Top 15 Highest Paying Jobs For Economics Majors 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Mark Talmage-Rostron
January 24, 2024 · 21 min read

Discover the top 15 highest paying jobs for economics majors in 2024, including salaries and potential career paths for economics degree holders.

By definition, economics focuses on efficiency in production and exchange. There's microeconomics, macroeconomics, market economy, mixed economy, command economy, etc. But why should people care about economics, much less attempt to forge a career out of it?

Well, economics is crucial for understanding and navigating the complex web of decisions that shape our societies and individual lives. At its core, economics examines how individuals, businesses, and governments allocate scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants and needs. It provides valuable insights into the functioning of markets, the impact of policies on economic growth, and the distribution of wealth and resources. It also helps us make informed choices by analyzing trade-offs and opportunity costs, guiding individuals and policymakers in optimizing their decisions. But to make all of that happen, you need people to drive the process, which means that choosing a career in economics will offer a myriad of benefits.

A career in economics with an economics degree opens doors to diverse opportunities with the best jobs, including roles in finance, policy analysis, research, consulting, and academia. Also, economists play a crucial role in shaping public policies, influencing business strategies, and contributing to global development, so the demand for skilled economists remains robust, offering stable and potentially lucrative career paths.

Overall, forging a career in economics not only offers financial stability but also the satisfaction of making a positive impact on the world through informed analysis and decision-making.

With that being said, let's jump into the best paid jobs for economics graduates:

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs For Economics Majors 2024 (Inc Salaries

1. Economist

An Economist is a professional who studies and analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services to understand and explain how economies function. They apply various theories, models, and statistical methods to examine economic phenomena, such as market behavior, government policies, and societal trends, and their work often involves conducting research, collecting and analyzing data, and providing insights into economic issues. Generally, they tend to work in diverse settings, including government agencies, academic institutions, financial institutions, corporations, and international organizations.

Becoming an economist typically involves a combination of education, skill development, and practical experience, but generally you will require at least a bachelor's degree in economics or a related field like finance, mathematics, or statistics. Considering advanced degrees such as a master's degree in economics, while some entry-level positions may accept candidates with a bachelor's degree, many economist roles, especially those in research or policy analysis, require a master's or Ph.D. in economics. Cultivating strong analytical skills, as economists need to analyze and interpret data, trends, and economic indicators. Mastering quantitative methods, including mathematical modeling and statistical analysis. Familiarizing yourself with relevant software tools such as R, Python, or statistical packages like Stata.

The average annual salary for an Economist in the US job market is $113,809 and is one of the best jobs for economics majors.

2. Market Research Analyst

A Market Research analyst is a professional who gathers, analyzes, and interprets data about a specific market, industry, or product to provide insights that can aid in decision-making for businesses and organizations. Analysts work and play a critical role in helping companies understand market trends, consumer preferences, and competitive landscapes, and their work involves employing various research methods, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and data analysis, to collect relevant information.

Becoming a market research analyst typically involves a combination of education, skill development, and practical experience, but generally you will need a bachelor's degree, as many market research analyst positions require a bachelor's degree in market research, marketing, business, statistics, economics, or a related field. Considering obtaining a master's degree, especially if you want to get into fields like market research, business analytics, or data science, Gaining proficiency in data analysis is important, as market research analysts need strong quantitative and data analysis skills. Acquiring knowledge of various research methodologies, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observational studies. Developing strong written and verbal communication skills is important as market research analysts need to convey their findings and insights effectively. Learning to use tools commonly used in market research, such as survey software, statistical analysis software (e.g., SPSS, R), and data visualization tools (e.g., Tableau).

The average annual salary for a Market Research Analyst in the US is $64,795.

3. Financial Analyst

A Financial Analyst is a professional who analyzes financial data and trends to provide insights and recommendations that help businesses and individuals make informed financial decisions. They work in various industries, including finance, investment banking, corporate finance, and consulting, and their primary responsibilities include assessing the performance of investments, preparing financial reports, evaluating financial statements, and making recommendations for improving financial performance.

Becoming a financial analyst typically involves a combination of education, skill development, and practical experience, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business, economics, or a related field. Acquiring proficiency in financial modeling, including forecasting, budgeting, and scenario analysis. Developing strong quantitative and data analysis skills. Obtaining a master's degree in finance, business administration (MBA), or a related field can enhance your qualifications and open up more advanced career opportunities. Pursuing professional certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Financial Risk Manager (FRM) will demonstrate expertise and enhance your marketability. 

