How to Become a Workforce Analyst

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

A workforce analyst, sometimes called a workforce management analyst or WFM, is responsible for scheduling enough staff to meet daily demand and keep the company's metrics optimal. This role requires a background in human resources, statistics and analytical software along with superb problem-solving and organizational skills.

Although experienced candidates with strong data analysis skills may get away with less education, most employers will look for a bachelor's degree related to business or statistics along with the appropriate mathematical and technical background.

Job Description

A workforce analyst helps a company analyze its staffing needs so that it has the optimal number of employees working to keep operations running smoothly. This role involves performing statistical analysis to explore past staffing trends and customer demand and then using projections to develop schedules on a daily to monthly basis. To avoid both overages and gaps, these schedules receive regular updates based on metrics such as customer satisfaction, average call time and response time.

Other job duties for a workforce analyst include regularly monitoring metrics, updating employee information, giving reports to leadership and analyzing employee performance and training needs.

Education Requirements

Companies hiring workforce analysts usually want to see a bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, statistics, organizational psychology or a related field. The degree program should cover advanced Microsoft Excel, data analysis, workforce planning, human resource management, forecasting and other key skills required for WFM jobs.

Some companies will accept a high school diploma or associate degree for candidates who have experience in workforce management along with the analytical, technical and problem-solving skills needed for the role.

Once hired, workforce analysts can expect to have to learn additional workforce management and business analysis tools such as Power BI and IBM Cognos. Those who work for call centers can expect to learn help-desk software such as Zendesk and Salesforce Service Cloud.

Industry

Workforce analysts often work for businesses that need a large number of staff. Therefore, you'll often find these positions at large retailers, factories and call centers serving customers of cable providers, insurance companies, banks and other service providers.

A workforce analyst career usually doesn't require travel and involves mostly typical business hours in an office setting. However, call center positions can have irregular shifts that require working overnight or doing overtime.

Years of Experience and Salary

According to PayScale, a workforce analyst makes a median yearly wage of $51,529 as of August 2019, with half of them earning less and half making more. The 10 percent of analysts making the least earn under $36,000 a year, while the top-paid 10 percent make over $74,000. Location differences lead to higher-than-average pay for analysts working in Atlanta, Chicago and Austin than in Salt Lake City, Dallas and Phoenix.

A workforce management career path can lead to higher-paying roles such as data analyst and operations manager, but those who stay in the role can expect to see their earnings grow over time too. PayScale lists these average yearly wages for workforce analysts by years of experience:

  • Under one year: $43,157
  • One to four years: $48,346
  • Five to nine years: $54,640
  • 10 to 19 years: $60,761
  • 20 or more years: $63,600

Job Growth Trend

Demand for workforce analysts and other types of management analysts is growing as companies seek ways to lower costs and operate more efficiently. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates faster-than-average job growth of 14 percent for all management analysts between 2016 and 2026, adding 115,200 jobs.

Earning a master's degree in a subject such as data analysis or business administration along with having a background using Excel and workforce management software can give you an edge when applying for workforce analyst jobs.

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About the Author

Ashley Donohoe started writing professionally about business topics in 2010. Having eight years experience running all aspects of her small business, she is knowledgeable about the daily issues and decisions that business owners face. She has also served as a mentor in the IT industry. She has earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a leadership and strategy concentration from Western Governors University. Some other places featuring her business writing include JobHero, Bizfluent, LoveToKnow, PocketSense, Chron and Study.com.