Economist Salary

By Henry R. Steele - April 15, 2018
Reading Time: 7 minutes

The following article discusses the career path of Economist. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Economists.

Job Duties

Economists takes on an advisory role in businesses or governments, guiding them on economical issues. Those issues are wide-ranging and include things such as development, international trade, transportation, energy facts, health statistics, and tax rates. Economists use various computer programs through which they collect their data. They are knowledgeable about survey and sampling techniques and how these enable them to gain the data they require. They then use the data, as well as an evaluation of past economic trends, to create reports that are easy to understand for senior managers. They often have to present these reports to a large audience.

Other job duties of an economist are:

  • To create and perform research in order to find trends and use this to create forecast models
  • To take on an advisory role for government, banks, corporations, and agencies, explaining how adopting different financial policies can affect them
  • To create reports and presentations on research findings
  • To develop new ways of data processing, sampling, and collection as this relates to trade, commodities, agriculture, labor, finance, and so on

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 21,300 economists in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals are:

  • Federal government, excluding postal service 22%
  • Scientific research and development services 17%
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 15%
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals 9%
  • Finance and insurance 7%

How to Become

Economists usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in economics or a field related to finance. They will have to complete a graduate degree should they wish to work in academic environments. Additionally, they must have a strong analytical mind and be very computer literate, since those two elements are vital to be successful in their role. Furthermore, they must always remain up to date with the latest economic trends, so they must also have a background in conducting research. Strong math, writing, and presentation skills are generally essential requirements.

Entry level positions, particularly with the federal government, are available for those with a bachelor’s degree. Many take on these positions to gain the necessary experience for graduate studies. This will enable them to access more significant career advancement as well. During these degree programs, most aspiring economists complete an internship during which time they have to collect data and analyze it, completing a piece of research on a particular economic issue or trend. They must then compile a detailed report on what they have found. Furthermore, they gain experience in areas such as statistical analysis software and other related fields, which also helps with career development.

Education Requirements

Although a bachelor’s degree in economics is the minimum requirement for entry level positions at government level, the majority of economists now hold a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. This is required in many different positions, particularly in international or research organizations and businesses, as they need someone with advanced academic skills. Several years’ work experience and training in statistical analysis software is also often required.

While a bachelor’s degree in economics is a good starting point, those who want to study the subject at graduate level can have a bachelor’s in many other fields. They must have a strong mathematical background, however. Those who complete a Ph.D. have engaged in significant and lengthy research and become specialized in a certain field.

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Traits & Qualities

The most effective economists have the following traits to some degree or other:

– Strong analytical skills to see trends and patterns in complex data, drawing logical conclusions after advanced calculations
– Excellent critical thinking skills for solving highly complex problems expected in the future
– Great communication skills, particularly speaking skills, to report on their findings to large audiences. Writing skills for the creation of reports in an easy to understand language are also important.

Minimum Education

Master’s or Ph.D. Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Economist was $97,781. This number is estimated from over 212,936 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $50.93 and monthly of $8,148.

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$24,000

$220,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Economist salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $110,027 while Idaho had the smallest quoted salary of $51,859.

Arizona Georgia Maryland New York
California Idaho Missouri Oregon
Colorado Illinois North Carolina Texas
DC Louisiana Nebraska Virginia
Florida Massachusetts New Mexico Washington
Arizona$71,071 Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Arizona.

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$27,000

$135,000

Salary Distribution
California$90,732 Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc., Department of Labor, State of Nevada, and EconOne Research, Inc..

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$20,000

$211,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$73,458 Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Department of the Interior.

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$22,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
DC$110,027 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Bates White, LLC, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Legislative Branch, and Internal Revenue Service.

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$34,000

$229,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$79,539 Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Forex Factory, Inc..

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$31,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$104,895 Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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$43,000

$192,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$51,859 Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like IDAHO DEPT. OF LABOR.

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$11.15

$49.55

Salary Distribution
Illinois$89,868 Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like John Deere.

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$14,000

$246,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$63,588 Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Louisiana.

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$1,400

$12,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$75,205 Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Transportation, Department of Labor, and Cape Cod Times Classified Ads.

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$14,000

$189,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$91,131 Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Government.

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$28,000

$190,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$96,101 Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Department of Agriculture and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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$27,000

$206,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$95,050 Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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$29,000

$197,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$61,916 Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Nebraska.

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$17,000

$134,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$60,325 Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of New Mexico.

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$21,000

$120,000

Salary Distribution
New York$109,193 Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like NYC Independent Budget Office, Department of Labor, Department of Finance, and Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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$25,000

$252,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$67,225 Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Department of Labor and State of Oregon.

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$19,000

$143,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$80,327 Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Houston-Galveston Area Council and Texas Workforce Commission.

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$20,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$91,623 Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Transportation Security Administration, Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of State, and Inlabora.

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$22,000

$209,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$93,674 Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of Seattle and Amazon.com.

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$26,000

$203,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Economist. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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