A government analyst is a broad term that refers to a variety of analyst positions within government agencies. This job encompasses four different categories: management analyst, program analyst, policies analyst, and research analyst. The term is used the US federal government to describe positions that are more difficult to define than those with a more defined task list. Government analyst jobs exist in state governments as well, but their definitions and responsibilities differ from state to state.
In general, an analyst collects, records, and analyzes data pertaining to a particular agency, program, or project. They may follow policy development or legislative activity in a specific field. They compile the data and use it as a tool to advise management on the efficacy of their operations, programs, and policies.
Many job descriptions for government analysts are complicated and vague in some ways. There may be some wiggle room in job responsibilities or less-than-detailed terms. This is due in part to the government’s landscape, but it’s also the result of a complex, varied job description that changes depending on the project.
The knowledge base that a government analyst must have varies depending on the agency and the project’s parameters. The analyst must have a thorough understanding of how agency programs or activities work. He or she should also be familiar with the organization’s policies, mission, and goals, as well as management processes and principles.
Analysts should be well-versed in analysis, evaluation methods, and program evaluation techniques. Some may be required to know and understand financial management practices or basic budgetary principles, depending on the area of analysis. Other analysts may be more involved in emergency management and, as a result, will need to be well-versed in that field.
A career as a government analyst can be both challenging and rewarding, especially for those who enjoy being intellectually challenged and analytical. In the United States, salaries for this position vary. Grades 5 and 7 are typically required for entry-level federal positions. They usually start at around a grade 9 and can go as high as an 11 or more for more intermediate positions. The salary that goes along with that scale varies region.
The salary of a government analyst in the United States varies from state to state and even from agency to agency. Each agency has its own set of requirements for a government analyst’s minimum qualifications. Searching for government analyst jobs on the agency’s website is a good place to start learning about the various positions available, as well as job descriptions and minimum requirements.