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Economist Job Description, Career as an Economist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

income economists degree government economic

Education and Training: Master's or doctoral degree

Salary: Median—$72,780 per year

Employment Outlook: Fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Economists study the ways that society uses limited resources, such as land, water, raw materials, and human labor, to satisfy their needs and wants. They are social scientists who have expert knowledge about systems that produce, distribute, and use goods and services. Economists are concerned with how individuals, businesses, and governments at all levels obtain, invest, and spend money. They also study the reasons why people follow certain economic courses. They sometimes analyze the relationship between the supply and demand of goods and services.

Since economics is a very broad field, economists often specialize in more focused areas of interest, such as industrial productivity, taxes, farm policies, or international trade. They may develop hypotheses to explain problems such as Economists use statistics, mathematical analysis, and economic theory to conduct studies concerning such issues as unemployment, inflation, industrial productivity, farm policies, and international trade. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.) unemployment or inflation. They often advise governments or businesses on ways to cope with economic problems. Economists usually study many forms of economic data in their work. Because economic activity is measured numerically, economists must be skilled in using statistics and mathematical analyses as well as economic theory. They often use computerized data in their work.

Approximately one-third of all economists work in private industry or for private research organizations. They provide information about the economy that helps managers make decisions about the marketing and pricing of their company's goods or services. Economists study government policies in such areas as international trade and inform managers of the effect that these policies are likely to have on their businesses. Sometimes economists investigate the advantages and disadvantages of manufacturing a new product or opening new branches of a store, bank, or factory. They prepare forecasts for both the U.S. economy and foreign economies. Economists work for such private organizations as banks, insurance companies, manufacturing companies, and management consulting firms. A few economists have their own consulting businesses.

Another third of all economists are employed by colleges and universities. They teach, do research, and often write books and articles. Sometimes these economists also do consulting for businesses, individuals, or government agencies.

The remaining group of economists is employed by government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. They serve as economic analysts and policy advisers. Government economists work in areas such as transportation, international trade and development, agriculture, and labor.

Education and Training Requirements

You need a master's or doctoral degree to become an economist. You should major in economics as an undergraduate and take courses in related areas, such as history, political science, and law. You will also need some training in mathematics, especially in the related fields of statistics and computer science.

There are many jobs open to applicants who have completed a four-year course leading to a bachelor's degree in economics. For example, they can work as management or sales trainees. Those with a master's degree, which takes an additional one or two years of study, will be qualified for many jobs in government or industry as administrators, researchers, or planners. Teaching or research jobs are available in some colleges and universities, but those hired are expected to continue working toward a doctoral degree.

A doctoral degree in economics is required for many jobs in this field, especially positions in colleges and universities. Many students pursuing a doctoral degree specialize in a particular area, such as economic history or public finance. It normally takes about eight years of schooling beyond the high school level to receive a doctoral degree in economics. Economists usually continue reading, studying, and attending seminars throughout their careers so that they can keep up with changes in their field.

Getting the Job

Your professors or the placement office at your college or university can give you information about getting a job. Openings for economists are often listed in professional journals or in newspaper classifieds. You can also apply directly to colleges and universities, businesses, or government agencies that hire economists. To get a government job, you may need to pass a civil service examination.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advancement usually depends on the education, experience, and skill of the individual. Those with advanced degrees often move on to jobs with more responsibility in research or administration. In private industry, economists can become managers or executives. They can play an important role in setting the financial policies of businesses or governments. Economists who work in colleges and universities can advance to the rank of full professor. An important form of advancement for an economist is to become a recognized expert in the field. At times they even achieve broad public fame by writing successful books or newspaper and magazine articles. Some economists advance by starting their own financial consulting firms.

The employment outlook for economists is fair through 2014. Employment of economists is expected to grow more slowly than average for all occupations through 2014. Most jobs are likely to result from the need to replace workers who leave the field. Opportunities should be best in private industry for those with doctoral degrees, especially in research, testing, and consulting. Federal, state, and local government agencies will also need economists to deal with problems in such areas as housing, transportation, and training for employment. Those with doctoral degrees are likely to face keen competition for teaching jobs in colleges and universities.

