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Job Description

An economist applies specialist knowledge to real-world events and developments to provide insights into their financial, social and political impact. They will research data and statistics and use their understanding of economic relationships to uncover trends which will be used to forecast economic direction and make recommendations for the organisation they are working for.

Economists are employed in both the public and private sectors by governments, commercial enterprises, consultancy firms, universities and think tanks.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You could complete a professional economist or senior professional economist degree apprenticeship.

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.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


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.

You'll usually need:

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

Click here to search for a suitable course.


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.

Career Path and Progression

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

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Diplomatic Service officer
  • Investment analyst
  • Operational researcher
  • Data analyst-statistician

Required Skills

  • Excellent knowledge of maths
  • 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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Salary Range

£25,000 to £80,000

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