11 jobs for master's in economics (with salary and duties)

Updated 24 January 2023

A master's degree in economics is a postgraduate qualification that can lead to various job opportunities. Master's graduates in this field may work in academia, the private sector, the public sector, NGOs and elsewhere. If you've got a master's degree in economics, knowing some job options can help you find the right one for you. In this article, we list 11 jobs for master's in economics, together with salaries and descriptions for each role.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.

11 jobs for master's in economics

If you're interested in finding jobs for a master's in economics, consider some of the options below:

1. Research assistant

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National average salary: £28,599 per year

Primary duties: A research assistant is a professional who works with a senior researcher to support their work. Research assistants might work in various settings, including research bodies and academic institutions. For those with a master's degree in economics who would like to pursue a PhD, accompanying work as a research assistant at the university in question can be a good idea as it allows them to pursue work that supports their studies. They might assist lecturers or professors in their research, who may also be their PhD supervisors. This can include both quantitative and qualitative research.

Related: Hard and soft research assistant skills employers look for

2. Financial engineer

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National average salary: £30,149 per year

Primary duties: A financial engineer uses mathematical techniques to analyse and solve financial problems. The discipline of financial engineering involves economics, maths, statistics and even elements of computer science. Financial engineers can address financial problems and develop new financial products using these methods. They typically work in the banking sector for hedge funds, commercial banks, and investment banks. They can also develop quantitative or financial risk models to determine how an investment is likely to perform in a given market environment. Financial engineers can work on derivatives, risk management, corporate finance and options pricing.

Related: 10 careers in finance (plus tips for entering the field)

3. Research analyst

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National average salary: £30,725 per year

Primary duties: An economic research analyst works in non-academic environments to produce insights and analysis. They may produce reports for managers and other decision-makers, formulate plans and analyse new business initiatives. They can use data analysis and econometric methods to test ideas and predict potential outcomes. In some cases, they may provide specific reports to help a business understand new legislation or interpret market changes. A research analyst may specialise in a particular area, such as agricultural economics, labour economics, financial economics and others.

Related: 8 careers in research (with average salary and duties)

4. Econometrician

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National average salary: £34,434 per year

Primary duties: Econometricians focus on using econometrics to model, predict and study economic outcomes. They use statistical methods and mathematical formulas to analyse datasets, make predictions and test theories. Econometricians attempt to quantify or otherwise test the statistical validity of economic theories and ideas. This can be useful for evaluating business objectives and their feasibility. They use techniques like ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to evaluate data and analyse trends. In the financial sector, many econometricians have the title of 'quant', which is a contraction of 'quantitative analyst'.

Related: 17 types of economists (with job options and tips)

5. Data analyst

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National average salary: £34,625 per year

Primary duties: Master's degrees in economics typically include learning about how to work with data, making it possible for master's graduates to seek data analyst jobs. A data analyst knows how to find, process, clean, analyse and present data. They use this information to identify trends and derive insights that can guide decision-making. Data analysts may work in any sector or organisation that acquires and uses data. They use tools like spreadsheets, SQL and languages like Python or R to work with data and present it. With additional training and skills, it's also possible to become a data scientist.

Related: What does a data analyst do and where do they work?

6. Economic consultant

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National average salary: £37,467 per year

Primary duties: An economic consultant is a professional economist who focuses almost solely on providing advice to clients and organisations. They may work as part of an economic consultancy business or independently, where they manage their own clients and run their own businesses. They apply economic thinking, research and analysis to evaluate an organisation's circumstances in the context of current or upcoming economic conditions. They know how to analyse data, perform various types of research, evaluate policies, develop predictive models and present this information to business managers or other organisational leaders to help them make informed decisions.

Related: Consultant work experience: benefits, types and options

7. Economist

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National average salary: £42,261 per year

Primary duties: Economists work in various sectors to provide analysis and recommendations on economic matters. A master's degree may allow candidates to go straight to a full economist position, rather than initially becoming a junior economist or assistant economist. These professionals use maths, statistics and quantitative and qualitative research to analyse policies and evaluate trends. They may develop mathematical models to predict future trends and examine policies to assess their effectiveness. Some may focus on academic research, whereas others may advise private sector organisations regarding the impact of economic policies on their activities.

Related: What is an economist and what does an economist do?

8. Portfolio manager

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National average salary: £42,496 per year

Primary duties: Portfolio managers invest a fund's assets, perform daily trading and implement investment strategies. Portfolio management may be either passive or active. Passive portfolio management involves using a particular market index as a benchmark, giving the investor similar long-term returns. Active portfolio management aims to consistently outperform market averages through unique strategies, which depend on the manager in question. Active management requires good investment insights and may involve greater risk, whereas passive management requires making the right index choice. The specialisation of financial economics is particularly relevant for this type of role.

Related: How to become a portfolio manager in 6 steps

9. Investment analyst

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National average salary: £43,126 per year

Primary duties: Investment analysts help investors, stock traders, stockbrokers and fund managers to make investment decisions. This can include researching and identifying new investment opportunities, analysing data, producing reports for managers, evaluating the effects of new policies, analysing the financial performance of companies, examining the accounts of companies and keeping up-to-date on political and economic developments. Investment analysts know about regulatory frameworks and can make or evaluate recommendations regarding investment decisions. They know how to take initiative, use data analysis and accounting methods, solve problems and use software packages for analysis and visualisation of data.

Related: What does an investment analyst do? (With skills and salary)

10. Economics tutor

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National average salary: £45,991 per year

Primary duties: With a postgraduate qualification in economics, it's possible to become an economics tutor. This can mean teaching and supporting students of economics, either at the school or undergraduate level. Becoming a tutor may require at least an upper second at the master's level or even higher. Economics tutors can evaluate a learning syllabus and then prepare tutorials or classes to help students understand concepts and practices in economics. They can answer questions, demonstrate analytical methods and help students pass or get good grades in their studies. Tutors may work independently or as part of an educational organisation.

Related: Guide to making the most of a degree in economics

11. Actuary

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National average salary: £64,794 per year

Primary duties: An actuary or actuarial analyst analyses and forecasts long-term risks regarding finance and investment. They have good working knowledge of maths, economics, accounting and finance. They use analysis, logic, reasoning, research and sound judgement to perform various functions. These include analysing statistics, assessing financial or investment risks, testing financial options, forecasting trends and writing reports to communicate their findings. They can present and explain these to managers, public sector officials or business clients. They also benefit from skills in computer software and analytical applications for working with data.

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