Career Development

What Does a Senior Economist Do?

Find out what a senior economist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a senior economist.

A senior economist is a professional who uses economic theory and data to make predictions about the future state of an economy. They may also be responsible for creating reports that summarize current conditions or trends in their area of expertise.

Senior economists are often highly specialized in their field of study. For example, they might focus on one particular industry or sector, such as healthcare or retail. This allows them to gain a deep understanding of how these industries function and interact with each other.

Senior Economist Job Duties

A senior economist typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Forecasting economic trends and analyzing data to identify potential risks to the company’s business interests
  • Recommending changes to company policies based on findings from research projects
  • Preparing reports about economic trends and forecasts for internal use only or for publication in trade journals
  • Studying market trends in order to identify new markets or opportunities for existing markets within the company’s industry
  • Conducting research on economic topics such as labor markets, trade agreements, or tax law changes that affect businesses
  • Presenting findings at seminars and conferences, both internally and externally, such as to government agencies or industry associations
  • Analyzing data to predict future demand for products or services based on changing consumer preferences, market conditions, and other factors
  • Consulting with clients to provide advice on strategic business decisions such as pricing strategies, production methods, and marketing plans

Senior Economist Salary & Outlook

The salary of a senior economist can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $213,000 ($102.4/hour)

The employment of economists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by demand for economic and financial analysis from businesses, governments, and nonprofits. Organizations will need these services as they continue to globalize and automate their operations.

Senior Economist Job Requirements

A senior economist typically has the following qualifications:

Education: Most senior economists have at least a master’s degree in economics, although some employers prefer candidates who have a Ph.D. in economics. Economics degrees focus on the study of economic principles, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, statistics and calculus. Courses in these areas help economists develop the skills they need to analyze and interpret economic data.

Training & Experience: Most senior economists will have several years of experience in the field. They may have worked as an economist or financial analyst before advancing to a senior economist position. Senior economists may also have experience in other fields, such as business administration or finance.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications allow professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Some states require licensed economists to have a certification.

Senior Economist Skills

Senior economists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Data analysis: Data analysis is the ability to interpret and understand data. As a senior economist, you may be responsible for analyzing data and presenting your findings to clients. This requires the ability to read and interpret data, as well as the ability to present your findings in a clear and concise manner.

Communication: As a senior economist, you may be required to communicate with clients and other economists. Effective communication skills can help you convey information to others in a clear and concise manner. You may also be required to communicate with other departments to gather information or answer questions.

Problem-solving: As a senior economist, you may be responsible for developing solutions to complex problems. Your ability to identify the root of the problem and propose a solution can help you advance in your career. You can also use your problem-solving skills to help your team find solutions to challenges they may face.

Mathematics: The primary skill that economists need is their ability to perform mathematical calculations. They use math to analyze data, create models and make predictions. This is the most important skill that a economist can have.

Research: As a senior economist, you may be required to conduct research to support your analysis. This may include researching economic trends, data and other information to support your conclusions. Being able to conduct research and find the information you need is an important skill for a senior economist.

Senior Economist Work Environment

Senior economists work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, international organizations, research institutes, and private companies. They typically work regular business hours, although they may occasionally work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines or attend conferences. Senior economists typically work on teams of economists and other social scientists, such as sociologists and anthropologists. They often collaborate with colleagues in other departments, such as marketing, finance, and operations, to develop economic models and solve business problems. Senior economists typically have a great deal of responsibility and must be able to work independently. They must be able to think creatively and critically to develop new economic theories and models and to solve complex problems.

Senior Economist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how senior economists work. Senior economists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Data-Driven Decisions

The need for more data-driven decisions is a trend that is quickly gaining traction in the business world. This is because data can provide a much clearer picture of what is happening in an organization, which can help managers make better decisions.

Senior economists can take advantage of this trend by becoming experts in data analysis and interpretation. This will allow them to provide valuable insights into the economy that can be used to make better decisions.

More Collaboration Between Economists and Other Disciplines

Economists are increasingly collaborating with other disciplines in order to get a better understanding of the world around them. This is due to the fact that many economic issues cannot be understood without considering other factors, such as politics or sociology.

As economics becomes more interdisciplinary, senior economists will need to be able to work with other professionals in order to get a complete picture of the world around them. This includes working with researchers from other fields as well as communicating with policymakers.

Greater Attention to Behavioral Economics

Behavioral economics is a relatively new field that studies how people make economic decisions. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it provides a more realistic view of how people behave than traditional economic models do.

As behavioral economics becomes more popular, senior economists will need to learn how to use its principles to make better predictions about how people will act in the future. This will require a deep understanding of human psychology and how it affects our decision making.

How to Become a Senior Economist

A career as an economist can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to work in a variety of fields, from government to academia to business. You’ll also have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them understand how economic policies affect their lives.

To become an economist, you need a strong foundation in math and statistics. You should also be able to think critically about economic issues and come up with solutions that are grounded in sound reasoning.

Advancement Prospects

Senior economists typically advance by taking on managerial roles within their organization. They may also advance by becoming partners in their firm, or by starting their own economic consulting firm. As they gain experience, senior economists also tend to take on more complex and higher-profile projects.

Senior Economist Job Description Example

The Senior Economist will provide high-level economic analysis and advice to support the formulation of [CompanyX]’s business strategy. The role will involve close liaison with other functions within the company, including senior management, to ensure that economic analysis is integrated into decision-making. The Senior Economist will also be responsible for managing a team of junior economists and providing mentorship and guidance to support their professional development.

The successful candidate will have a postgraduate degree in economics, along with several years of experience working as an economist in a corporate or consulting environment. They will have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to communicate complex economic concepts to non-economists. They will also be able to work effectively as part of a team and manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as a thought leader on economic issues, with the ability to provide clear and concise analysis to a variety of audiences
  • Conduct in-depth research and analysis on assigned topics, including but not limited to macroeconomic trends, industry analysis, and company performance
  • Write reports and papers on findings, communicating complex concepts in an accessible manner
  • Present findings to clients, management, and other stakeholders, adjusting style and approach as necessary to best suit the audience
  • Serve as a resource for other economists and analysts within the organization, providing mentorship and guidance as needed
  • Stay abreast of current economic developments and news, utilizing multiple sources to identify potential implications for the organization
  • Proactively identify risks and opportunities related to economic changes, developing mitigation strategies or capitalization plans as appropriate
  • Maintain knowledge of statistical software programs and econometric techniques, applying them as needed to support analysis
  • Develop forecasting models to predict future economic conditions, incorporating a range of variables and scenarios
  • Collaborate with other departments within the organization to develop integrated solutions that consider economic factors
  • Represent the organization at conferences, symposiums, and other events, networking with peers and building relationships with key contacts
  • Perform ad hoc analysis and special projects as requested

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, or related field
  • 7+ years experience as an economist in a corporate, government, or academic setting
  • Proven ability to conduct economic research and analysis
  • Strong writing and presentation skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite, with advanced skills in Excel
  • Ability to use statistical software programs, such as STATA, R, or SAS

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or PhD in economics
  • 10+ years experience as an economist
  • Experience working in a global setting
  • Fluency in more than one language
  • Exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills


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