Every business, regardless of whether it offers goods or services, needs to set a price. Pricing analysts help determine what prices to set and whether current rates need adjustment. The cost of goods and services impacts audience reach and profit, making it an important part of doing business. Pricing analysts understand business trends and market values for the products and services their organizations offer.
This role is essential for the success of many businesses. When a business sets the price too low, it won’t make enough profit. When it sets the price too high, it can’t maintain a consumer base. If you’re interested in business and want to have a direct impact on a company’s sales while analyzing big-picture data trends, take a look at how to become a pricing analyst.
What Does a Pricing Analyst Do?
Pricing analysts attempt to set a fair but competitive price for a business’s goods or services. Some pricing analysts work as contractors on specific projects, but many are full-time employees with a strong grasp of an organization’s operations. In addition to understanding the business on a high level, an in-house pricing analyst understands the company’s consumer base and suite of products and services, including upcoming releases and past successes and failures.
Finding the best price for a product or service isn’t just a shot in the dark. Pricing analysts conduct research to learn the history of the product and previous market trends. Once they have set a price, they communicate with company stakeholders and track the sales of the product or service over time, making changes to the price as necessary to maximize profit.
Steps to Become a Pricing Analyst
If you’re interested in data, business, and research, you may enjoy a future as a pricing analyst. Here are the steps you need to take for this career path.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Many considering how to become a pricing analyst find it advantageous to earn a bachelor’s degree in a field such as data science. For example, Maryville University’s online bachelor’s in data science program teaches students how to import, analyze, and manage large sets of data using the latest technology. Becoming adept at working with data and trends and leveraging technology to illustrate results forms the foundation one needs to succeed as a pricing analyst.
Get Certified or Licensed
Most pricing analysts also have certification or licensing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recommends aspiring pricing analysts earn a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and certification from the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute to facilitate their advancement in the field.
Work Your Way Up
The BLS also recommends aspiring pricing analysts work with a company for a few years. They may want to seek an entry-level position at a company with an appealing product or mission, gain hands-on experience, and stick around.
Pricing Analyst Salary
According to the BLS, the median salary for a financial analyst was $85,660 in May 2018. PayScale, which gathers salary information from workers in the field, lists the average salary for a pricing analyst as $55,980. The difference in these numbers may be due to the specificity, as PayScale shows information for the specific job title of pricing analyst, while the BLS reports on financial analysts in general.
Regardless, pricing analysts often receive higher pay based on the success of their business models. Many analysts earn annual bonuses or even work on commission, which increases their overall earnings. Their pay may also vary based on geographic region, the size of the company they support, or the amount of time they have served in the position.
Employment Outlook for Pricing Analysts
Pursuing a career as a pricing analyst is a promising professional path. According to the BLS, the demand for financial analysts, such as pricing analysts, will rise by about 11% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the average for all jobs.
There are several reasons for this projected growth. First, there are more products and services available than ever before. In turn, companies need pricing analysts to help them market these new products. Second, as technology improves, companies are constantly applying new research methodologies to pricing analysis, and those with skills in this arena can manage and interpret the data. Lastly, the emergence of new markets in different parts of the world drives the need for pricing analysts.
Learn More About Becoming a Pricing Analyst
Pricing analysts can have a lasting impact on businesses. If this type of career is interesting to you, take a look at Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Data Science to find out how to get started in this exciting field.