With the ever-changing dynamics of world economies coupled with high standards of living, insane competition in the job market, and the burden of having to clear one’s student loan, identifying the high-paying jobs for economics majors has become more of a necessity.
Getting a well-paying job will not only enable you to enjoy better financial stability but also be able to pay off your student loan within the shortest time possible.
Most of the high-paying jobs in this list have entry-level wages of less than $100,000 a year. However, mid-career wages are often six figures, which explains why most graduates dream of landing these jobs.
High Paying Jobs for Economics Majors in 2021
Below we highlight the highest paying jobs for economics majors in the United States. Most of these jobs have entry-level wages of less than $100,000 a year but mid-career professionals enjoy six-figure salaries. We used salary statistics from reputable sources such as PayScale and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile this list.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts study market trends to assess how products or services will fare under different economic climates. They formulate studies, gather & analyze data, quantify the results, and present the information to their clients.
Market research analysts apply the different skills they learn in class such as graphical representation of the findings, use of data presentation tools, and data analysis skills. They need to be adept at solving consumer problems and formulate ideas to help engineer the production of new and better products or services.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for market research analysts will increase by 18% between 2019 and 2029, which is a much faster rate compared to the averages of all occupations.
The median annual wage of market research analysts in the U.S. is $65,810 with the highest-paid 10% earning more than $127,410 a year.
Compensation & Benefits Managers
As the name suggests, compensation and benefits managers carry out research on compensation and benefits to establish a competitive pay and benefits structure for the company. This includes retirement plans, wellness programs, 401Ks, and more.
They have to study & analyze trends in the labor market, assess supply and demand for the various job classes, and create reports based on their findings. They submit their findings and reports to senior management who will then make the final decisions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, the demand for compensation and benefits managers will increase by 18% between 2019 and 2029, which is also a much faster rate compared to the averages of all occupations.
The median annual wage of compensation and benefits managers is $125,130. The highest-paid 10% earn more than $208,000 a year, making this one of the highest paying jobs for economics majors in the United States.
Another high-paying job for economics majors is being a financial analyst. Financial analysts do research on companies, industries, bonds, stocks, and other investments to understand the market trends and make informed predictions.
They use advanced quantitative skills to analyze the data and often use computer software and data analysis models. Based on their findings and data, financial analysts will prepare presentations and reports for those involved in the final decision-making process. (i.e. those who make decisions about investments, bonds, stocks, mergers, acquisitions, etc.).
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% rise in financial analysts’ employment opportunities between 2019 and 2029, largely due to a growing range of financial products that demand in-depth knowledge of geographic regions.
The median annual wage of financial analysts in the United States is $83,660 while the highest-paid 10% earn more than $159,560 a year.
Management consultants are tasked with finding effective solutions to business problems. They use financial and quantitative modeling to conduct analyses and develop plans to improve organizational functions.
Entry-level opportunities for fresh college graduates include research assistants, research analysts, or junior consultants. In these positions, they support the work of senior staff, and over time they can progress to higher roles such as management consultant.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for management consultants will have increased by 11% by 2029.
The median annual wage of management consultants in the United States is $87,650. The highest-paid 10% earn more than $156,840 a year. Such wages make this one of the highest-paying jobs for economics majors graduates.
Economic consultants conduct studies on economic scenarios to analyze industry trends and help business improve their performances. They can also act as expert witnesses in legal cases, some of their roles being to assess economic damages, address regulatory violations, and analyze intellectual property violations.
As an economic consultant, you can work in multiple industries or sectors, including finance, business, education, healthcare, the government, and more.
According to PayScale, the average annual wage of economic consultants in the U.S. is $76,215. The highest-paid 10% of economic consultants earn more than $141,000 a year.
Personal Financial Advisor
Another lucrative career you can pursue with an economics major is to become a personal financial advisor. Personal financial advisors provide expert financial services to individuals making major financial decisions such as retirement savings, stocks & bonds, college funds, or any other significant investments.
They can also provide consultancy services to individuals on matters such as tax payments, insurance policies, and mortgages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for personal financial advisors will grow by approximately 4% from 2019 to 2029.
The median annual wages of personal financial advisors in the U.S. is $89,330. The highest-paid 10% earn more than $208,000 a year.
Financial managers help organizations and businesses by keeping track of their revenue, expenses, and investment ventures. They also advise businesses and organizations on financial decisions to ensure they remain financially successful and healthy, which will make it possible for them to achieve long-term financial goals.
It’s worth keeping in mind that there are different types of financial managers, including risk managers, insurance managers, credit managers, and more. Students who wish to become financial managers would benefit a lot by completing professional leadership and management courses.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for services provided by financial managers will increase by approximately 15% from 2019 to 2029.
The median annual wages of financial managers is $134,180 while the highest-paid 10% earn more than $208,000 a year.
Actuaries use their statistical and mathematical expertise to determine the likelihood of financial outcomes of risks. They take multiple variables into consideration when analyzing risk profiles then come up with profitable structures for insurance policies.
