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Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the median annual wage, and salary earnings of an economist is $72,780. The middle 50 percent earned between $53,650 and $96,240. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,040, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $129,170.

The Federal Government recognizes education and experience in certifying applicants for entry-level positions. The starting salary for economists having a bachelor’s degree was about $24,667 a year in 2005; however, those with superior academic records could begin at $30,567. Those having a master’s degree could qualify for positions at an annual salary of $37,390. Those with a Ph.D. could begin at $45,239, while some individuals with experience and an advanced degree could start at $54,221. Starting salaries were slightly higher in selected geographical areas where the prevailing local pay was higher. The average annual salary for economists employed by the Federal Government was $89,441 a year in 2005.

Facts at a glance

  • Slower than average job growth is expected as firms increasingly employ workers to perform more specialized tasks with titles that reflect the specific duties of the job rather than the general title of economist.
  • Job seekers with a background in economics should have good opportunities, although some of these opportunities will be in related occupations.
  • Candidates who hold a master’s or Ph.D. degree in economics will have the best employment prospects and advancement opportunities.
  • Quantitative skills are important in all economics specialties.

Summary of what this career entails

An economist studies and analyzes economic trends. More specifically, they study how society distributes its resources such as land, labor, raw materials, and machinery to produce goods and services. An economist usually specializes in a particular area of economics, but should have basic knowledge of economy. For the most part someone in the economics field is concerned with applying principles of the economics field practically and they work for a variety of organizations. Economy is much more of a study and practice of social science than it is some kind of stock market/corporate job.

Examples and or details of work

The book Economics of Helen is a strong tool for people studying for a career in the economy. Details of the book that potential economists should know include the fact that inflation is due to a debased currency and the thought that money is being stolen from people (by the government or banks) when we are undergoing inflation. That kind of information is important because it prevents people who study economics from being too bogged down in the technical aspects of the field.

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees in the economics field include a master’s or PHD in economics, advanced economic theory, econometrics, international economics, and labor economics.

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific career openings in the economics field include micro economist.