The average annual salary for a Financial Analyst in the US is $76,582 making it one of the best degree jobs.

4. Actuary

An Actuary is a professional who applies mathematical, statistical, and financial techniques to assess and manage various forms of risk. They play a crucial role in the insurance industry, pensions, and other financial sectors, where their expertise is used to analyze and quantify the financial implications of uncertain future events, and their primary goal is to help organizations make informed decisions regarding risk and uncertainty.

Becoming an actuary involves a structured process that includes education, passing actuarial exams, gaining practical experience, and obtaining professional designations, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in actuarial science, mathematics, statistics, finance, or a related field. Passing a series of actuarial exams to demonstrate proficiency in various areas. These exams are typically administered by actuarial organizations such as the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). Achieving an associate-level designation. After passing the initial series of exams, you can earn an associate-level designation from the SOA or CAS. This may include designations like Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) or Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS). To obtain fellowship and reach the highest level of professional recognition, actuaries can pursue fellowship by completing additional exams and demonstrating relevant work experience.

The average annual salary for an Actuary in the US is $141,889. making it one of the best economics job opportunities. 

5. Business Analyst

A Business Analyst is a professional who acts as a bridge between business stakeholders and technology teams. Their primary role is to analyze business processes, identify areas for improvement, and propose solutions that align with the organization's goals and objectives. They generally work across various industries and are involved in projects related to system implementation, process improvement, and business strategy.

Becoming a business analyst typically involves a combination of education, skill development, and practical experience, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in business, information technology, management, or a related field. Obtaining additional training or certifications in business analysis. Organizations like the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) offer certifications such as the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) or the Certification of Capability in Business Analysis (CCBA). Honing your ability to analyze data, identify patterns, and make informed decisions based on business needs. Familiarize yourself with tools commonly used in business analysis, such as Microsoft Excel, Visio, project management software, and requirements management tools. Considering pursuing advanced degrees or certifications as you gain more experience.

The average annual salary for a Business Analyst in the US is $93,359 making it one of the best jobs for economics degree holders.

6. Accountant

An Accountant is a professional responsible for managing financial records, preparing financial statements, and ensuring compliance with relevant financial regulations. They play a critical role in organizations by helping to maintain accurate financial records, providing insights into the financial health of the business, and supporting decision-making processes. Accountants may specialize in various areas, such as public accounting, corporate accounting, government accounting, or forensic accounting. Public accountants often work for accounting firms and serve multiple clients, while corporate accountants are employed by businesses to manage internal financial functions.

Becoming an accountant typically involves a combination of education, practical experience, and, in some cases, obtaining professional certifications, but generally, you will require: A bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Pursuing advanced degrees, such as a master's in accounting or an MBA, Considering obtaining professional certifications to enhance your qualifications and marketability? The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation is one of the most widely recognized certifications for accountants in the United States. Other certifications include Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Developing proficiency in accounting software and tools commonly used in the industry involves familiarizing yourself with spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel and accounting software such as QuickBooks or SAP.

The average annual salary for an Accountant in the US is $62,501

7. Data Analyst

A Data Analyst is a professional who collects, processes, and analyzes data to help organizations make informed decisions. They play a crucial role in extracting meaningful insights from raw data, identifying trends, and providing actionable information to support business strategies, and work with various types of data, including numerical, textual, or visual, and use statistical and analytical techniques to interpret patterns and draw conclusions.

Becoming a Data Analyst involves a combination of education, skills development, and practical experience, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as statistics, mathematics, computer science, economics, or a related discipline. Pursuing specialized training programs or degrees in data analytics, data science, or business analytics. Acquiring proficiency in statistical analysis techniques, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. Learning how to clean and preprocess data to ensure its quality and accuracy for analysis. Familiarizing yourself with data visualization tools such as Tableau, Power BI, or matplotlib/seaborn in Python. Learning SQL (Structured Query Language) to retrieve and manipulate data from relational databases. Gaining proficiency in programming languages commonly used in data analysis, such as Python or R. Familiarizing yourself with popular data analysis tools and libraries, such as Pandas and NumPy in Python, or dplyr and ggplot2 in R. Considering pursuing relevant certifications to demonstrate your expertise. Certifications from organizations like Microsoft, IBM, or Google can enhance your credibility as a Data Analyst. 

