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Economists study complex data and statistics and use their findings to provide financial advice to businesses. As an economist, you’d research and monitor economic trends, and create statistical models to predict future developments. Employers depend on economists to advise them on the potential impact of policies and investments.

Average salary*




Typical hours per week


How to become an economist

There are several routes to becoming an economist. You could do a university course or an apprenticeship.

You should explore these routes to becoming an economist, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


You are likely to require an undergraduate degree in economics or a related subject, such as statistics, mathematics, business studies or finance and accounting.

Some employers may require you to hold a postgraduate master's degree in economics. 

You’ll need:


You could complete a degree apprenticeship to become an economist. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, to enrol.

An apprenticeship is a good way into the construction industry. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as an accountant, or in finance. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as an economist include: 

  • A good grasp of maths, economics and accounting
  • Analytical and logical thinking skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.

What does an economist do?

  • Gathering information from multiple sources
  • Gathering and analysing huge amounts of data from sources including government figures, publications, web-based research and industry surveys.
  • Researching and understanding economic models and trends
  • Using computer programs to analyse data collected
  • Meeting with colleagues and clients to share information
  • Preparing reports explaining the potential economic impact of different decisions
  • Making presentations to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Preparing forecasts that enable organisations to plan the allocation of resources
  • Predicting future market requirements
  • Establishing training or investment requirements
  • Assessing the feasibility of a proposed project 
  • Working standard office hours, Monday to Friday
  • Likely to be occasions when it is necessary to work late, particularly in more senior roles.

How much could you earn as an economist?

The expected salary for an economist varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained economists can earn £25,000 - £30,000
  • Trained economists with some experience can earn £40,000 - £55,000
  • Senior, chartered or master economists can earn £60,000 - £85,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest economist vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As an economist, you could progress into more senior financial roles, or set yourself up as a self-employed business consultant.

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