Working Conditions

Economists usually work in offices that are pleasant and comfortable. They sometimes have to do some fieldwork or traveling, especially to attend professional meetings. Although the basic workweek is often forty hours long, economists may put in much longer hours. Their work requires a great deal of concentration and can be very detailed. They are often required to do much specialized reading and studying. Although they often work alone, at times economists meet with students, managers, government officials, and other people. They should be able to express their ideas and to get along well with others. Since they often have to prepare reports and articles, economists should be able to write clearly and well.

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings vary depending on the education and experience of the economist and the type of position. In 2004 the median annual income of economists was $72,780. In 2005 the starting salary for individuals with a bachelor's degree in economics was $24,667, and for those with superior academic records it was $30,567. The starting salary for individuals with a master's degree in economics was $37,390, and for those with a Ph.D. was $45,239.

Where to Go for More Information

American Economic Association
2014 Broadway, Ste. 305
Nashville, TN 37203-2418
(615) 322-2595
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AEA

National Association of Business Economists
1233 Twentieth St. NW, Ste. 505
Washington, DC 20036-2304
(202) 463-6223
http://www.nabe.com

A number of economists supplement their incomes by writing books and articles or by doing consulting work. Economists who work for federal or state governments, colleges and universities, or private corporations receive benefits, which usually include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement plans.

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over 5 years ago

govts shld something! we need jods.

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almost 6 years ago

this has real helped me, but can you tell me about social- economst.Is it also a branch of economic? , what do they do?, where do they work? , what is the nature or their work and the degree they most have? pls reply

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about 6 years ago

I wll like to know what is it that encourage a person to become an economist

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about 6 years ago

yap thanks alot but i wanna ask u a question? is it okay if am taking a major in ecconomics and minor in management to become an ecconomist??reply

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about 5 years ago

this is really interesting, I love it. I am doing my Barchelor's Degree in Economics at the University of Namibia. I am in my first year. I have the subjects: micro economics, fundamentals of accounting, principles of management, business mathematics,computer literacy, contemporary social issues, basic mathematical economics,academic english and macro economics for my first year. i dont know if um right coz you talked about political and law studies as fundamental knowledge of an economists. reply via e-mail. thanks!

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almost 6 years ago

if you are doing a B Admin and specializing in economics will you become an economist

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almost 6 years ago

am at high school and i want to be an economist but i do not know what to study after school. HELP!!!

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over 5 years ago

i want to sudy the course of economist when i get to varsity but which course shall i take?

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over 5 years ago

MATHEMATICS HAS BECOME A DEMON TO THE ECONOMIST THEREBY MAKING NO SENSE TO THE ILLITERATE. WHY

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over 4 years ago

Am a first year student doing a bachelors degree in economics and statistics and I would like to know how beneficial it is to be an economist especially in LDCs

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almost 5 years ago

I've just graduated from high school and my dream is to study economics and health. i want to major economics and minor health care. i dont know whether this is a good combination because i did biology and agric science and i aslo did economics, financial acct, commerce,geography,and computing. please reply by email.

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over 5 years ago

Great info for all the aspiring economists. Its not easy to be one but very fulfilling and rewarding. Just work hard.

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about 4 years ago

im taking up my bachelors degree in economics at polytechnic university of the philippines.. its Not easy ..you need to study hard anD advanced study.. our subjeCt 1st semester are PolSci Sociology ALGEBRA AND TRIGONOMETRY , english (study and thinking skills) and for our secodn semester CALCULUS,, fundamentals of accounting, research, BASIC ECON AND TAXATION AND psychology .. for this school year now. im incoming 2nd year. wooh.. i need to prepare a lot of things

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about 5 years ago

i really wish i have a chance to work and do a phd in economics, i am a Nigerian and have both my 1st and 2nd degrees in economics.

