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How Much Does an Economist Earn In The United States?

Economist Salaries
Updated December 31, 2020
Average Yearly Salary
$114,000
$72,000
$114,000
$180,000
Economists in the United States make an average salary of $114,352 per year or $54.98 per hour. In terms of salary range, an entry level economist salary is roughly $72,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $180,000. If you like following the crowd, finance and non profits companies tend to attract the most workers in this field. But if you're in it for the money, then you'll want to seek out finance, professional, and hospitality companies, as employees in each industry have reported the highest salaries. As most things go, location can be critical. Montana, South Dakota, Massachusetts, California, and Nevada provide the highest economist salaries.
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Where Economists Earn The Most

The darker areas on the map show where economists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary

How Much Do Economists Earn In Different Cities?

Throughout the U.S., the average salary for an economist is roughly $114,352 per year, which boils down to $54.98 per hour. Interestingly enough, economists have the highest salaries in San Francisco, CA at about $121,745 per year. For those who are just starting out, the average entry-level salary in San Francisco, CA is $68,000. Additionally, economists make more than the average salary in Washington, DC, Boston, MA, Stamford, CT, Arlington, VA, and New York, NY. On a more broad level, economist salaries are highest in Montana, South Dakota, Massachusetts, California, Nevada, Connecticut, and South Carolina. On the contrary, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Nebraska offer the lowest economist salaries.
Location
City
Average Salary

San Francisco, CA

Salary Range90k - 164k$122k$121,745

Washington, DC

Salary Range89k - 164k$121k$121,068

Boston, MA

Salary Range82k - 156k$114k$113,826

Stamford, CT

Salary Range77k - 147k$107k$107,333

Arlington, VA

Salary Range77k - 143k$106k$105,860

New York, NY

Salary Range75k - 143k$104k$104,038

Seattle, WA

Salary Range76k - 132k$100k$100,428

Kansas City, MO

Salary Range72k - 132k$98k$98,419

Baltimore, MD

Salary Range71k - 133k$98k$97,928

Cleveland, OH

Salary Range68k - 126k$93k$92,940
$53k
$164k

High Paying Economist Jobs

Which Companies Pay Economists The Most?

To earn a high income as an economist, working for Federal Reserve System or Federal Reserve Bank of Boston might be your best bet, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. In addition, companies like Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Piedmont Healthcare report highly competitive salaries for economists.
Company
Company
Average Salary
Federal Reserve System
Salary Range157k - 218k$185k$185,026
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Salary Range149k - 215k$180k$179,680
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Salary Range147k - 215k$178k$178,039
Piedmont Healthcare
Salary Range125k - 231k$170k$170,024
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Salary Range137k - 208k$169k$169,293
McKinsey & Company Inc
Salary Range152k - 186k$169k$168,889
Federal Reserve Bank of SAN Francisco
Salary Range132k - 204k$164k$164,352
Direct Energy
Salary Range135k - 199k$164k$164,329
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Salary Range140k - 182k$160k$159,992
Welch's
Salary Range135k - 188k$160k$159,608
$114k
$231k

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

How would you rate the starting salaries for graduates in this field, as well as the salary prospects down the line as they advance in their careers?

Pattabiraman Neelakantan Ph.D.

Professor of Economics, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Given the Covid-19 business slowdown, entering graduates are likely to face a 10-15% salary reduction. Since they will be saving time and money commuting to work and related expenses, this reduction in salary is unlikely to reduce their standard of living. In 2-3 years, salary levels will catch up, and young workers will see much better income potential.

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How would you rate the starting salaries for graduates in this field, as well as the salary prospects down the line as they advance in their careers?

Yoav Wachsman Ph.D.

Assistant Dean, Professor - Economics, Coastal Carolina University

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics published, the median salary for economists in 2019 is $105,020 per year. The BLS estimates a growth of 14% in positions for economists over the next ten years, making economics one of the most lucrative and promising fields to study.

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Economist Salary History

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

Location

    How Much Do Economists Make In Different Industries?

    The salary for an economist can vary depending on what industry the job is in. The highest salaries for economists tend to be found in finance, professional, and hospitality companies. In fact, economists can make a yearly salary of $140,419 while working for finance companies.
    Industry
    Average Salary

    Finance

    Salary Range113k - 173k$140k$140,419

    Professional

    Salary Range101k - 156k$126k$126,143

    Hospitality

    Salary Range105k - 145k$124k$124,160

    Automotive

    Salary Range98k - 146k$120k$119,827

    Government

    Salary Range75k - 119k$95k$95,135

    Manufacturing

    Salary Range57k - 110k$80k$79,823
    $57k
    $173k

    Recently Added Economist Salaries

    Location
    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    Economist
    Economist
    Raleigh, NC
    Raleigh, NC
    01/29/2021
    01/29/2021
    $48,051
    $48,051
    01/29/2021
    Economist
    Economist
    Washington, DC
    Washington, DC
    01/22/2021
    01/22/2021
    $122,530
    $122,530
    01/22/2021
    Office of The Inspector General, USPS
    Office of The Inspector General, USPS
    Auditor Economist
    Auditor Economist
    Auditor Economist
    Arlington, VA
    Arlington, VA
    12/29/2020
    12/29/2020
    $59,534
    $59,534
    12/29/2020
    Geological Survey
    Geological Survey
    Economist
    Economist
    Economist
    Reston, VA
    Reston, VA
    10/29/2020
    10/29/2020
    $72,030
    $72,030
    10/29/2020
    City of Seattle
    City of Seattle
    Corporate Policy Economist (SA 2)
    Corporate Policy Economist (SA 2)
    Corporate Policy Economist (SA 2)
    Seattle, WA
    Seattle, WA
    10/16/2020
    10/16/2020
    $93,310
    $93,310
    10/16/2020
    National Older Worker Career Center
    National Older Worker Career Center
    Economist
    Economist
    Economist
    Davis, CA
    Davis, CA
    09/18/2020
    09/18/2020
    $57,831
    $57,831
    09/18/2020
    Editorial Fellowship, The Economist
    Editorial Fellowship, The Economist
    New York, NY
    New York, NY
    09/16/2020
    09/16/2020
    $36,000
    $36,000
    09/16/2020
    Editorial Fellowship, The Economist
    Editorial Fellowship, The Economist
    Washington, DC
    Washington, DC
    09/16/2020
    09/16/2020
    $36,000
    $36,000
    09/16/2020
    Health Policy Economist (WMS Band 2) Doh5116
    Health Policy Economist (WMS Band 2) Doh5116
    Tumwater, WA
    Tumwater, WA
    09/11/2020
    09/11/2020
    $79,944
    $79,944
    09/11/2020
    Idaho Division of Human Resources
    Idaho Division of Human Resources
    Economist
    Economist
    Economist
    Boise, ID
    Boise, ID
    09/11/2020
    09/11/2020
    $57,142
    $57,142
    09/11/2020