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Wage Overview for Those Majoring in Economics

Career News May 13, 2014

Various factors, such as degree level, position, city location, and employer, determine the salary of economics majors. The level of education one gets may also change the salary.

Wage Levels of Economics Majors

In 2008, about 14,600 individuals were employed as general economists across the country (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The government employed more than 50% of them. In May 2009, these professionals banked an average annual wage of $96,320. In March 2009, economists employed by the federal government took home an average annual wage of $108,810 (BLS).

However, economics majors can seek other job titles than that of an ‘economist’; these include regional sales manager, financial advisor, statistician, bank branch manager, sales director, securities trader, and business analyst. These individuals earn different salaries depending on their location and education level, among other things.

Salary Levels of Bachelor’s Degree Graduates in Economics

Lower salaries tend to be paid to bachelor’s degree graduates, with the level of pay varying with the type of bachelor’s degree. In 2010, for instance, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) graduates in Economics took home an average annual wage ranging between $34,800 and $137,000, while Bachelor of Science (B.S.) graduates banked between $42,566 and $80,984.

The following shows typical salary levels for bachelor’s degree graduates by occupation:

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.):

•Credit analyst: $45,200
•Financial analyst: $54,300
•Banking branch manager: $58,100
•Financial controller: $86,800

Bachelor of Science (B.S.):

•Credit analyst: $42,566
•Banking branch manager: $45,198
•Financial analyst: $51,057
•Financial controller: $80,984

The following shows the typical salary levels for bachelor’s degree graduates in popular cities (2010):

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.):

•Chicago: $60,746
•Washington, D.C.: $61,085
•Boston: $61,342
•Los Angeles: $64,494
•Seattle: $67,830
•New York: $68,210
•San Francisco: $79,499

Bachelor of Science (B.S.):

•Houston: $54,239
•Dallas: $55,495
•Chicago: $58,838
•San Francisco: $60,521
•Washington, D.C.: $60,689
•Los Angeles: $61,269
•New York: $64,123

Salary Levels of Master’s Degree Graduates in Economics

Being a corporate economist or a general economist are among the popular options for master’s degree graduates in economics who seek occupations. In 2010, general economists took home an average annual wage of $52,072, while corporate economists banked $55,000.

The following shows the typical salary levels for master’s degree graduates in popular cities (2010):

•Boston: $64,199
•Dallas: $69,500
•Washington, D.C.: $72,644
•Chicago: $76,125
•New York: $78,108
•Los Angeles: $80,000
•San Francisco: $82,266

Salary Levels of Doctorate Degree Graduates in Economics

In 2010, graduates of a doctorate degree program in economics banked between $71,216 and $116,288.

The following displays the typical salary levels of doctorate degree graduates in economics by occupation:

•Assistant professor: $71,216
•Associate professor: $73,000
•Economist: $92,636
•Corporate economist: $97,684
•Statistician: $105,000
•Professor: $116,288

The following shows the typical salary levels for doctorate degree graduates in popular cities (2010):

•Los Angeles: $69,400
•Boston: $78,108
•Houston: $80,131
•San Francisco: $93,191
•New York: $99,157
•Washington, D.C.: $111,649
•Chicago: $125,000

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