Economists advise government departments, businesses, banks and other organisations about the economy.
Salary Range: £25,000 to £80,000
How to become an economist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- a graduate training scheme
You’ll need a degree in economics or a related subject, like:
- business studies
- finance and accounting
Some employers may prefer you to have a postgraduate master’s degree in economics.
Your university course should include both macro and microeconomics.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths or economics
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could complete a professional economist or senior professional economist degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
You could start as an economic research officer or analyst in the private sector and work your way up.
You could apply for a place on the Government Economic Service Fast Stream programme, starting out as an assistant economist.
You’ll need a degree in economics or a combined degree, with at least 50% economics. A postgraduate award in economics may be acceptable.
Professional and industry bodies
You’ll find more advice about working as an economist in the public sector through the Government Economic Service.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of economics and accounting
- analytical thinking skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- excellent written communication skills
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your work will vary depending on whether you’re advising the government or business sector, but your day-to-day duties might include:
- researching information from computer databases, websites, journals and newspapers
- monitoring past and present economic issues and trends
- creating mathematical models to predict future economic developments
- analysing statistics
- writing reports and presenting findings
- examining the effectiveness of current policies
- advising on the potential economic impact of policies and ideas
You could work in an office or at a university.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to senior levels or become a self-employed freelance consultant.