Master’s In Economics Salary

Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

For students who have the definite goal of becoming economists, the Master’s in Economics is the only postgraduate degree (besides a Ph.D.) that makes sense. However, the choice to pursue a Master’s in Economics is not always as clear for everyone. In some cases, equal consideration is given to the Master’s in Economics as well as the Master of Business Administration. If you’re planning the next phase of your career and need help deciding which advanced degree to pursue, this article will outline some of the differences between an MA in Economics and an MBA as well as tips and pointers on choosing the degree that’s right for you.

What is Economics?

Economics has an enormous effect on our daily lives and choices like work, leisure, consumption, and how much to save. Economics is a social science that deals with production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It also studies how individuals and businesses make choices on allocating resources to satisfy their needs while trying to achieve maximum output.

Economics can be broken into two:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics

While macroeconomics focuses on the behavior of aggravated economics, microeconomics focuses on individual consumers.

  • Some of the vital topics in microeconomics are markets, efficiency, supply and demand, opportunity cost, game theory, and market failure.
  • Macroeconomics includes topics like inflation, GDP, pricing, savings, and investment, market growth, development, unemployment, and competition.

Apart from microeconomics and macroeconomics, there are a number of other branches of economics –

  • Behavioral economics
  • Business economics
  • Constitutional economics
  • Cultural economics
  • Development economics
  • Ecological economics
  • Economic geography
  • Environmental economics
  • Energy economics
  • Financial economics
  • Industrial economics
  • Information economics
  • International economics
  • Labor economics
  • Managerial economics
  • Mathematical economics or econometrics
  • Resource economics
  • Urban economics
  • Public economics
  • Descriptive, theoretical and policy economics
  • Monetary economics

What is a MS in Economics?

Masters in economics is a 2-year program which offers an in-depth understanding of the subject. Other than microeconomics and macroeconomics, some of the core concepts are –

  • Economic Growth
  • Econometrics
  • Economics Forecasting
  • Numerical Computation

Some of the common specializations in Economics include computation economics, financial economics, applied economics, and microeconomics.

The following is a chart that gives the basic information required to become an economist.

Degree RequiredBachelor’s and Master’s Degree Required, PhD preferred
Education Field of StudyEconomics, Mathematics, Statistics
Key SkillsData collection and analysis, trend interpretation, report writing
Job Growth (2018-2028)8%*
Median Salary 2018$104,340*

Is a Master’s in Economics Worth It?

Furthering education of any kind is an investment in your future. Across the board, having a master’s degree will almost always result in higher annual earnings. According to the Pew Research Center’s tabulations of the 2009 Survey of Income and Program Participation (the latest year available), college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds with a master’s degree earned about $11,000 more per year than their peers with a bachelor’s degree and no further education. Speaking of the Master’s in Economics specifically, this degree can offer holders tremendous value and significant ROI. Monster.com recently ranked the Master’s in Economics as the #4 best-paying master’s degree with a median salary for mid-career economists at $114,000.

Want to learn more? Discover an online Master’s in Economics delivered by distinguished faculty based in Washington D.C., the epicenter of economic policy in the United States. American University’s online MA in Economics with a specialization in applied economics can help you take the next step in your career. And speaking of careers, be sure to check out our free guide below on career opportunities in economics.

What Types of Jobs Could I Apply For?

Graduates holding a master’s degree in economics are equipped with the skills and knowledge to pursue positions beyond the entry-level or continue their studies towards a doctoral degree in economics. Candidates with advanced degrees may gain employment in several different sectors, including government, corporate, academic and non-profit sectors. You may work in areas of health, law, environment, energy, education or agriculture, among others.

Large international banks, federal and state government agencies, news organizations, financial publications and consulting firms often employ economists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the largest employers of economists were the federal and state governments (www.bls.gov).

Economists often hold various positions in finance and business. You might work as a risk analyst, consultant, financial advisor, business analyst, research analyst, auditor or purchasing manager. If you are interested in teaching, you may find instructor positions at community colleges with a master’s degree in economics. However, most colleges and universities require instructors to hold doctoral degrees. A doctoral degree may also be required for top economist positions within some organizations.

