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Career and Education Opportunities for Economists in Birmingham, Alabama

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for economists in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Currently, 180 people work as economists in Alabama. This is expected to grow 9% to 190 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for economists, which sees this job pool growing by about 5.8% over the next eight years. Economists generally conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services.

Income for economists is about $37 per hour or $77,310 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $40 per hour or $83,590 per year. Incomes for economists are better than in the overall category of Social Sciences in Alabama, and better than the overall Social Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: economic research analyst, economic adviser, and price economist.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as an economist. Economists usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years training to become an economist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Economist

Economist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, economists conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services. They also may collect and process economic and statistical data using econometric and sampling techniques.

Economists study economic and statistical data in an area of specialization, such as finance or agriculture. They also compile and report data to explain economic phenomena and forecast market trends, applying mathematical models and statistical techniques. Finally, economists furnish advice and consultation on economic relationships to businesses, public and private agencies, and other employers.

Every day, economists are expected to be able to write clearly and communicate well. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for economists to formulate recommendations or plans to solve economic problems or to interpret markets. They are often called upon to design economic guidelines and standards and ready points of view used in forecasting trends and formulating economic policy. Somewhat less frequently, economists are also expected to supervise research projects and students' study projects.

Economists sometimes are asked to testify at regulatory or legislative hearings concerning the estimated effects of changes in legislation or public policy and present recommendations on the basis of cost-benefit analyses. and forecast production and consumption of renewable resources and supply, consumption and depletion of non-renewable resources. And finally, they sometimes have to testify at regulatory or legislative hearings concerning the estimated effects of changes in legislation or public policy and present recommendations on the basis of cost-benefit analyses.

Like many other jobs, economists must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst. Study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
  • Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
  • Industrial Psychologist. Apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to reorganize the work setting to improve worker productivity.
  • Market Research Analyst. Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to determine potential sales of a product or service. May gather information on competitors, prices, and methods of marketing and distribution. May use survey results to create a marketing campaign based on regional preferences and buying habits.
  • Market Survey Representative. Design or conduct surveys. May supervise interviewers who conduct the survey in person or over the telephone. May present survey results to client.
  • School Psychologist. Investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Economist Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Economics which graduated seven students in 2008.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Business/Managerial Economics which graduated eight students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree program in Business/Managerial Economics which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Certified Economic Developer: Economic development organizations need professionals who possess the expertise to combat new challenges that emerge in a constantly changing industry.

For more information, see the International Economic Development Council website.

Economic Development Finance Professional: In NDC's EDFP Certification Program you will build the capacity to translate development opportunities into results for their communities.

For more information, see the The National Development Council website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.