Salary of an Economics Major: How Much Do Graduates Earn?

Salaries earned by economics majors can vary depending upon a number of factors, including degree level, job title, city and employer. The type of education one gets can make a difference in salary as well.

Salaries of Economics Majors Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), economists earned an average salary of $105,290 in May 2014. In the same year, economists working for the federal government earned $111,750 on average. However, economist is not the only job title for economics majors. Other titles include financial analyst, business analyst, investment banker, statistician, trade specialist and economic analyst. The salaries earned by these individuals are dependent upon a number of things, including their level of education and the city in which they work. All salaries below are from Payscale as of February 2016.

Salaries of Graduates with Bachelor's Degrees in Economics

While graduates holding bachelor's degrees tend to be at the lower end of the salary scale, the type of bachelor's degree held can make a difference in salary. Below are the salary ranges of specific careers for professionals with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Economics:

Salaries for Bachelor of Arts Holders

  • Financial analyst: $42,546 - $76,621
  • Research analyst: $42,060 - $91,916
  • Data analyst: $36,524 - $83,910

Salaries for Bachelor of Science Holders

  • Financial analyst: $39,746 - $74,244
  • Business analyst: $40, 547 - $67,331
  • Senior financial analyst: $60,077 - $98,633

Salaries by City for Bachelor's Degree Holders

For most careers, the city an employee resides in can make a difference in salary. Below is a list of some popular cities for graduates with bachelor's degrees in economics and corresponding median salaries:

Bachelor of Arts Holders

  • New York: $73,011
  • Chicago: $61,947
  • Washington, DC: $67,071
  • Los Angeles: $71,312
  • San Francisco: $84,301

Bachelor of Science Holders

  • New York: $68,306
  • Chicago: $59,752
  • Houston: $67,349
  • San Francisco: $87,491
  • Washington, DC: $59,716

Salaries of Graduates with Master's Degrees in Economics

Students who earn master's degrees in economics can find careers, such as economists, senior data analysts, financial analysts and research analysts. For Master of Arts degree holders working as economist, the salary range is between $45,545 and $118,359, and between 50,644 and $126,796 for those with a Master of Science degree.

Salary by City for Master's Degree Holders

Similar to bachelor's degree holders, salaries also vary for these professionals based on location. Some sample cities and corresponding median salaries are listed below:

Master of Arts Holders

  • New York: $83,771
  • Los Angeles: $79,026
  • Dallas: $66,000
  • Seattle: $90,249
  • Washington, DC: $63,783

Master of Science Holders

  • New York: $66,975
  • Chicago: $59,500
  • Houston: $72,500
  • San Diego: $84,000
  • Washington, DC: $83,524

Salaries of Graduates with Doctoral Degrees in Economics

Graduates holding doctoral degrees in this field generally pursue careers as economists or in academia. Economists with a Ph.D. earned a salary ranging from $65,889 to $167,675. Chief economist earned $137,750 on average, while associate professors earned $95,000.

Salary by City for Ph.D. Holders

Salaries for economics majors with doctorate degrees in top cities are typically six figures. Below are the median salaries by city:

  • New York: $135,000
  • San Francisco: $153,300
  • Baltimore: $120,498
  • Seattle: $116,500
  • Washington, DC: $103,555

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