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Finance & accounting


Economists advise government departments, businesses, banks and other organisations about the economy.

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £75,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

Day to day tasks

Your work will vary depending on whether you're advising government or the business sector. You could:

  • research information from computer databases, websites, journals and newspapers
  • monitor past and present economic issues and trends
  • create mathematical models to predict future economic developments
  • analyse statistics
  • write reports and present findings
  • examine the effectiveness of current policies
  • advise on the potential economic impact of policies and ideas
  • undertake teaching and academic research

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a university.

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:

  • statistics
  • mathematics
  • 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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths or economics
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

The following degree apprenticeships may be relevant to this role:

  • Level 6 Professional economist
  • Level 7 Senior professional economist

For entry to the Level 7 post graduate degree apprenticeship, you would usually already have an undergraduate degree in economics or have completed the Level 6 Professional economist apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

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
For more information

You could start as an economic research officer or analyst in the private sector and work your way up.

Other routes

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.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can find professional development training and networking opportunities with the Royal Economic Society and the The Society of Professional Economists.

Further information

You'll find more advice about working as an economist in the public sector through the Government Economic Service.

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With experience, you could progress to senior levels or become a self-employed freelance consultant.

You'll find more advice about working as an economist in the public sector through the Government Economic Service.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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