What they do

Economists study and predict trends and changes in financial, labour and trade markets. They study economic factors, such as taxation levels, wage rates, employment figures and exchange rates, and use their findings to prepare forecasts and provide advice to businesses and governments on possible courses of action. Economists may study the broad global economic situation, providing advice to governments and multinational corporations, or they may examine the economy of a single, small firm to provide advice on how to maximise profits and determine the level of demand for a product or service.

Working conditions

Economists work in office environments in businesses, government departments and universities, usually in the Perth metropolitan area. They usually work regular office hours, however when working to a strict deadline, e.g. when annual reports are due, overtime may be necessary. Economists often conduct research and write reports independently, however, in larger organisations they may work as part of a team - each member may specialise in a particular field.

Tools and technologies

Economists use computers to conduct research and prepare reports. They must ensure that they keep their knowledge of economic issues current, such as interest rates and import and export figures, which requires them to read regular reports from government departments and other economists. To examine economic trends, they must also be able to use historical data, so that they can map changes over time and make predictions about future movement.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an economist you usually need to study a degree in economics or a related field. Postgraduate qualifications may improve your employment prospects.

Some universities in Western Australian offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information

Required registration and licensing