Most economists need a master's degree or Ph.D. Economists must be able to present their findings clearly. With nearly 1.3 million nonprofit agencies operating in the United States alone, it’s clear that nonprofits play a vital role in our […]. Many economists prepare reports for colleagues or clients; others write for publication in journals or for news media. For example, labor economists analyze the effects of labor policies on employment. For instance, they might identify how economic trends may affect an organization. Job prospects should be best for those with a master's degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and experience using statistical analysis software. These are merely five areas in which economists work. By Kate Jellema This year, for the first time, the number of women and men enrolled in graduate schools in the United States topped the three-million mark. The largest employers of economists are as follows: Economists typically work independently in an office. Critical-thinking skills. They also project spending needs and inform policymakers on the economic impact of laws and regulations. Collection specialists are tasked with obtaining payment on unpaid debts. Teachers, instructors and professors provide direct education among the tenants of economics for future professionals in the field. Students can pursue an advanced degree in economics with a bachelor's degree in a number of fields, but a strong background in mathematics is essential. Federal government economists collect and analyze data about the U.S. economy, including employment, prices, productivity, and wages, among other types of data. The median annual wages for economists in the top industries in which they work are as follows: Most economists work full time. However, some entry-level jobs—primarily in the federal government—are available for workers with a bachelor's degree. They can earn from about $30k to millions of dollars per year. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending. Federal, state and local branches need economic expertise for such positions as urban planners, financial analyst, internal revenue examiner, intelligence specialist, lobbyist and international trade economist. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 2,900 new jobs over the decade. They assess this information using advanced methods in statistical analysis, mathematics, computer programming [and] they make recommendations about ways to improve the efficiency of a system or take advantage of trends as they begin." On a daily basis, Economists study economic and statistical data in area of specialization, such as finance, labor, or agriculture. They often give presentations and explain reports to clients who may not have a background in economics. Economists work in many fields including academia, government and in the private sector, where they may also "...study data and statistics in order to spot trends in economic activity, economic confidence levels, and consumer attitudes. Credit analysts and loan officers are needed to offer the most secure loans. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. In addition, courses that introduce students to statistical analysis software are helpful. Applicants with a bachelor's degree may face strong competition for jobs. Some economists work for business firms engaged in a wide range of activities including financial service firms – like banks, insurance companies, and credit card companies – but also including manufacturing firms, health care companies, retailers, airlines, agribusinesses, etc. In addition to working full time at a business or university, some economists consult part-time. there are plenty of ways in which professionals with economic knowledge are needed in the world of business. For more information about economists, visit, For information about careers in business economics, visit, National Association for Business Economics, For information on federal government education requirements for economist positions, visit. As a result, bachelor's degree holders will likely find jobs in other occupations. However, some entry-level jobs—primarily in government—are available for workers with a bachelor's degree. Researchers and teaching staff alike frequently publish their findings and expertise within professional journals in order to disseminate information to others employed in economics or those with an interest in the subject. However, many economists collaborate with other economists and statisticians, sometimes working on teams. Economist can work in a variety of business related fields. Companies hire those with such backgrounds in positions like sales manager, market research analyst, accountant, actuary and benefits analyst. Positions in business, research, or international organizations often require a combination of graduate education and work experience. BestValueSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. There are countless ways in which you can combine economics with another area of interest, and an economics degree can provide a strong base for future study in business, law, healthcare or public policy. Analytical skills. In addition, related experience, such as using statistical analysis software, can be advantageous. Urban and regional planners develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $59,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $185,020. Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. Candidates with a bachelor's degree may qualify for some entry-level economist positions, including jobs with the federal government. That’s up from... As technology becomes an ever-increasing part of our lives, the demand for information systems security experts grows, and with it, the need for online Ph.D. information security programs. How to Become an Economist Most economists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. Some perform work that may require overtime hours. Salary: The median annual wage for economists is $105,020. However, many economists collaborate with other economists and statisticians, sometimes working on teams. What They Do: Economists collect and analyze data, research trends, and evaluate economic issues for resources, goods, and services. They conduct research on economic issues and disseminate research findings through technical reports or scientific articles in journals. Some economists study the cost of products, healthcare, or energy, while others examine employment levels, business cycles, exchange rates, taxes, inflation, or interest rates. Most economists work full time during regular business hours, but occasionally they work overtime to meet deadlines. They sometimes present their research to various audiences. Nonprofit agencies hire economists in a wide array of roles. Let’s take a look at just five places economists work to give you an idea of the versatility a career in economics can hold. Many PhD economists become postsecondary teachers. You may find the field of economics appealing if you are research-oriented, analytical and a problem solver. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. Mathematicians and statisticians analyze data and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields. Financial advisers are often employed through banks or private firms to advise individuals regarding their investments. See also: Best Affordable Online Master’s in Economics Degree Programs. Speaking skills. Economists hold about 20,500 jobs. Economists must be able to explain their work to others. Surveys are used to collect factual data, such as employment and salary information, or to ask questions in order to understand people's opinions, preferences, beliefs, or desires. There is no shortage of need for an economist in the government sector at all levels. Employment of economists is projected to grow 14 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Economists spend much of their time using computers to analyze data, review research, or write findings. The increasing complexity of the global economy and a more competitive business environment also are expected to support demand for economists. A career as an economist offers a wide selection of job titles and settings. Writing skills. Aspiring economists can gain valuable experience from internships where the work involves gathering and analyzing data, researching economic issues and trends, and writing reports on their findings. Corporate economists work in research organizations and private institutions. Economists working for corporations help managers and decisionmakers understand how the economy will affect their business. Corporate Economists. Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. Their analyses and forecasts are frequently published in newspapers and journals. Get the education you need: Actuaries' work is essential to the insurance industry. Job prospects should be best for those with a master’s degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and experience using statistical analysis software.