Program Analyst Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Program Analyst Do?

Program analysts assist organizations in designing, developing, and implementing programs and projects. Their responsibilities include analyzing data, creating reports, and developing strategies to improve program performance. Healthcare, government, and non-profit organizations are all among the industries where program analysts work.

These analysts should have strong analytical skills, be proficient at data analysis, and be familiar with program evaluation methods. Working with stakeholders, they identify goals and objectives for programs, monitor performance, and develop strategies for improving outcomes. For stakeholders and team members to understand complex data and technical concepts, program analysts need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively, both in writing and verbally.

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National Average Salary

Program analyst salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Program Analyst is:


Program Analyst Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a program analyst. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

As a program analyst, you will perform high level financial modeling and solve one-of-a-kind problems to improve efficiencies and operations across a broad range of groups with organization-wide impact. We need a forward looking, strategic yet realistic problem solver to work closely with internal groups and senior leadership to help. In this role, you would provide recommendations for developing or modifying applications or databases, using research and fact-finding. As an ideal candidate, you have proven experience optimizing systems, procedures, and processes, evaluating operational and program effectiveness, and developing solutions to make improvements or address performance issues. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develops and implements data management collection procedures
  • Participates in strategic planning meetings
  • Documents all changes in programs and outcomes
  • Validates data and implements quality control measures to ensure the continued success of programs
  • Assists with grants and event coordination
  • Creates budgetary controls and financial management processes
  • Analyzes programs, policies, procedures, and systems and makes recommendations to optimize them
  • Creates and implements new or revised policies and procedures
  • Identifies and resolves issues

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, business, or similar field
  • 3+ years of experience with project management or program analysis

Required skills and qualifications

  • Understanding of industry best practices
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills
  • Exceptional math and statistics skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team 
  • Ability to adapt quickly to changing technology
  • Effective communication skills 
  • High proficiency in computer technology and programming 
  • Strong project management skills.

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience creating and delivering budgets
  • Experience in software design, debugging, and development
  • Familiarity with a variety of databases and software systems

Example 2


  • Assist management in developing performance metrics
  • Identify trends, atypical situations, or other issues that may require special consideration or procedures
  • Manage multiple conflicting priorities while supporting the various process owners
  • Ensure the adherence to federal regulations for payments of specific program components, including program rules, eligibility designations, and FCC orders
  • Conduct audit research
  • Assist Senior Manager(s), Director(s), and others in various projects, as needed
  • Other specific duties as assigned

About you

  • Possess Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in a related field
  • 3 to 4 years of working in a professional environment as an Analyst or similar position
  • Experience working in the telecommunications industry, performing audit response functions, and/or leveraging financial systems
  • Be proactive and highly organized, with strong attention to detail and follow through with the ability to handle multiple, complex tasks, and establish priorities
  • Capacity to work independently without significant guidance and be able to exercise good judgment, taking the initiative when necessary
  • Excellent analytical and proven problem-solving skills
  • Analyze and interpret program data to identify any risks, issues, solutions, and recommendations
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and have strong verbal and written communication skills
  • The ability to identify and implement continuous process improvement
  • Proficient with the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Visio)

Example 3

As a Program Analyst, you will support the team with compelling visualizations to better understand needs, goals, and objectives. The ideal candidate has some experience in fast-paced complex environments like the automotive industry.

You will

  • Create reports and data visualizations to make recommendations to leadership
  • Manage data analytics to understand the scope, schedule, cost, and quality
  • Monitor project schedule compliance levels, identify gaps, and assess project risks
  • Open issues tracking and follow up with issue owners
  • Identify and communicate potential roadblocks. Work with the Program Manager to eliminate roadblocks
  • Coordinate with internal stakeholders to identify data required and inform of missing data needed to complete projects
  • Provide planning support for programs including scheduling, budgeting, and performance monitoring
  • Gather and analyze information to develop regular program status reports
  • Assist in developing and implementing AME program management procedures, processes, and systems
  • Develop and maintain the document control system including maintenance of project files, quality assurance, communication, and automation
  • Ensure document review and approval occur in a timely manner as dictated by program management

You’ll need

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering – Industrial or Systems preferred
  • Strong programming skills with Python, C#, or Java
  • Excellent Microsoft Power BI & Microsoft Excel capability (Macros, complex queries, etc.)
  • Excellent organizational, administrative, prioritization, and communication abilities with good follow-up skills and attention to detail is a must
  • Must be self-motivated with a desire to continuously improve, learn, and provide creative solutions
  • Effective problem solver with knowledge and experience utilizing a structured problem-solving methodology
  • Project launch experience from initial concept to final production

Example 4

The Program Analyst will focus on evaluating the efficiency, effectiveness, and ROI of learning initiatives targeted at improving associate performance and career readiness.

