Earning a degree in economics can help you qualify for jobs in a wide variety of sectors, from finance to policy. Along with the skills you gain through your degree, you should also consider your other interests, values and skills. In this article, you can explore some of the many jobs that you may be eligible to apply for if you have a degree in economics, along with the average salary for each type of position.
Best economics degree jobs
Through your coursework to gain an economics degree, you learn how to gather, organize and analyze data, create models to predict everything from industry trends to economic dynamics and create data visualization tools to communicate their analyses. Additionally, a degree in economics will teach you to communicate your ideas to everyone from policymakers to investors, show you how to study the forces that drive the economy and help you understand demographic trends.
Here are some of the roles you can consider to put your economics degree to work:
National Average Salary: $63,672 per year
Primary Duties: Market researchers analyze industry trends to understand how services or products would fare under different economic conditions and whether they will appeal to consumers. Market researchers use some of the skills that economics majors develop, like the use of statistics and economic models to make predictions, as well as the use of data visualizations and presentation software to communicate their analysis. Market researchers may also organize and implement focus groups and surveys to understand how consumers view products.
Market researchers usually work for private consulting firms that are, in turn, hired by companies—from movie studios to car manufacturers— to analyze products in development.
National Average Salary: $66,528 per year
Primary Duties: Financial advisors work with clients to advise them on making financial investments, as well as estate planning, taxes, retirement savings, mortgages and more. Financial advisors are also known as financial planners, personal financial advisors, and investment advisors, and they can work directly with their own individual clients or with organizations like investment banks or firms. Financial advisors help individuals or corporate clients to make decisions around how to set and achieve short-term and long-term financial goals.
National Average Salary: $71,009 per year
Primary Duties: Policy analysts are responsible for researching and analyzing issues that affect the public and recommending legislation, government intervention or other policy solutions to address such problems. Economics majors bring the skills needed to analyze many policy issues, such as energy, taxes, healthcare, international trade policy and the environment, and to recommend affordable solutions. Additionally, policy analysts need to have strong skills in communicating and presenting their research findings to legislators, other policymakers, and members of the public.
Policy analysts can work for a variety of types of organizations, from nonprofits to for-profit companies, industry associations and the public sector at the federal, state or local level.
National Average Salary: $79,503 per year
Primary Duties: Management consultants work with clients at both private companies and public sector organizations to assess how such institutions can improve their operations. Management consultants develop and present plans to organizations to assess potential areas for operational improvement and find more efficient ways of working. Economics majors bring essential skills in quantitative modeling, statistics, and financial analysis in this role in order to assess their clients’ organizations, as well as skills in writing and public speaking to convey their recommendations to clients.
National Average Salary: $80,699 per year
Primary Duties: Loan officers work to evaluate and authorize credit, commercial or real estate loans. They work with loan applicants to arrive at loan agreements that are suitable for both individual or corporate clients and the loan institution. Loan officers must therefore analyze the credit standing of applicants and help determine the best loan solution for their customers. They can also advise borrowers on their financial status and payment methods.
Loan officers include loan underwriters, mortgage loan officers and agents, and collection analysts. They may work for commercial banks, mortgage companies, credit unions and other kinds of financial analysts.
Senior financial analyst
National Average Salary: $84,878 per year
Primary Duties: Senior financial analysts study trends in the stock markets and bonds as well as other kinds of investments, and they use their research to assist individuals and business clients to make smart investment decisions. A senior financial analyst typically uses the advanced quantitative skills that economics majors acquire to do this work, and they may use models and computer software to assist in their analysis. Senior financial analysts also prepare presentations and write reports for clients and colleagues who need to make decisions around investments, stock and bond offerings, and mergers and acquisitions.
National Average Salary: $111,346 per year
Primary Duties: Actuaries analyze the financial outcomes of certain kinds of risk. They use advanced statistical and mathematical skills to assess the likelihood of certain outcomes, such as business failures, illnesses or disasters. Actuaries employ skills that economics majors acquire to consider a range of variables that may affect the likelihood of different outcomes. They often also use software and economic models to conduct their analyses, and they use data visualization tools like charts and graphs to convey their findings.
National Average Salary: $163,361 per year
Primary Duties: Corporate lawyers advise, support and represent businesses in a wide variety of legal matters. They may oversee negotiations and contracts, represent businesses in court, and advise businesses on situations with legal ramifications, among other responsibilities. Corporate lawyers must be skilled in research and writing, as well as gathering evidence to support their position and conveying their knowledge in a legible way, all skills that economics majors acquire. Additionally, many areas of law, such as tax or contract law, involve the application of microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis.