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

Learn about the different salaries earned by economics majors. Take a look at salary based on degree level, job title, and location. Also, learn about salaries based on employer. View article »

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Salaries of Economics Majors Overview

Career Median Salary Range Degree
Financial analyst $42,546 - $76,621 Bachelor of Arts
Financial analyst $39,746 - $74,244 Bachelor of Science
Research analyst $42,060 - $91,916 Bachelor of Arts
Data analyst $36,524 - $83,910 Bachelor of Arts
Business analyst $40,547 - $67,331 Bachelor of Science
Senior financial analyst $60,077 - $98,633 Bachelor of Science
Economist $87,763 Master of Arts
Economist $76,000 Master of Science
Economist $65,889 to $167,675 Ph.D.
Chief economist $137,750 Ph.D.
Associate professors $95,000 Ph.D

Source: (2016), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015)

Salaries earned by economics majors can vary depending on 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.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), economists earned a mean salary of $109,230 in May 2015. In the same year, economists working for the federal government earned $114,600 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.

Let's take a look at different median annual salaries provided in February 2016.

Bachelor's Degrees in Economics Salaries

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. Different career options and their salaries for those holding a Bachelor of Arts include:

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

The career options and salaries for those holding a Bachelor of Science include:

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

For most careers, the city an employee resides in can make a difference in salary. For Bachelor of Arts holders, here are the median salaries for some top U.S. cities:

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

Now let's see about the salaries for Bachelor of Science holders in some of the top cities:

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

Master's Degrees in Economics Salaries

Students who earn master's degrees in economics can work as economists, senior data analysts, financial analysts, and research analysts. For Master of Arts degree holders working as economists, the salary is $87,763, and it is $76,000 for those with a Master of Science degree.

Similar to bachelor's degree holders, salaries also vary for these professionals based on location. Let's take a look at some sample cities and corresponding median salaries for both MA and MS degree holders.

With a Master of Arts, a person may earn these salaries in various U.S. cities:

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

Alternatively, with a Master of Science, salaries look like this in different cities:

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

Doctoral Degrees in Economics Salaries

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 economists earned $137,750, while associate professors earned $95,000.

Salaries for economics majors with doctorate degrees in top cities are typically six figures. Let's take a look at some examples:

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

There are many factors that may affect how much you earn as an economics major, but salaries can range from $36,524 to $167,675.

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