What Would My Job Duties Be?

The majority of economists are involved in researching, collecting and analyzing economic data to determine consumer demands and strategies for profit maximization. You will most likely use computers to conduct statistical analyses and create charts, graphs and tables to communicate your findings. Economists often consult mathematical models to make forecasts on future economic trends. They may produce informative reports to help make important business decisions, or publish reports in financial news publications and journals.

Your job responsibilities may also depend on your area of specialization. For instance, if your degree specialty was microeconomics, your job duties might involve determining potential profits made from products at certain prices. Those focused on macroeconomics might look at historical economic data to forecast future trends, such as exchange rates, productivity or inflation. Other specialty areas include econometrics, industrial, labor and international economics.

What Could I Earn With This Degree?

Economists’ wages vary with education, geographic area and industry. The BLS reports that the national median annual wage of economists was $104,340 in 2018. Economists working in scientific research and development earned the highest salaries.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Mathematicians use mathematical principles to explain and analyze data. They use their mathematical skills to find answers to a variety of global problems. Mathematicians may work with engineers, scientists, and researchers. You may find them working for the government or private companies.

Political scientists conduct research and studies relating to various political processes. They keep up with political trends and issues regarding governments and their policies. Individuals working in this area should hold a master’s degree or higher in political science, public administration or a similar field.

As of May 30, 2021, the average annual pay for a Masters Economics in the United States is $77,133 a year.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $37.08 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,483/week or $6,428/month.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $158,500 and as low as $21,000, the majority of Masters Economics salaries currently range between $43,500 (25th percentile) to $101,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $142,000 annually across the United States. The average pay range for a Masters Economics varies greatly (by as much as $58,000), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.

Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the Masters Economics job market in both Lagos, NG and the surrounding area is very active. A Masters Economics in your area makes on average $77,133 per year, or the same as the national average annual salary of $77,133. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Masters Economics salaries.

To estimate the most accurate annual salary range for Masters Economics jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Masters Economics Jobs

We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Masters Economics job is above the national average. Topping the list is San Jose, CA, with Oakland, CA and Tanaina, AK close behind in the second and third positions. Tanaina, AK beats the national average by $16,612 (21.5%), and San Jose, CA furthers that trend with another $18,137 (23.5%) above the $77,133 average.

Importantly, San Jose, CA has a moderately active Masters Economics job market with only a few companies currently hiring for this type of role.

With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Masters Economics appears to be exceedingly fruitful.

Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 7% between San Jose, CA and Seaside, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for a Masters Economics role.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Jose, CA$95,270$7,939$1,832$45.80
Oakland, CA$94,173$7,848$1,811$45.28
Tanaina, AK$93,746$7,812$1,803$45.07
Wasilla, AK$93,744$7,812$1,803$45.07
Hayward, CA$92,201$7,683$1,773$44.33
Seattle, WA$91,578$7,632$1,761$44.03
Concord, CA$91,350$7,612$1,757$43.92
Sunnyvale, CA$90,829$7,569$1,747$43.67
Santa Cruz, CA$89,777$7,481$1,726$43.16
Seaside, CA$88,588$7,382$1,704$42.59

Top 5 Best Paying Related Masters Economics Jobs in the U.S.

We found at least five jobs related to the Masters Economics job category that pay more per year than a typical Masters Economics salary. Top examples of these roles include: Health Economics Outcomes Research, Quant Economics, and Outcomes Research.

Importantly, all of these jobs are paid between $30,958 (40.1%) and $62,822 (81.4%) more than the average Masters Economics salary of $77,133. If you’re qualified, getting hired for one of these related Masters Economics jobs may help you make more money than that of the average Masters Economics position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Health Economics Outcomes Research$139,955$11,663$2,691$67.29
Quant Economics$127,813$10,651$2,458$61.45
Outcomes Research$120,340$10,028$2,314$57.86
Director Medical Economics$108,286$9,024$2,082$52.06
Economist Data Scientist$108,091$9,008$2,079$51.97


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