How to Become an Economist

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become an economist depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need at least a master’s degree in economist, finance, business administration or business statistics. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a PH.D degree in economics can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as an economist.

Much Does an Economist Make?
$91,860 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+2,300 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Investor trading, markets, government policies and currencies

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Administrative Services Managers page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become an Economist

The professional role of the economists is varies and so is the salaries. Depending on where you end up, the range can be differing.

Scientific research and development $109,720
Federal executive branch $106,840
Management,scientific,technical consulting $93,250
Local government $69,950
State government $61,620

Employment and Salary Information by State for Economists

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in economics. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, representing data collected in May 2013.

Employment and Information Data for Economics

Why Become an Economist?

While the need for economists is expected to grow 6% from now until 2020, the rate of growth is slower than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Labor of Bureau Statistics. An economics career can span a wide range of industries and disciplines.  Many businesses and organizations use economic analysis to help determine financial outlooks on everything from product sales to national economic growth to even human migration patterns.

Essentially, economists are responsibly for determining how organizations allocate resources.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Economist

  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Introduction to Auditing
  • Internal Control Systems
  • Introduction to Finance
  • Introduction to Economics
  • Accounting
  • Financial Statements
  • Financial Project Management Financial Planning and Analysis
  • Modeling Financial Statements

Degree Options for Economics Careers

Economics is a highly specialized field and most jobs require a Ph.D. However, there are a handful of ancillary jobs that revolve around economics that don’t require an PhD (for example, High School Economics teacher). In addition, there are entry-level positions in economics that only require a bachelor’s degree.

A certificate in financial economics is designed for students entering the financial services and consulting field. It can also provide a base for more advanced professional programs in law and business.

Associate’s Degree
An associate’s degree in economics advances students analytical, management and communication skills, while helping formulate a wider understanding of the world and the role economic principles and quantitative methods plays in it.

Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree offers insights into both mathematical models and statistical techniques to help students better understand how economic incentives affect every aspect of life. These degrees offer the opportunity to learn about markets and economies and ways to help organizations adjust to achieve optimal results.

Master’s Degree
A good master’s program in economics provides students with an advanced economics and analytics skill set that can be used for careers in applied economic analysis and public policy, among many others.

The Doctor of Philosophy in economics is an advanced research degree that provides students a deep dive into the world of economics, preparing them for leadership roles in government, academics, media and business.