Central banks, government, and not-for-profits

Many roles for economists in these sectors

Global central banks routinely hire economists. In the United States, the Federal Reserve Board and its affiliated regional Federal Reserve Banks hire economists and research assistants at various levels of education. Economists in the Federal Reserve System conduct cutting edge research on a broad range of topics in economics and finance and contribute substantive policy analyses used by the Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Banks, and the Federal Open Market Committee. In addition, System economists share their research at academic conferences and publish it in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and other outlets. Research by Federal Reserve economists is not limited to monetary economics, but explores the full range of topics in macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics, banking, and finance. Skill with statistics and in managing data will be helpful for many entry jobs, such as research assistant positions.  

Governments at every level hire economists to manage and evaluate their operations. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) of the Federal government provides information about Federal employment opportunities. Their USAJobs site lists thousands of openings of all kinds in many locations across the country. Search on "economist" to find information about specific current opportunities. There are often openings for economists with BA, MA, and PhD degrees. The OPM website also gives general information about Federal pay scales. BA economists with little experience are (to simplify a bit) at grade GS-7, with MAs at GS-9, and new PhDs start at GS-12. Although pay does differ with the cost of living in different locations, BA economists started at $41,966 or above in 2024. Economists are valued in many federal agencies, including the Foreign Service and civil service in the State Department and as analysts with the Central Intelligence Agency.

State governments have similar websites that list public service jobs with pay scales and application procedures. Searching the Internet for "state employment" will usually yield an appropriate link.

International agencies of many kinds hire economists for a variety of roles. Additional languages, strong communication skills, experience with diverse cultures, and statistical skills are often important. The World Bank, for example, offers jobs for economists. The Bank has an internship program as well.

One way to learn about employment with non-profits is to go to the Idealist website and look for roles in economic development or other areas of interest.