Career Profile: Economist

What is an Economist?

What is an economist? An economist studies economic statistics for the government or businesses. An economist evaluates data regarding the use, availability and price of resources like oil, land and more; forecasts future economic trends and consumer demand; studies the law to determine the impact that legislation may have on any variety of things and tries to shape future economic trends.

There are many different kinds of economist. A micro-economist may study information relevant to a specific corporation, while a macroeconomist may study information more relevant to an entire industry. Financial economists focus on financial markets, and international economists specialize in the economics of international commerce. There are economists who concentrate on labor economics, green economics, mathematical and political economics and various other fields.

What education and experience does an Economist need?

Becoming an economist generally requires several advanced degrees. While the specific requirements may vary a bit depending on the field of economics being pursued and what educational prerequisites a business is looking for, an economist will at least need a Bachelor’s degree.

In addition to the Bachelor’s, an economist may also need a PhD or Master’s degree in economics, business administration or accounting. Earning only a Bachelor’s will qualify an economist for entry-or-low-level positions without much opportunity to advance. But upon receiving a Bachelor’s degree, an economist can obtain a low-level economics job to build experience while pursuing additional education.

An economist or economics student could also focus on writing, communications and mathematics. Writing and communications is important because an economist will need to be able to articulate ideas efficiently, and mathematics is important due to the complex statistics being studied.

How much does an Economist make?

The amount of money an economist can make varies depending on a number of things: education, experience, demand and the value a business or government office places on a good economist. The average annual wage of an economist is around $95,000, and the rough range of wages can vary between $50,000 and $150,000.

Economists working for the federal government can average over $100,000 a year, while those working for state governments can find their wages ranging between $50,000 and over $100,000. Economists working with big businesses, in certain in-demand fields or as professors teaching economics can also make around or over $100,000 a year.

What is the future job outlook for Economists?

The number of jobs for economists will likely increase a bit over the next few years. Economists possess skills and knowledge that are very valuable to both the public and private sectors. They can shape future trends and potentially predict upcoming crises. Both of these abilities ensure that experienced and well-educated economists will always be in demand. Though, if for some reason, economists are unable to find work in their field, their training should qualify them for jobs in marketing, finance or other industries.

Resource: Who’s Hiring Economists?