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What is an Economist?

Career 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.

Life As an Economist: What Do They Do?

  • Formulate recommendations, policies, or plans to solve economic problems or to interpret markets.
  • Forecast production and consumption of renewable resources and supply, consumption, and depletion of non-renewable resources.
  • Study the socioeconomic impacts of new public policies, such as proposed legislation, taxes, services, and regulations.
  • 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.
  • Study economic and statistical data in area of specialization, such as finance, labor, or agriculture.
  • Supervise research projects and students' study projects.

What Every Economist Should Know

Economists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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

  • Economist
  • Medical Economics Consultant
  • Economic Consultant
  • Agricultural Economist
  • Economic Developer

What Kind of Economist Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 21,300 jobs for Economist in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,600 job openings in this field each 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.

How Much Does an Economist Make?

The average yearly salary of an Economist ranges between $58,130 and $182,560.

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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?

Education needed to be an Economist:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Economists Are Employed

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Economists work in the following industries:

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References:

Image Credit: pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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