A brief follow up to Richard’s recent blog post on economics as a career option
So how much does an economist get paid? I have often fielded this question from students expressing an interest in sacrificing themselves for the benefit of the economics profession! The latest annual survey from the Society of Business Economists provides some evidence!
Let us start with the bonuses! The SBE report finds that the average bonus was £30,500 compared with 44,700 pounds a year earlier. The top earner was an asset-management employee who got £550,000 down from the 1.5 million pounds clinched by an investment-bank worker in the 2009 survey.
The median annual base salary rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier to £80,000 and median total cash compensation came in at £90,000. Cash compensation is made up of salary + bonus + share awards. Mean total cash compensation is highest for economists working in investment banking (£247,100).
It seems that earnings for economists have held up pretty well during the recession. But a word of caution - the sample size for the survey was only 90 people. Economists appear to have become less keen to contribute to the survey during this time of financial distress. And there are fewer economists in post as labour shedding has taken place in the financial services industry.
Academic economists do not fare well in this survey - earning on average £49,800 per year with economists in government on £62,600. This data does not take into account entitlement to and contributions made to any final salary pensionm schemes.