Primary tasks

  • Utilize a credible Learning Model to measure the effectiveness of L&D training courses, workshops, and initiatives
  • Contribute data that supports the development of functional and organizational content, practices, and objectives to achieve learning and development goals
  • Apply CNO and L&D policies and procedures during the evaluation and reporting process
  • Develop and implement solutions to collect and analyze data
  • Analyze responses to prompts to achieve a secure, valid, reliable determination of the impact of learning and return on investment
  • Analyze learning issues using data from internal and external resources to provide insight to decision-makers
  • Apply subject matter expertise and experience to evaluate course, workshop, and program impact
  • Recognize and interpret trends and patterns in datasets to locate influences
  • Prototype and personalize robust feedback that supports accurate reporting
  • Other duties as assigned

Required education, skills, and experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Adult Education, Business, Strategy, Analysis, or another related field
  • Experience in evaluating learning effectiveness utilizing a credible learning model (Ex. Kirkpatrick, Phillips, Six Sigma)
  • Demonstrated ability to be well-connected with a team and any applicable cross-functional groups
  • Solid communication skills in written and verbal form with the ability to connect effectively with all stakeholders
  • Knowledge of the functions and challenges of Adult Learning
  • Proven ability to collect and analyze information
  • Investigate appropriate resources and involve partners when appropriate
  • Proficient in Microsoft – Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Teams, and One Drive
  • Ten plus (10) years of full-time work experience in training, analysis, or evaluation
  • Master’s Degree in Adult Education, Business, Strategy, Analysis, or another related field
  • Outstanding communication skills (both written & verbal) with the ability to connect effectively with all stakeholders
  • Experience with the functions and challenges of Adult Learning

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Certification. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the pre-eminent framework for managing IT service delivery around the world, defining the processes for the design, development, delivery, and support of IT services. ITIL offers five levels of certification: foundation, practitioner, intermediate, expert, and master. Each certificate earns credits, and with 22 credits, candidates can achieve ITIL Expert certification. The ITIL Master certification demonstrates the ability to apply the ITIL framework in real-world situations. It requires the ITIL Expert certification, 5 years of ITIL experience in a management or leadership role, submission of a proposal for a service improvement, submission of a work package demonstrating a candidate’s ability to apply ITIL principles to a real-world business case, and an interview with an ITIL assessment panel.
  • Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA). The PMI-PBA, offered by the Project Management Institute, is for IT professionals who manage requirements or product development and project or program managers who perform business analysis. The PMI-PBA demonstrates a candidate’s competency in all facets of business analysis. This credential is highly sought after because a certificate holder is considered an expert in business analysis and gives them a solid edge over their peers. The eligibility requirements include passing a rigorous exam and various combinations of experience and education.
  • Capacity Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certification. The CMMI model provides businesses with a framework for developing better products and services, from development to acquisition. Three levels of certifications are offered through the CMMI Institute. The CMMI Associate certification demonstrates a candidate’s commitment to performance improvement. The CMMI Professional certification proves a candidate’s ability to apply the CMMI model in an organizational structure. The Certified CMMI lead appraiser is qualified to help organizations determine their capability level or maturity level. If candidates want to teach others how to use the CMMI model, they can become certified CMMI instructors.

How to Hire a Program Analyst

Consider the following when hiring a program analyst:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
  • Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
  • Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
  • Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring a program analyst, we recommend the following options:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

We recommend CareerBuilder for program analyst openings:


CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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3. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • Do you have any experience in program analysis, and what is your approach to program evaluation?
  • What are your strategies for identifying program goals and objectives with stakeholders?
  • What criteria do you use to prioritize program goals and objectives?
  • When it comes to aligning programs with organizational goals, how can you ensure they are effective?
  • Which skills do you consider to be the most important for this role, and how do you develop them?
  • How did you come up with an implementation plan for a program?
  • What metrics do you usually use to measure the performance of your programs?
  • Are there any areas for program improvement you have identified, and if so, what strategies have you used to address them?
  • How do you handle uncooperative employees?
  • How would you characterize your management style?
  • What tools and techniques do you utilize as a program analyst?
  • Can you share a time when you implemented a new technology?
  • When presenting complex data to stakeholders, how do you ensure the information is clear and understandable?
  • What is an effective approach to working with a large amount of data? 
  • Can you tell us of a time when you gathered information from multiple sources and how you determined which information was more relevant?
  • What factors do you consider in determining the feasibility of designs within time and cost constraints?

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