management, the next-largest employer, averaged $81,350 per year, and those working for insurance companies averaged $78,490 per year. State government employees averaged $70,180 per year, and those working for management, technical or scientific consulting businesses averaged $87,200 per year.
Three industries had average pay exceeding $100,000 per year for computer systems analysts in the bureau's 2011 report. The 40 analysts working for animal slaughtering and processing had the highest pay of any industry, an average annual wage of $125,750. Mining support had the next highest pay, with 340 analysts averaging $124,720 per year. Oil and gas extractions, which had 2,120 analysts as of 2011, paid an average of $103,250 per year.
Three states had average salaries of more than $89,000 per year for computer systems analysts as of 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Virginia led with an average wage of $96,080 for its more than 30,000 analysts. Massachusetts, with 15,440 jobs, had average annual pay of $89,870, and California had 57,290 jobs at an average pay of $89,090 per year. The top-paying metropolitan regions were Barnstable Town, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where pay averaged $106,040, and the Connecticut shoreline region that includes Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, where it averaged $105,010 per year.
Computer systems analysts will enjoy a 22 percent increase in jobs between 2010 and 2020, faster than most occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Areas of fastest growth include wireless communication networks and health care, where more analysts will be needed for electronic medical records and prescription records. Jobs for systems analysts at information technology consulting businesses will increase by 43 percent because businesses of small and medium size will outsource their system design.