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Economic Developer Careers

The role of the economic developer today is continually changing. An urban developer focuses on economic growth strategies preparing, developing, and executing them as well as serving as a crucial contact between public and private sectors and the city.

You are overseeing an infrastructure project one minute, then collaborating on publicity strategies for different tourist companies or aiding a prospective small enterprise in looking for a central spot next. The activities include a broad variety of tasks from project management to policy formulation and execution, promotion, tourism, retention of companies, recruiting, and extension.

It's not a job that can be seen in the tunnel. You should know how the economy relates to all facets of the culture, and you should be an authority on all aspects. As demands and perceptions shift, the expertise of a good local economist needs to adapt and change. Economic developers must also fill the holes and offer support where the economies and institutions cannot or do not satisfy the needs of the population.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an economic developer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $30.07 an hour? That's $62,545 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 1,700 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Economic Developer Do

There are certain skills that many economic developers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed speaking skills, writing skills and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an economic developer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.3% of economic developers included data entry, while 8.9% of resumes included financial statements, and 7.9% of resumes included business development. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the economic developer job title. But what industry to start with? Most economic developers actually find jobs in the education and government industries.

How To Become an Economic Developer

If you're interested in becoming an economic developer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 59.7% of economic developers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.7% of economic developers have master's degrees. Even though most economic developers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an economic developer. When we researched the most common majors for an economic developer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on economic developer resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an economic developer. In fact, many economic developer jobs require experience in a role such as consultant. Meanwhile, many economic developers also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or executive director.

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Average Salary
$62,545
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
38,291
Job Openings

Economic Developer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Economic Developer

Top Careers After Economic Developer

Economic Developer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Economic Developer

Economic Developers in America make an average salary of $62,545 per year or $30 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $128,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Salary
$62,545
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Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Office Staff-Economic Development
Office Staff-Economic Development
City of Coral Gables, Fl
City of Coral Gables, Fl
06/16/2021
06/16/2021
$37,56606/16/2021
$37,566
Regional Economic Development Recovery C
Regional Economic Development Recovery C
Southeastern Montana Development Co
Southeastern Montana Development Co
03/18/2021
03/18/2021
$40,00003/18/2021
$40,000
Economic Developer
Economic Developer
County of Sonoma, California
County of Sonoma, California
01/26/2020
01/26/2020
$49,39901/26/2020
$49,399
Economic Developer
Economic Developer
County of Sonoma
County of Sonoma
12/31/2019
12/31/2019
$49,39912/31/2019
$49,399
Economic Developer
Economic Developer
University of Alaska
University of Alaska
08/22/2019
08/22/2019
$37,94208/22/2019
$37,942

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Economic Developer Demographics

Gender

male

51.1 %

female

42.0 %

unknown

6.8 %

Ethnicity

White

67.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.8 %

Asian

11.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3 %

French

13.6 %

Chinese

11.1 %
See More Demographics

Economic Developer Education

Majors

Business
24.3 %
Economics
11.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

59.7 %

Masters

16.7 %

Associate

8.6 %

Top Colleges for Economic Developers

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

2. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

3. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,620
Enrollment
27,730

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

9. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Economic Developer That You May Like

Local Economic Development
coursera

Welcome to this MOOC on Local Economic Development (LED). Local economic development refers to the processes by which local governments, businesses, and civil society groups get together to raise income sustainably and improve their lives in a well-defined area. It's about creating jobs, securing livelihoods, improving infrastructure and managing local resources. What do I learn? We will be dealing with questions such as the following. Why does economic development take place in some areas of th...

Managerial Economics and Business Analysis
coursera

In order to effectively manage and operate a business, managers and leaders need to understand the market characteristics and economic environment in which they operate. In this specialization, you will build a solid understanding of the operation of markets and the macro-economic environment with real-world examples. You will be able to identify firm and country-level economic factors that impact business decisions, develop an analytical framework using statistical tools, and apply economic the...

The Korean Economic Development
coursera

You will review the evolution of the Korean economy decade by decade since Korea's independence from Japan in 1945. Major policies of each decade will be explained and their effect on the Korean economy will be analyzed. Also, the backgrounds and limitations of important policies will be scrutinized. By doing so, you will be able to compare the Korea experience with the other developing countries'. 1. You will be able to explain how the miracle of the Korean economic development was made possibl...

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Full Time
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Internship
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Top Skills For an Economic Developer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.3% of economic developers listed data entry on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and writing skills are important as well.

  • Data Entry, 13.3%
  • Financial Statements, 8.9%
  • Business Development, 7.9%
  • Business Community, 6.9%
  • Technical Assistance, 6.7%
  • Other Skills, 56.3%
  • See All Economic Developer Skills

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Top Economic Developer Employers

1. World Bank
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$125,790
Economic Developers Hired: 
5+
2. United States Department of Energy
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$45,561
Economic Developers Hired: 
4+
3. Community development
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$50,863
Economic Developers Hired: 
3+
4. City of Oakland
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$47,269
Economic Developers Hired: 
3+
5. Apache
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$95,317
Economic Developers Hired: 
3+
6. Inc. Research Holdings
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$54,201
Economic Developers Hired: 
2+

Economic Developer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020