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Life As an Economist

Position Description Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy. May collect and process economic and statistical data using sampling techniques and econometric methods.

What Do Economists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Testify at regulatory or legislative hearings concerning the estimated effects of changes in legislation or public policy and present recommendations based on cost-benefit analyses.
  • Compile, analyze, and report data to explain economic phenomena and forecast market trends, applying mathematical models and statistical techniques.
  • Provide advice and consultation on economic relationships to businesses, public and private agencies, and other employers.
  • Forecast production and consumption of renewable resources and supply, consumption, and depletion of non-renewable resources.
  • Study economic and statistical data in area of specialization, such as finance, labor, or agriculture.
  • Formulate recommendations, policies, or plans to solve economic problems or to interpret markets.

Things an Economist Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Economists say are the most useful in their careers:

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Other Economist Job Titles

  • Health Economist
  • Business Economist
  • Professor
  • Economic Adviser
  • Economic Analyst

Economist Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 21,300 jobs in the United States for Economist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Economist by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,600 positions for Economist per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Economist are Alabama, Louisiana, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, West Virginia, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Economist Average Salary

The salary for Economists ranges between about $58,130 and $182,560 a year.

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Economists who work in District of Columbia, Virginia, or Maryland, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Economists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $103,740
Alaska $85,970
Arizona $93,350
Arkansas $75,380
California $124,430
Colorado $104,350
Connecticut $95,450
Delaware $86,850
District of Columbia $134,260
Florida $105,230
Georgia $111,570
Hawaii $98,100
Idaho $61,130
Illinois $108,690
Indiana $84,740
Iowa $87,530
Kansas $72,600
Louisiana $103,070
Maryland $116,870
Massachusetts $117,680
Michigan $90,040
Minnesota $81,720
Mississippi $75,450
Missouri $112,240
Montana $89,980
Nebraska $81,010
Nevada $79,170
New Hampshire $74,570
New Jersey $100,500
New Mexico $87,680
New York $127,520
North Carolina $81,470
Ohio $125,490
Oklahoma $76,500
Oregon $87,420
Pennsylvania $87,630
South Carolina $68,550
Tennessee $83,350
Texas $106,480
Utah $88,280
Vermont $96,620
Virginia $126,080
Washington $95,010
West Virginia $68,430
Wisconsin $80,070

Tools & Technologies Used by Economists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Economists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • MySQL
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • UNIX
  • R
  • Minitab
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • StataCorp Stata
  • Teradata Database

How do I Become an Economist?

What kind of Economist requirements are there?

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What work experience do I need to become an Economist?

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Where do Economists Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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References:

Image Credit: pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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