The average annual salary for a Data Analyst in the US is $76,698 making it a top job for a person with a good knowledge of economics.

8. Research Assistant

A Research Assistant is an individual who provides support to researchers in various fields by assisting with the planning, execution, and documentation of research projects. They play a crucial role in academic and non-academic research settings, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and the completion of research objectives, and their tasks can vary widely depending on the nature of the research project and the specific requirements of the research team.

Becoming a research assistant involves a combination of education, skill development, and actively seeking opportunities in research settings, but generally you will require: Obtaining a relevant educational background in areas such as psychology, biology, sociology, economics, or any other field with research components. Honing your research skills, including literature review, data collection, data analysis, and writing. Developing proficiency in software such as Microsoft Excel, statistical analysis tools (e.g., SPSS, R), and any other tools specific to the research area. Seeking out courses that enhance your research-related skills, such as research methods, statistics, or experimental design.

The average annual salary for a Research Assistant in the US is $39,000.

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9. Pricing Analyst

A Pricing Analyst is a professional responsible for evaluating and setting prices for products or services within a business. Their role involves analyzing market trends, competitive landscapes, and cost structures to determine optimal pricing strategies, and they play a crucial role in helping businesses maximize revenue, achieve profitability, and stay competitive in the market.

Becoming a pricing analyst typically involves a combination of education, skill development, and practical experience, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as business, finance, economics, or a related discipline. Honing your analytical skills, including proficiency in data analysis and statistical methods, Familiarize yourself with tools like Microsoft Excel or statistical software that pricing analysts commonly use. Developing a strong understanding of the industry or industries you are interested in is important, as different sectors may have unique pricing challenges and considerations. Familiarize yourself with pricing software and tools commonly used in the industry, which may include pricing optimization software, analytics platforms, and other relevant tools. Enhancing your proficiency in using financial modeling tools and spreadsheet software. Considering pursuing advanced degrees such as a master's in business administration (MBA) with a focus on pricing strategy or a related field? Exploring relevant certifications that demonstrate your expertise in pricing analysis. For example, certifications in financial modeling, data analytics, or pricing strategy may be beneficial.

The average annual salary for a Pricing Analyst in the US is $67,704.

10. Compensation and Benefits Manager

A Compensation and Benefits Manager, also known as a Total Rewards Manager, is responsible for designing, implementing, and managing an organization's compensation and benefits programs. The role involves developing strategies to attract, motivate, and retain employees by offering competitive and equitable compensation and benefits packages, and generally, they work to ensure that an organization's reward systems align with its overall business objectives and support the attraction and retention of a talented workforce.

Becoming a Compensation and Benefits Manager typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of specific skills, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, finance, or a related field. Doing coursework related to compensation, benefits administration, human resources management, and organizational behavior. Honing your analytical skills is important as compensation and benefits managers need to analyze market data, conduct cost-benefit analyses, and evaluate the effectiveness of compensation and benefits programs. Gaining proficiency in using tools such as Microsoft Excel for data analysis and financial modeling. Considering pursuing certifications or additional training programs related to compensation and benefits. Certifications such as Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) or Professional in Human Resources (PHR) can enhance your qualifications. Obtaining a master's degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field which can enhance your credentials and position you for more senior roles.

The average annual salary for a Compensation and Benefits Manager in the US is $133,368 making it one of the top jobs for economics majors.

11. Policy Analyst

A Policy Analyst is a professional who analyzes and evaluates public policies, providing insights and recommendations to policymakers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, or other entities. They play a crucial role in the policy development process by researching, interpreting data, and assessing the potential impact of proposed policies, and their work aims to inform decision-makers about the effectiveness, feasibility, and implications of various policy options.

Becoming a policy analyst typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of specific skills, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as political science, public policy, public administration, economics, sociology, or a related discipline. Pursuing a master's degree in public policy, public administration, or a related field will enhance your knowledge and qualifications. Honing your analytical skills is important, as policy analysts are often required to analyze complex data, research findings, and policy options. Developing proficiency in quantitative and qualitative research methods. Gaining experience with statistical analysis tools, data visualization tools, and spreadsheet software. Considering pursuing an advanced degree, such as a master's or a Ph.D., in public policy, public administration, or a related field? Advanced degrees may open up higher-level and more specialized opportunities in policy analysis.

The average annual salary for a Policy Analyst in the US is $81,139 making it a lucrative job for a person with an economics education in the next 10 years.