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almost 5 years ago

i would to know the relation ship between a statistics and an economist

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almost 6 years ago

introdution

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over 6 years ago

vxcvxcvxcvxvcxvcxvxxxxxxxxxxvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

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about 6 years ago

thanks for the advice.
can u please tell me Is accounting specialization required to be an economist?

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almost 6 years ago

wat r the benifits???

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about 6 years ago

i will to be a economist in future and l will to know more about it

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about 6 years ago

im changing frm bcom accounting to BB science in economics

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over 6 years ago

i like this,thank you so much

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over 6 years ago

Please sent me more information about who is an economist and where they can work.Thanks

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over 4 years ago

its really intresting but please can you email me cause i want to know more about all aspect of economics, in all where they can work, all types of economist.

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almost 5 years ago

i want to know if with a degree in international economics you can do bussiness across international bounderies with no disturbance

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almost 5 years ago

thanks for the information. Am impressed i will become one.

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over 5 years ago

i want to kno what subjects are required to be an economist as well as how easy it is to get a job. especially for a person who did the sciences in high school and one business subject which is econ in sixth form along with history n sociology to study it

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about 6 years ago

thanks a lot for your info am defenatly doing this cause next year

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almost 4 years ago

i want to become an economist

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about 4 years ago

thanx 4 that information,am pursuin bachelor of economics and statistics and i know God will bless me with a nice job

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about 4 years ago

thanx 4 that information,am pursuin bachelor of economics and statistics and i know God will bless me with a nice job

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about 4 years ago

thanx 4 that information,am pursuin bachelor of economics and statistics and i know God will bless me with a nice job

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about 4 years ago

thanx 4 that information,am pursuin bachelor of economics and statistics and i know God will bless me with a nice job

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over 4 years ago

I'm a senior at a private school in Pohnpei, FSM. I wanted to pursue a master's degree in economics but i dont know where to start.Help!!

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over 4 years ago

Will I find a job after completing bachelors degree in economics and finanace.

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about 5 years ago

always thought of moving to law field thoe im undergraduate maj economics...i want to knw if taking exams to becum a chartered economics is going to hlp build ma carrier

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about 5 years ago

respected sir/mam .i have just pass class 12 and i want an information about what all i should do to become a good financial economist .plz rply as soon as possible i will be thankful of u

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over 5 years ago

govts shld something! we need jods.

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about 4 years ago

thanx 4 that information,am pursuin bachelor of economics and statistics and i know God will bless me with a nice job

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over 4 years ago

I like it. it is more useful to as an Economist. I have Masters degree in economist and I work in the Government of Tanzania as a Planner.

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over 4 years ago

whats the answer to numer 5

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over 6 years ago

It's interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!

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almost 6 years ago

I CANT WAIT TO SEE MY SELF BEEN AN ECONOMIST

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over 4 years ago

My wish is to become a banker and for this purpose recently i do my master degree in economics. There are some people in my university who told me that instead of doing PHD in economics u should follow MBA BCZ they think that economics have no scope in banking sector. is it true that those who have master degree in economics OR PHD they have no contribution in banks. plz help me on this matter, i will be highly obliged to u. Plz send ur views on my id.
thanks

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almost 6 years ago

yyyyeeeeaaaaaaa

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about 6 years ago

thanks a lot for your info am defenatly doing this cause next year

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almost 2 years ago

Sir, i am a BSC STUDENT and have taken ECONOMICS, MATHEMATICS, STATISTICS as my majors..

Will u please let me know what are the softwares used in the study of economics and applications.

AND TXT books or references and references in micro , macro aned developmental study

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over 2 years ago

am in tanzania i realy like to be an a economist but che challenge is where to get a job. since i sucrifes my self to take bachelor of art in economics
i need a help even on how i can meet with other economist

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almost 3 years ago

WOW!thanks for the ecouragement.By his grace,i wanna be one of all great Economists we have got in this present time.once again thanks and keep it up!

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almost 3 years ago

WOW!thanks for the ecouragement.By his grace,i wanna be one of all great Economists we have got in this present time.once again thanks and keep it up!

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almost 3 years ago

i love this. keep me posted on economics matters.