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Career Overview

Economists are an essential part of society because they perform valuable research and analysis on the production and distribution of resources, goods and services. To do this, research economist much collect and analyze data and examine current and past trends. Economists can research on a vast amount of different fields such as education, health, and the environment.Many economists analyze the current economy and research the repercussions of taxes, inflation, and interest rates, while other might study the employment levels. Some major duties of economists can include collecting data by taking surveys, presenting the research using graphs and charts, interpreting market trends, and helping government officials solve large economic problems. A variety of different industries and organizations seek the aid of economists to solve their problems. The U.S. government, including federal, state, and local, use economists to analyze data about the U.S. economy, regarding issues such as employment, market prices, and productivity. Corporations also need economists to assist them in analyzing market trends, such as consumer demand, and help them maximize their profits. Economists may also work for research firms and study many different societal issues. Lastly, economists can also research world market trends and what deals would be mutually beneficial for countries in places like the World Bank. Jobs as economists are well sought out, increasingly in the private sector to perform complex market analysis.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

2013 Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs in 2013
Projected Growth Rate
6 %

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Master's Degree in Economics PH.D. in Economics

A bachelor's degree in economics is required for almost all entry-level job positions; however many times economists have Ph.D.'s in the subject as well. Many companies look for economists with post-graduate experience and strong background in math and the higher qualified you are, the better chances for improving the job prospects. Economists will often deal with complex statistics and computer software that will create models so you should be comfortable and prepared for those skills. Often, individuals who complete only a bachelor's degree in economics tend to look for jobs in different fields such as finance and becoming financial analysts or market researchers.

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Valued Traits & Abilities

Analytical Skills
Communication Skills
Problem-Solving Skills
Detail Oriented

Work Environment

Economists will generally work in an office setting, but often they might need to work in groups to collaborate data. Depending on the research the economists are performing, they might need to travel for research or for presentations. Almost all economists work full time, and some projects might have deadlines so they might be required to work very long hours to finish before the deadlines. The largest employer of economists is the federal government and second is management, technical, and consulting services. Some economists might also choose to work full-time with a university, while doing part-time consulting with companies.

* Source: BLS Data - 2013