11 Best Careers in Economics (Updated List)

Careers in Economics

The evening news comes on and immediately grabs your attention because it discusses the latest stimulus bill or an initiative from the governor to encourage job growth.

You enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal, especially its in-depth articles.

You probably have a deep interest in economics.

A career in the field might be right for you.

This article looks at the eleven most common careers that require an economics degree.

1. Economist

Economist

Why Become An Economist?

If you enjoy crunching numbers to create reports and tables, that’s part of what an economist does.

The position explains financial situations via the production of goods and services, distribution of wealth, and of resources.

You’d show how the use of goods and resources in a specific area affects its population and its ability to support itself.

A career as an economist requires three to four years of college and culminates in earning a bachelor’s degree.

The median salary for the position is $116,630. When paid hourly, the rate is typical $56.07.

The growth for this position’s annual outlook is 6.1 percent.

Economist Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$120,830
Avg. Pay / hour$58.09
Education3-4 Years
Outlook6.1%

2. Financial Analyst

Financial Analyst

Why Become a Financial Analyst?

If you enjoy analytics and analyzing the performance of financial products, including bonds, stocks, and other investments, you might enjoy a job as a financial analyst.

These individuals typically work in financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and pension funds, guiding business decisions regarding investments to increase profit.

A career as a financial analyst requires a bachelor’s degree.

The median salary for the position is $94,000 or $45.27 per hour.

According to Becomeopedia, the position of the financial analyst will undergo 10.8 percent growth this year.

Financial Analyst Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$120,830
Avg. Pay / hour$58.09
Education3-4 Years
Outlook10.8%

3. Data Analyst

Data Analyst

Why Become a Data Analyst?

If you enjoy research, organizing data, and analyzing the data, you might enjoy the career of a data analyst.

You also need superior verbal and written communication skills since you need to present your findings and author reports.

The median salary for the position is $100,560 or $48.35 per hour.

Becoming a data analyst also requires a college degree, but you will also need a master’s degree or advanced certificate.

This means the total education requires more than four years to complete.

Data analyst positions have one of the greatest growth projections for the outlook at 28 percent.

Data Analyst Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$120,830
Avg. Pay / hour$58.09
Education4+ Years
Outlook28%

4. Financial Planner

Financial Planner

Why Become a Financial Planner?

If you like helping other people achieve their futures and build wealth, then you might enjoy becoming a financial planner.

This position helps clients by offering financial advice on their estate planning, investments, retirement, or taxes.

The median annual salary is $94,160 or an hourly wage of $45.27.

Like becoming a data analyst, the position of financial planner requires more than four years of college.

Many companies that hire for this position require a master’s degree in economics or accounting.

The job growth for this position rivals that of a data analyst, with a job growth outlook of 27 percent.

Financial Planner Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$120,830
Avg. Pay / hour$58.09
Education4+ Years
Outlook27%

5. Accountant

Accountant

Why Become an Accountant?

If you love math and statistical analysis, you get to do that all day as an accountant.

The main task of an accountant is to keep financial records, then interpret them into reports and presentations.

Accountants work for individual clients or for companies or organizations.

You might work for a bank or the Internal Revenue Service.

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree for this position, but many employers desire a master’s degree, so you could attend college for more than four years.

This position earns an annual salary of $79,520 or $38.23 per hour.

While not growing at the rate of data analysts or financial planners, projections show this job category will group about 10 percent in the coming year.

Accountant Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$83,980
Avg. Pay / hour$40.37
Education4+ Years
Outlook10%

6. Financial Controller

Financial Controller

Why Become a Financial Controller?

Also called a comptroller or company historian, if you love math and history, you might enjoy a job as a financial controller.

This senior-level management position manages the day-to-day operations of the business and has legal authority and responsibility for the company’s ledgers and records.

You work your way up to this position, typically starting out in your career as an accountant.

Many companies promote from within for this position.

The educational requirements typically include a master’s degree and continuing education, since this individual remains in charge of financial compliance, too.

You would typically earn an annual salary of $147,530 or $70.93 per hour.

Expect job growth of about 16 percent for this position.

Financial Controller Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$153,460
Avg. Pay / hour$73.78
Education4+ Years
Outlook16%

7. Market Research Analyst

Market Research Analyst

Why Become a Market Research Analyst?

Just as often as a market research analyst earns a BA in marketing, they earn an economics degree.

A market research analyst researches target audiences, competitors, brands, products, consumer needs, etc. to help a business develop its services or products.

This career requires a four-year degree and typically pays a median salary of $71,570 per year or $34.41 per hour.

Expect job growth of about 23.2 percent for this position.

Market Research Analyst Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$76,080
Avg. Pay / hour$36.58
Education3-4 Years
Outlook23.2%

8. Credit Analyst

Credit Analyst

Why Become a Credit Analyst?

If you enjoy helping people with their financial futures and working with businesses to ensure growth and reduce risk, you might enjoy a career as a credit analyst.

In this position, you would gather financial data on loan applicants, specifically their earnings, savings, payment history, spending habits, and credit outlook.

You’d analyze this data to create a risk profile of the individual and include a recommendation for either loan approval or denial.

This career requires a four-year degree and typically pays a median salary of $84,930 per year or $40.83 per hour.

Expect job growth of about 8.3 percent for this position.

Credit Analyst Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$88,030
Avg. Pay / hour$42.32
Education4+ Years
Outlook8.3%

9. Lawyer

Lawyer

Why Become a Lawyer?

If you enjoy logic, reasoning, solving problems, developing and delivering arguments for intellectual debate, you might enjoy a career as an attorney.

In this position, you would advise and represent your clients in court, mediation, with government agencies, and in private matters.

This career involves choosing a specialty.

Some attorneys specialize in divorce, others in business or corporate law, some in torts, others in personal injury.

This career requires a bachelor’s degree and a Juris doctorate for a total of six to seven years in college.

It typically pays a median salary of $145,300 per year or $69.86 per hour.

Expect job growth of about 8.2 percent for this position.

Lawyer Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$148,030
Avg. Pay / hour$71.17
Education4+ Years
Outlook8.2%

10. Loan Officer

Loan Officer

Why Become a Loan Officer?

A career as a loan officer bears a close resemblance to that of a credit analyst.

You evaluate applications for loans from the mortgage company, bank, or credit union that employs you.

Your evaluation would culminate in a recommendation for either approving or denying the loan.

This career requires an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree for a total of two to four years in college.

It typically pays a median salary of $76,200 per year or $36.64 per hour.

Expect job growth of about 11.4 percent for this position.

Loan Officer Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$80,570
Avg. Pay / hour$38.74
Education2-4 Years
Outlook11.4%

11. Statistician

Statistician

Why Become a Statistician?

If you think math could solve almost any problem, a career as a statistician might be for you.

You’d use statistical methods to analyze and model data to explain and potentially contribute to solving real-world problems.

A statistician is just as likely to work for a football team as for a non-profit or a corporation since each of those organizations needs data gathered, analyzed, and interpreted to contribute to making informed business decisions.

The position earns a median salary of $95,680 annually or $46 per hour and requires a two to four-year college education, resulting in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Expect job growth of about 33.9 percent for this position.

Statistician Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$99,450
Avg. Pay / hour$47.81
Education2-4 Years
Outlook33.9%

Jamie Willis