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What does a Pricing Analyst do?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A pricing analyst is a business professional who specializes in the study of pricing, with the goal of determining the best prices for the company he or she works for. These professionals often hold degrees from business schools, and some of their training is highly specialized, as pricing is a very delicate art, and a good pricing analyst can make or break the future of a company. Many companies retain full-time pricing analysts, and it is also possible for a company to hire an analyst as a consultant for a particular project or concern.

Pricing analysts look at industry standards, playing close attention to the pricing strategies of their competitors. They use mathematical analysis to track pricing trends, and they also study consumer habits to determine how much people are willing to pay for various products, and to look for patterns in consumer spending. People may be willing to pay more for certain types of products during specific times of the year, for example, which can be critical information to have when determining prices and timing of product rollouts.

Internal issues are also of importance to a pricing analyst. Pricing analysts are interested in the cost of production of various items, the amount of profit a company wants to make, and associated costs like marketing. They are also concerned with packaging and presentation of products, which can influence how much people are willing to pay, and they may provide advice during the research and development phase to create the most income for the company.

Pricing is intensely psychological, which means that a pricing analyst needs to have a knowledge of human psychology in addition to a deep understanding of the business world. When developing prices for products, pricing analysts need to think about how consumers interact with pricing, how other products in the same line are priced, and how prices may be altered at the store. Choosing the right price can make a big difference in sales, even if the difference between prices under consideration is minimal.

Pricing analyst salaries can vary, depending on their level of experience and training, and where they work. Many companies are specifically looking for people with experience in the market in addition to a degree from business school, which can make this field tough to break into for new graduates. People who are interested in this career may start out in other departments and areas of a company, gradually working their way into the field of pricing analysis.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon324406 — On Mar 10, 2013

I would like to maybe get into this type of job since I live in Columbus, Nebraska and it pays well here for this type of job. I just want to know if the person who is doing this occupation can have opinions about prices and price things, or does the training always have to step in? If so, then it's just like Pawn Stars where they have someone come in and tell them the price of an item. That could be fun.

By Denha — On Feb 26, 2011

I wonder who does the pricing for places like Wal Mart, and whether the business training these people receive ever takes into account the concept of "real price" versus the price on the shelf. So much goes into the cost of something besides what you put on the price sticker.

By aaaCookie — On Feb 25, 2011

I had no idea pricing analysts sometimes received special "pricing" training. It makes me a little confused, actually, considering that pricing can have such huge discrepancies from store to store in similar markets. But I suppose people in pricing analyst jobs are not always responsible for every price their company assigns, and so sometimes they're still not priced well.

By widget2010 — On Feb 05, 2011

In small or family-owned businesses, the pricing analysts, or whoever has a similar task, often do not have fancy degrees or as much training or experience. However, this can sometimes be good, such as in a small family-owned grocery store. While the person in charge of pricing has perhaps not been trained extensively in pricing, he or she might really know the community and therefore be able to guess based on that which things people in that community would most want to buy, and how much they would want to pay, perhaps even better than someone trained in business. Knowing your customers is often as important, or more important, than knowing business practices and theories.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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