They use software and analytical models to ensure they achieve accurate analyses. Based on the outcomes of their analyses, they devise analytical graphs and charts that will help the management team make informed decisions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job opportunities for actuaries in the United States will increase by 18% from 2019 to 2029, an indication that actuaries will always be in high demand.
The median annual wages of actuaries is $111,030 while the top-paid 10% enjoy wages as high as $196,010 and more, making it one of the high-paying jobs for economics majors.
With economics majors, you can also work as a credit analyst where you will evaluate client credit scores, be it individuals or businesses, and assess the risks involved in loaning them funds. If the client does not have a good credit standing, credit analysts may help devise improvement plans to help improve their status.
The information credit analysts use includes credit card applications and loan applications. They also take into account economic trends and factors that affect the industry and their direct competitors to determine if the client is eligible.
According to job growth projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for credit analysts will increase by approximately 5% from 2019 to 2029.
This is one of the high-paying jobs for economics majors in America with the median annual wages of credit analysts being $74,970. The top-paid credit analysts earn more than $146,690 a year.
Operations Research Analyst
Although their duties vary greatly depending on the industry they’re in, operations research analysts basically use their research, analytical, and problem-solving skills to assists businesses and organizations solve problems in their operations.
Their background in economics enables them to identify corporate issues and use statistical analysis to come up with appropriate solutions. Operations research analysts also provide expert consultation services to executives and those in managerial positions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for operations research analysts will grow by 25% from 2019 to 2029. This is largely attributed to the impressive technological advancements that push companies to seek efficient, cost-saving ways of executing business and financial tasks.
The mean annual wages of operations research analysts is $86,200 while the top-paid 10% earn more than $144,330 a year.
Policy analysts study and analyze national economic trends, forecast possible outcomes, and recommend government and corporate interventions to address the issues. They use the knowledge of economics to analyze and understand the issues, which include taxes, healthcare policies, and international trade policies, and come up with effective solutions
Policy analysts should possess strong writing skills that will help them in presenting their findings and convincing the legislators or the relevant parties of the viability of their research-backed recommendations.
The mean annual salary of policy analysts in the United States is $59,791. The highest-paid 10% earn more than $83,000 a year.
Financial Sales Agents
Another job you can do with an economics degree is being a securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent. You will act as a link between sellers and buyers in the financial market. You can sell stocks or bonds, provide financial consultancy services, or monitor the growth of investments.
This is one of the high-paying jobs for economics majors in the U.S. and estimation indicates employment opportunities will grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these financial experts earn a median annual salary of $64,770 while the top-paid 10% earn more than $208,000 a year.
Another career you can pursue with majors in economics is to become a business reporter. You will research, write, and broadcast about the business industry trends, financial markets, economic developments, and companies.
As a business reporter, having the ability to write about economic/business issues in simple language the average target audience can understand will be vital.
The mean annual salary of business reporters in the United States is $52,661 with the top-paid 10% earning more than $89,000 a year.
As a statistician, you will apply statistical methods and models to solve real-world problems. Your role will involve gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data to help in business decision-making processes. Statisticians can work in almost any industry and on different projects such as risk management.
Most employers look for professionals with a master’s or doctorate to help them tackle statistical challenges, improve their productivity, and achieve their financial goals.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for statisticians and mathematicians will rise by approximately 33% between 2019 and 2029.
The median annual salary of statisticians is $92,270 while the top-paid 10% earn more than $150,840 a year, which makes it one of the highest-paying jobs for economics majors in the U.S.
Economists can work in different industries or sectors to do research on financial trends related to inflation, bonds, stocks, exchange rates, and more with the aim being to do financial forecasts and inform relevant parties such as the government or corporations about likely future outcomes.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for economists will grow by approximately 14% from 2019 to 2029. The median annual salary of economists in the U.S. is $108,350 and the top-paid 10% earn more than $198,230 a year.
FAQs About the Highest Paying Jobs for Economics Majors
If you wonder about what you can do with an economics degree, there’s a likelihood you have the following questions in mind. Let’s have a look at them one at a time.
1. Can you get a job with an economics degree?
Yes. There are many jobs you can get with an economics degree. The most notable jobs you can land include financial analyst, statistician, financial manager, market research analyst, management consultant, compensation & benefits analyst, personal finance advisor, credit analyst, and operation research analyst.
With an economics major, you can work in different industries or sectors. While competition is very stiff, you can make it easy for yourself to get a well-paying job by earning an advanced degree or getting an additional professional certification.
2. What schools offer degrees in economics?
Based on reports from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States offer economics degrees at bachelor’s level, with a sizable percentage of them offering postgraduate and graduate programs in economics.
3. Can I complete my economics degree online?
You can complete a bachelor’s degree in economics online by enrolling in online programs that are becoming increasingly popular. Hundreds of universities and colleges in the United States have been accredited to provide online programs in economics along with other programs.
To sum up…
We have highlighted fifteen high-paying jobs for economics majors in the United States, most of which you can earn as high as $200,000 a year. The demand for economics graduates continues to increase and you can enroll in online programs.