Economist essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $91,860
- 2011, number of jobs: 15,760
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 6 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Economists; what they do:
If you are exceptionally good with numbers and don’t mind making decision with large amounts of money riding on them, consider an economist career. Individuals, governments, and businesses from a variety of fields rely on economists to make accurate forecasts regarding the economy. They also provide professional advice about how to deal with economic issues and changes.
The average economist’s workload consists of analyzing current and historical economic data, mathematical models, charts, spreadsheets, software programs, database management programs, and statistical techniques in order to create predictions regarding the economy.
In order to gain some of their current data, economists conduct interviews and surveys. An economist career includes creating charts, tables, and reports for presentations, as well as writing and publishing articles in academic journals.
The areas of work for economists vary greatly. Many economists work for the government, collecting and analyzing U.S. economy data, as well as advising policy makers on how laws may affect the economy. Some economists work for corporations and explain how the economy will affect the business. A smaller percentage of economists work for think tanks, regularly publishing informative articles.
Some of the common economist specialties include: econometricians, financial economists, industrial organization economists, international economists, labor economists, macroeconomists, monetary economists, microeconomists, public finance economists.
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Economists job titles:
- Economic Analyst
- Professor of Economics
- Economic Consultant
- Project Economist
- Forensic Economist
- Health Researcher
- Research Analyst
- Economic Analysis Director
Economists Education, Certification and License Requirements
Although a few entry-level economist jobs may require just a Bachelor of Economics degree, the majority of economist positions require a Master of Economics or a Ph.D. in Economics.
Some economics Ph.D. programs accept a variety of bachelor degrees, but candidates typically need a strong math background.
Employers seek economists with work experience, as well as a Ph.D. in Economics. An economist may gain work experience through an internship or in working in fields such as business or finance.
Economist programs cover subjects such as:
- Economic growth
- Economic forecasting
- Statistical methods
- Numerical computation
Economists don’t need a license or a certificate.
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Economist Job Outlook
Forecast: six percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for economists, much slower than the average for all occupations.
Employment demand for economists grows best in the private industry, as businesses and organization depend increasingly on economic analysis and quantitative methods to accurately forecast business, sales, and other economic trends.
The federal government, currently the highest employer of economists, may lower its overall demand for economists.
- 2011 median annual wage: $91,860
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $123,890
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $67,150
- Federal government
- State government
- Local government
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services