12. Business News Reporter

A Business News Reporter is an economics journalist who specializes in covering news and events related to the business world. They work for various media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, online publications, television, and radio stations, providing coverage of financial markets, corporate developments, economic trends, and other business-related topics, and play a crucial role in keeping the public informed about important business events, analyzing economic data, and reporting on the impact of business decisions on various stakeholders.

Becoming a business news reporter involves a combination of education, practical experience, and developing key skills, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, or a related field. Taking courses that provide a strong foundation in journalism, news writing, and media ethics. Hone your writing skills by consistently producing well-researched and well-written articles. Familiarize yourself with digital tools and platforms commonly used in modern journalism. This includes content management systems, social media, and multimedia reporting. Pursuing advanced degrees in journalism or a related field is especially important if you aim for specialized reporting roles or positions in management.

The average annual salary for a Business News Reporter in the US is $45,788.

13. Environmental Economist

An Environmental Economist is a professional who applies economic principles and methods to analyze and address environmental issues. They play a crucial role in providing insights into how economic activities affect the environment and how environmental policies can be designed to achieve both economic and environmental goals. This interdisciplinary field combines economic theories with environmental science to assess the economic impact of environmental policies, natural resource management, and sustainable development strategies.

Becoming an environmental economist involves a combination of education, specialized training, and practical experience, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in economics, environmental economics, environmental science, or a related field. Pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in environmental economics or a closely related discipline. Honing your analytical and quantitative skills is important, as environmental economists often use economic models and statistical methods to analyze data and evaluate policies. Familiarizing yourself with relevant software tools and programming languages commonly used in economic analysis, such as R, Python, or specialized environmental economics software. Considering obtaining professional certifications, such as those related to environmental impact assessment or economic analysis, to enhance your credentials. Acquiring additional skills that are in demand in the field, such as geographic information system (GIS) proficiency or expertise in specific economic modeling techniques.

The average annual salary for an Environmental Economist in the US is $90,489 making it one of the top 10 jobs in economics.

14. Insurance Underwriter

An Insurance Underwriter is a professional responsible for evaluating and assessing the risk associated with insuring individuals or entities. Their primary role is to analyze information provided in insurance applications, determine the level of risk involved, and decide whether to approve or deny insurance coverage. They also play a critical role in helping insurance companies maintain a balanced portfolio by making informed decisions on policy issuance and pricing.

Becoming an insurance underwriter typically involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and the development of specific skills, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as finance, business, economics, or mathematics. Honing your analytical skills is important, as underwriters need to analyze complex information to assess risk. Acquiring a solid understanding of insurance principles, terminology, and underwriting guidelines. Familiarize yourself with different types of insurance, including property and casualty, life, health, and specialty lines. Obtaining industry-recognized certifications will enhance your qualifications. The Insurance Institute of America (IIA) offers certifications such as the Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) or the Associate in Personal Insurance (API).

The average annual salary for an Insurance Underwriter in the US is $76,756 making it one of the best job options for those that chose to pursue an economics degree. 

15. Statistician 

A Statistician is a professional who specializes in the field of statistics, which involves the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. They apply mathematical and statistical theories to design experiments, conduct surveys, and analyze data sets, helping businesses, researchers, and policymakers make evidence-based decisions, and play a crucial role in various industries and disciplines by using statistical methods to draw meaningful insights and make informed decisions based on data.

Becoming a Statistician typically involves a combination of education, practical experience, and the development of specific skills, but generally you will require: A bachelor's degree in statistics, mathematics, data science, or a related field. Taking additional courses in computer science, programming languages (such as R or Python), and data visualization to enhance your skills. Pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in statistics or a closely related field for more advanced and specialized roles, especially if you are interested in research or academia. Honing your analytical and problem-solving skills, as Statisticians need to be able to analyze complex data sets, identify patterns, and draw meaningful conclusions. Familiarizing yourself with statistical software packages commonly used in the field, such as R, Python, SAS, or SPSS. Strengthening your mathematical skills, especially in areas such as calculus, linear algebra, and probability theory, as a strong mathematical foundation is crucial for advanced statistical analysis. 

The average annual salary for a Statistician in the US is $94,984 making it one of the top economist jobs.


Conclusion 

Pursuing a career in the field of economics offers a multitude of benefits and opportunities. Economics serves as a dynamic and influential discipline that not only explores the fundamental principles governing resource allocation, market dynamics, and policy formulation but also plays a pivotal role in shaping the socio-economic landscape.

