Jobs for Economics Majors That Pay $100K+ per Year | Ladders

Economics majors come out of college with a versatile set of skills, primed for entering various lucrative career paths. Their training in critical thinking, data analysis, and understanding of market dynamics prepares them well for high-paying roles across industries. This article explores top jobs for economics majors that offer salaries exceeding $100,000 per year. Keep reading to get an idea of the promising financial outlook for those with an economics degree.

The Economic Value of Economics Majors

Graduating with a degree in economics places you at a strategic advantage in the job market. The analytical skills, knowledge of economic principles, and ability to interpret complex datasets are highly valued by employers across various sectors. In this guide, we will delve into specific roles where economics majors can harness their unique skill sets for substantial earnings and thrive financially.

High-Paying Career Paths for Economics Majors

Economics majors have access to various career paths that can lead to substantial financial rewards. These paths leverage the analytical and quantitative skills acquired during their studies, applying them in various high-stakes environments. From analyzing market trends to forecasting economic conditions, the roles outlined here offer promising salary prospects and challenging work that can satisfy intellectually curious economists.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts play a pivotal role in corporations by assessing financial data and helping make investment decisions. They analyze historical results, perform variance analysis, forecast future performance, and make recommendations that guide strategic financial planning. This critical role makes use of an economist’s ability to interpret market trends and economic policies, making it a lucrative option for economics graduates.

  • What They Do: Financial analysts evaluate investment opportunities, analyze financial data, and make predictions to help companies make informed financial decisions.
  • Why It Pays Well: Skilled analysts can significantly influence a company’s bottom line by identifying profitable investments and avoiding financial pitfalls.
  • Typical Salaries: Salaries range from $85,000 to $150,000 annually, with senior-level positions reaching the higher end of this scale.

Economic Consultant

Economic consultants provide expert advice based on economic analysis to a variety of clients, including businesses, government agencies, and non-profits. They often specialize in areas such as antitrust, valuation, damages, and regulation. This career demands a deep understanding of economic theories and the ability to apply them to solve real-world problems, providing valuable insights that can influence major policy or business decisions.

  • What They Do: Economic consultants use their knowledge of economic relationships to advise businesses and government agencies on economic strategies and policies.
  • Why It Pays Well: High demand for economic consulting services in areas such as litigation, policy formulation, and market analysis drives the high salaries.
  • Typical Salaries: Consultants can earn between $92,000 and $160,000, depending on their specific expertise and the complexity of the projects they manage.

Data Scientist

Data scientists in economic fields use statistical techniques to analyze and interpret complex data to help companies improve their operations, make informed business decisions, and strategize on new market opportunities. The blend of economics, statistics, and data analytics makes this role both challenging and highly rewarding, with professionals often involved in shaping key strategic decisions.

  • What They Do: Data scientists analyze and interpret complex digital data to help companies improve their business practices, products, and services.
  • Why It Pays Well: The ability to extract actionable insights from big data is crucial, making this skillset extremely valuable.
  • Typical Salaries: Data scientists with economics backgrounds can earn from $95,000 to over $165,000 per year, particularly in tech and finance sectors.

Investment Banker

Investment bankers are at the forefront of the financial world, providing guidance and support for mergers, acquisitions, and other financial transactions. They help clients raise capital by issuing stocks and bonds, advising on investment opportunities, and negotiating deals. This high-pressure, high-stakes environment is well-suited for economics majors with a strong understanding of market forces and financial modeling.

  • What They Do: Investment bankers help their clients raise money in capital markets, manage financial assets, and provide strategic advice for mergers, acquisitions, and other types of financial transactions.
  • Why It Pays Well: The high stakes involved in investment banking transactions and the necessary sophisticated financial knowledge justify the high earnings.
  • Typical Salaries: Starting salaries are generally around $100,000, but with experience, bonuses, and successful deals, compensation can quickly exceed $150,000.


Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those that pertain to insurance and pension programs. They evaluate the likelihood of events and quantify the contingent outcomes in order to minimize the costs associated with these events. The role requires a strong foundation in economics, particularly in the modeling and analysis of financial risk.

– **What They Do**: Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty using mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.

– **Why It Pays Well**: Actuaries are critical in insurance and other industries where risk assessment is crucial, commanding high salaries due to their specialized skills.

– **Typical Salaries**: Actuaries earn an average salary of around $108,000, but experienced professionals in senior roles can earn significantly more.[^5]

Developing a Lucrative Career with an Economics Degree

To truly excel and reach the six-figure income bracket with an economics degree, it’s crucial to strategically develop your career path. This involves gaining specialized knowledge, building professional experience, and expanding your professional network. Here are some targeted strategies that can help you maximize your career potential in the field of economics.

Obtain Relevant Certifications

Consider certifications like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Business Economist (CBE) to enhance your qualifications.

– **Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)**: Pursuing a CFA can provide a strong foundation in finance, investment, and portfolio management, broadening your career opportunities in financial analysis and investment banking.

– **Certified Business Economist (CBE)**: The CBE designation can enhance your credentials as an economist, providing recognition for your ability to apply economic analysis in real-world contexts.

– **Data Science Certifications**: For roles like a data scientist, certifications in data analysis, machine learning, and related fields can significantly enhance your technical skills.

Gain Practical Experience

Internships and entry-level positions in economic research, finance, or data analysis can provide practical experience and make you more attractive to high-paying employers.

– **Internships**: Engage in internships during your academic career to gain hands-on experience that can make you a more attractive candidate to future employers.

– **Economic Research**: Participate in economic research projects that can provide insights into complex economic problems and increase your analytical skills.

– **Volunteer for Projects**: Look for opportunities within your current role to work on projects that require economic forecasting or financial analysis, as this can build your experience and showcase your skills to potential employers.

Network Effectively

Leverage alumni, professional groups, and industry contacts to uncover opportunities and gain insights into different career paths.

– **Join Professional Organizations**: Become an active member of organizations like the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) or regional economic associations to meet peers and industry leaders.

– **Attend Industry Conferences and Seminars**: Regular attendance at relevant industry events can help you stay current with economic trends and make valuable connections.

– **Alumni Networks**: Leverage your college or university alumni network to connect with fellow economics graduates who can provide career advice or job leads.

Maximizing Your Economics Degree

For economics majors aiming for a six-figure salary, the key is specialization and continued learning. By focusing on high-demand areas where economic expertise is indispensable, and continually upgrading your skills, you can enhance your earning potential and secure lucrative roles in the job market. Remember, the journey from economics major to economic success story is paved with persistence, strategic career moves, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.