​​​​​Frequently Asked Questions about Careers Related to Economics​

What is this job like?

  • Economists do research. They prepare surveys to collect data and interpret the data. They also forecast how the economy might change in the future. Economists study topics such as prices, jobs, taxes, interest rates, and the stock market. Other economists study money and the banking system. An important aspect of their job is writing reports on their research.   ​
  • Some economists work for federal, state, or local governments. They help governments develop policies related to taxes, trade with other countries, the minimum wage, and many other topics.
  • Other economists work for businesses. Economists often help them to figure out what to sell and at what price.
  • Economists work with numbers, charts, and computers and have regular work schedules. Most work alone doing research, but a few may work as part of a team. Most economists have deadlines.

How do you prepare?

  • Many companies require a master's or doctorate degree from their economists. In the Federal Government, entry-level jobs require a bachelor's degree—about 4 years of college.
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  • Courses in math, statistics, economics, and computer science are helpful.  Also, it is important to learn to write well as economists are required to write many reports. 

How much does this job pay?

  • In May 2008, the average yearly wages of economists was $90,830. The average yearly salary of economists working for the Federal Government was $108,010 in March 2009.​

What is the job market like? 

  • Economists held about 14,600 jobs in 2008. Over one-half work for governments. Many work for banks, consulting firms, and other businesses. Some work for themselves. Most economists work in large cities.​

What about the future?

  • Employment of economists should grow slower than the average for all occupations through 2018. Economists will be needed mostly in businesses to do research. Governments will need economists to help study new policies. However, many people who work with economics will have other job titles.​
  • Economists with a master's or doctorate degree and strong math, statistics, and computer skills should have the best chance of getting a job, while economists with a bachelor's degree may face strong competition for jobs. ​

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