Engaging in economics provides individuals with a toolkit of analytical skills, including quantitative analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving, which are highly valued across various industries, and it allows professionals to contribute meaningfully to diverse sectors such as finance, government, consulting, research, and academia. Last but not least, the demand for economists remains strong, with opportunities for both entry-level positions and advanced roles that come with competitive salaries. As global economies continue to evolve and face new challenges, the skills acquired in economics become increasingly relevant, positioning individuals for long-term career growth and adaptability.

If you're ready to take on the world of economics head-on and build a long and lucrative career as, say, a Data Scientist, Financial Manager, or Management Consultant, you'll need hard work and show dedication, but also exhibit highly specialized skills that can be obtained by attending a college or university that offers a MBA or a BBA undergraduate degree from a US accredited university like Nexford.

 


FAQs 

What is the highest paying job for economics majors in 2024?

Experts and job sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor may vary in their opinion, but across the board, the one economics position that on average seems to pay the most out of any job in the industry is that of an Actuary who can expect to earn $141,889 in the US.

What are the most in-demand skills needed to get into a high paying job in economics? 

To secure a high-paying job in economics, it's essential to possess a combination of technical, analytical, and communication skills. Here are some of the most in-demand skills that can contribute to a successful career in economics: Proficiency in quantitative analysis that includes a strong foundation in statistics, econometrics, and mathematical modeling. Understanding and applying econometric modeling techniques is important for conducting empirical research and drawing meaningful conclusions from data.

Becoming familiar with regression analysis, time-series analysis, and other advanced econometric methods. Building proficiency in programming languages such as Python and R which are commonly used in economic research and analysis. Understanding economic policies and their implications is crucial, especially for roles in government, think tanks, or policy research institutions. Having a proficiency in financial analysis that includes understanding financial statements, conducting cost-benefit analysis, and evaluating investment decisions. Developing strong critical thinking skills which are necessary for analyzing economic problems, developing hypotheses, and proposing solutions.

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How can I improve my chances of getting a high-paying economics career? 

Improving your chances of securing a high-paying career in economics involves a combination of education, skill development, networking, and strategic career planning. Here are some tips to enhance your prospects: Obtain a solid educational background in economics or a related field. Consider pursuing a master's or doctoral degree for more advanced roles, particularly in research or academia. Specialize in a particular area of economics can make you more valuable. Focus on a niche such as health economics, environmental economics, financial economics, or any other area of interest.

Develop strong technical skills in quantitative analysis, econometrics, and statistical modeling. Proficiency in programming languages like Python or R, as well as data visualization tools, adds value in many economic roles. Join professional organizations such as the American Economic Association (AEA) and participate in online forums and discussions. Consider obtaining certifications that are recognized in the economics field. For example, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can be valuable for roles in financial economics. Stay informed about current events, economic trends, and industry-specific knowledge. Understand how economic principles apply to different sectors, and be able to communicate the implications of economic trends for businesses or policymakers.

Is a graduate degree really necessary to get the best paying economics job?

While a graduate degree can significantly enhance your qualifications and open up more advanced and specialized opportunities in the field of economics, it is not always absolutely necessary to secure a well-paying job. The importance of a graduate degree depends on several factors, including the specific role you are targeting, the industry, and your career goals.

When evaluating if you do or don't consider: For entry-level positions in economics, especially in areas such as economic analysis, research assistant roles, or certain government positions, a bachelor's degree may be sufficient. Certain high-paying roles or specialized positions, such as senior economist, econometrician, or research economist in specific industries, may require a master's or doctoral degree. Advanced degrees, such as a master's or Ph.D., are often associated with higher levels of expertise and can lead to increased responsibilities and higher-paying roles. If you aspire to work in academia, conduct independent research, or contribute to economic policy development at a higher level, a Ph.D. is typically necessary. In some cases, gaining substantial work experience and building a strong professional network can compensate for the lack of an advanced degree. Relevant experience, skills, and a robust professional network can open doors and demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers.


If you're ready to take on the world of economics head-on and build a long and lucrative career as, say, a Data Scientist, Financial Manager, or Management Consultant, you'll need hard work and show dedication, but also exhibit highly specialized skills that can be obtained by attending a college or university that offers a MBA or a BBA undergraduate degree from a US accredited university like Nexford.

About the author
Mark Talmage-Rostron
Mark Talmage-Rostron

Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.

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