Oregon Labor Market Information System
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Credit Analysts: Making Bank While Working for the Bank
by Brooke Jackson
Published May-20-2013

 
If you've ever applied for a loan, chances are good that a credit analyst was involved in the decision to lend you money. As their occupation title suggests, credit analysts analyze financial information, including credit histories. They do this when an individual or a company wants to borrow money. Their role is to determine how much risk is involved in lending money or extending credit to a person or business, and then prepare a report of their findings for use by decision-makers. They are sometimes also called credit risk analysts or loan analysts.

Check Out These Skills
 
To conduct a risk analysis, credit analysts use basic math and algebra. They have to understand concepts from accounting and finance. They must also be good at organizing and keeping track of records, forms, and files. Strong interpersonal skills contribute to the success of workers in this field, as credit analysts have to interact with customers, co-workers, and external organizations in the course of doing their work. A review of job listings posted with the Oregon Employment Department indicates that employers desire both technical and soft skills in potential employees.

Table 1
Skills Most Often Requested by Oregon Employers for Credit Analysts
Skill Number of Job Listings
Analyze credit data 99
Use computers to enter, access and retrieve data 94
Obtain information from clients, customers, patients or others 88
Provide customer service 85
Process records and maintain forms and files 79
Compile data for financial reports 75
Review loan applications 73
Evaluate degree of financial risk 73
Perform general financial analysis 72
Prepare financial reports 71
Source: iMatchSkills Job Listings, 2010-2013
A College History Helps
 
A job seeker typically needs a bachelor's degree to become a credit analyst. Nationally, more than two-fifths of workers in this field (44%) have a bachelor's degree. Some workers have more education and some have less, but the vast majority (86%) have completed some college-level coursework. A combination of post-secondary education and related work experience provides a competitive advantage when pursuing job openings in this field. After being hired, a new credit analyst generally experiences a moderate amount of on-the-job training.

Where to Work the Numbers
 
There are fewer than 560 credit analysts in Oregon, so it's a relatively small occupation. Each year through 2020 there will be about 24 job openings in this field as people retire or change occupations. Most of the employment and job opportunities are in the Portland metropolitan area, which accounts for three-quarters (415) of the workers and four-fifths (19) of the annual job openings. Most of the other workers are in metro areas like Eugene, Medford, and Salem, with a handful in more rural areas of the state.

Nearly half (47%) of all credit analysts work in the finance or insurance industry for banks, credit unions, credit card companies, real estate lenders, and so forth. The other workers in this field are employed in a variety of industries, working for organizations such as credit bureaus, car dealers and large wholesalers. So if you have a credit card, car loan, or mortgage, you probably and perhaps unknowingly worked with a credit analyst.

Bank on a Good Income
 
Wages for entry-level credit analysts in Oregon start at about $15.75 an hour, or nearly $33,000 a year. The average hourly wage is nearly twice this rate, at $28.69. Workers with a significant amount of experience in this field should consider looking for a job in Clackamas County, where the highest paid workers make more than $41.31 an hour, or $86,000 a year. Clearly these number-crunching analysts are making bank.

Research Further Rewards
 
If analyzing credit risk and earning good money sounds like a fun way to spend your workweek, there are several sources for more information. The website O*Net OnLine provides a comprehensive list of the attributes and job duties of this occupation. In addition, the Employment Department's site, www.QualityInfo.org/olmisj/OIC, provides links to current job listings and other Oregon-specific information.