Jobs, Salaries and Career after Masters in Agricultural Economics - Updated 2020

2018 median Pay for Agricultural Economics

The median annual wage for economists was $104,340 in May 2018.


Pay

However, many economists collaborate with other economists and statisticians, sometimes working on teams. Some economists work from home, and others may be required to travel as part of their job or to attend conferences.   Economists spend much of their time using computers to analyze data, review research, or write findings.   Work Schedules Most economists work full time. In addition to working full time at a business or university, some economists consult part-time. Some perform work that may require overtime hours.



Best paying jobs for Agricultural Economics


Number of Jobs for Agricultural Economics

Number of Jobs in 2018 was 21,300


Education required

Master's degree


Job Outlook for Agricultural Economics

Employment of economists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those with a master’s degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and experience using statistical analysis software.


Job description of Agricultural Economics

Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues.

Duties

Economists typically do the following:

  • Research economic issues
  • Conduct surveys and collect data
  • Analyze data using mathematical models, statistical techniques, and software
  • Present research results in reports, tables, and charts
  • Interpret and forecast market trends
  • Advise businesses, governments, and individuals on economic topics
  • Recommend solutions to economic problems
  • Write articles for academic journals and other media

Economists apply both qualitative and quantitative economic analysis to topics within a variety of fields, such as education, health, development, and the environment. Some economists study the cost of products, healthcare, or energy, while others examine employment levels, business cycles, exchange rates, taxes, inflation, or interest rates.

Economists often study historical trends and use them to make forecasts. They research and analyze data using a variety of software programs. They sometimes present their research to various audiences.

Many economists work in federal, state, and local government. Federal government economists collect and analyze data about the U.S. economy, including employment, prices, productivity, and wages, among other types of data. They also project spending needs and inform policymakers on the economic impact of laws and regulations.

Economists working for corporations help managers and decisionmakers understand how the economy will affect their business. Specifically, economists may analyze issues such as consumer demand and sales to help a company maximize its profits.

Economists also work for international organizations, research firms, and think tanks, where they study and analyze a variety of economic issues. Their analyses and forecasts are frequently published in newspapers and journals.

Many PhD economists become postsecondary teachers.


How to become Agricultural Economics

Most economists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. However, some entry-level jobs—primarily in government—are available for workers with a bachelor’s degree.

Education

A master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for most economist jobs. Positions in business, research, or international organizations often require a combination of graduate education and work experience. In addition, courses that introduce students to statistical analysis software are helpful.

Students can pursue an advanced degree in economics with a bachelor’s degree in a number of fields, but a strong background in mathematics is essential. A Ph.D. in economics may require several years of study after earning a bachelor’s degree, including completion of detailed research in a specialty field.

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree may qualify for some entry-level economist positions, including jobs with the federal government. An advanced degree is sometimes required for advancement to higher level positions.

Other Experience

Aspiring economists can gain valuable experience from internships where the work involves gathering and analyzing data, researching economic issues and trends, and writing reports on their findings. In addition, related experience, such as using statistical analysis software, can be advantageous.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Economists must be able to review data in detail, observe patterns, perform advanced calculations, and draw logical conclusions. For example, labor economists analyze the effects of labor policies on employment.

Critical-thinking skills. Economists must be able to use logic and reasoning to solve complex problems. For instance, they might identify how economic trends may affect an organization.

Speaking skills. Economists must be able to explain their work to others. They often give presentations and explain reports to clients who may not have a background in economics.

Writing skills. Economists must be able to present their findings clearly. Many economists prepare reports for colleagues or clients; others write for publication in journals or for news media.


What people in similar profession do

Job Title What they do How to become one
Agronomy and Crop Science Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers operate establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers usually have at least a high school diploma and typically gain skills through work experience. Education Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers usually have at least a high school diploma. As farm and land management has grown more complex and costly, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers have increasingly needed postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or a related field. All state university systems have at least one land-grant college or university with a school of agriculture. Common programs of study include business (with a concentration in agriculture), plant breeding, farm management, agronomy, dairy science, and agricultural economics. There are a number of government programs that help new farmers get an education in farming.
Animal Sciences Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers operate establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers usually have at least a high school diploma and typically gain skills through work experience. Education Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers usually have at least a high school diploma. As farm and land management has grown more complex and costly, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers have increasingly needed postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or a related field. All state university systems have at least one land-grant college or university with a school of agriculture. Common programs of study include business (with a concentration in agriculture), plant breeding, farm management, agronomy, dairy science, and agricultural economics. There are a number of government programs that help new farmers get an education in farming.
Viticulture and Enology Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers operate establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers usually have at least a high school diploma and typically gain skills through work experience. Education Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers usually have at least a high school diploma. As farm and land management has grown more complex and costly, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers have increasingly needed postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or a related field. All state university systems have at least one land-grant college or university with a school of agriculture. Common programs of study include business (with a concentration in agriculture), plant breeding, farm management, agronomy, dairy science, and agricultural economics. There are a number of government programs that help new farmers get an education in farming.

Job Outlook for other majors in Agricultural Economics

Job Title Number of jobs Median Salary Job outlook
Agronomy and Crop Science 1028700 $67950 Little or no change