Economists research and advise governments and businesses on matters such as taxation levels, wages and prices, employment and unemployment, imports and exports and interest and exchange rates.

Where economists are employed

Economists work in federal, state or territory government departments, employer organisations and trade unions, financial institutions (banks and insurance companies, for example), other commercial organisations and private consulting firms.


Full-time economists in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for court legal clerk

Job prospects

Competition for available positions is strong and postgraduate study is recommended to improve employment prospects. Graduates often find work in administration, management and marketing.

The demand for economists depends on the level of government and private research and analysis as well as economic activity levels. In 2011 there were 86 people employed full-time as economists in South Australia compared with 81 in 2006.

How to become one

Usually you need to study economics at university. At school consider doing English and maths.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a vocational education and training (VET) qualification in legal services, legal practice, law (paralegal studies) or justice.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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