Economists are concerned with how society uses resources such as land, labor, raw materials, and machinery to produce goods and services for consumption and production in the present and future. Economists study how economic systems address three basic questions: "What shall we produce?" "How shall we produce it?" and "For whom shall we produce it?" The economist then compiles, processes, and interprets the answers to these questions. There are about 21,000 economists employed in the United States.
Minimum Education Level
Economists are among the highest-paid social scientists. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median salary for economists was $104,340 in May 2018. The lowest paid 10 percent made less than $58,130, and the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $182,560. Economists employed by the federal government earned average salaries of $123,570. Those who worked for scientific research and ...
Economists generally work in offices or classrooms. The average workweek is 40 hours, although academic and business economists' schedules often can be less predictable. Economists in nonteaching positions often work alone writing reports, preparing statistical charts, and using computers, but they may also be part of a research team. Most economists work under deadline pressure and sometimes m...
Employment opportunities for economists are expected to grow faster than the average for all careers from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Economists employed by private industry—especially in management, scientific, and technical consulting services—will enjoy the strongest prospects. The DOL predicts that "demand for economists should grow as a result of the incr...