Economist

Quick Facts: Economists
2012 Median Pay $91,860 per year
$44.16 per hour
Entry-Level Education Master’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 16,900
Job Outlook, 2012-22 14% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 2,300

What Economists Do

Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues.

Work Environment

Although the majority of economists work independently in an office, some collaborate with other economists and statisticians. Most economists work full time during regular business hours, but occasionally they work long hours to meet deadlines.

How to Become an Economist

Most economists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. However, some entry-level jobs—primarily in the federal government—are available for workers with a bachelor’s degree.

Pay

The median annual wage for economists was $91,860 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of economists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those with a master’s degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and related work experience.