What is the Salary Potential with a Degree in Economics?

A person who wants to be an economist or another type of career related to economics may want to know what the salary potential with a degree in economics is. The salary potential varies by the type of degree and the type of job that a person gets. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps track of employment statistics by occupation, including for people who report their occupation as an economist.

Current Wage Statistics for Economists

A person with an economics degree typically works as an economist. As of May 2018, the median annual wage for economists was $104,340. The lowest-paid 10 percent of economists had a median annual salary of $58,130. The highest-paid 10 percent of economists earned a median annual salary of $182,560. Economists typically work full-time hours, and their jobs may require overtime. Wages for economists rose by 1.7 percent from the first to the second quarter of 2018. This rate of increase is expected to continue through 2028.

Salary Based On the Industry of Employment

Economists who work in the federal government have the highest mean annual salary, averaging $119,590 per year. They are followed by economists who work in finance and insurance, who have a mean annual wage of $118,290 per year. Economists who work in management, scientific or consulting services have a mean annual wage of $110,630 per year. Those who work in scientific research and development services earn a mean wage of $109,670 per year. The economists who work in state government jobs earn a mean annual wage of $70,280 per year. These salary amounts are as of 2018, which is the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary By Location of Employment

It is also important to consider the salary potential based on the location of employment. As of May 2018, the highest-paying five states or territories for people with economics degrees include the District of Columbia, New York, Virginia, Ohio and California. The top-paying metropolitan areas for people with degrees in economics include San Jose, California; Cleveland, Ohio; San Francisco, California; New York, New York; and Washington, D.C. Each of those metro areas had average annual salaries exceeding $132,000. The top-paying non-metropolitan areas for people with economics degrees include Alaska, Southwest Montana, Northwest Oklahoma and Central New Hampshire.

Related Resource: 10 Best Deals on Online Master’s in Economics

Factors In the Salary Potential for Economists

There are several other factors that affect the salary potential of an economist or another worker with an economics degree. One is the level of degree. A person with a doctorate in economics will have the highest salary potential, followed by a person with a master’s degree. A person with a bachelor’s degree in economics has the lowest salary potential. Another factor is years of experience. The more experiences, the greater the salary potential.

Knowing about the salary potential for a person with a degree in economics could help a person choose an area of specialty or a concentration within their major. Familiarity with the salary potential for a person who has an economics degree could also facilitate planning a graduate degree. Knowing what is the salary potential with a degree in economics is makes it easier for a person to plan their personal and professional goals.