California Careers in Economics

California presents career opportunities for advanced degree holders in economics that few other places in the country can match.  In addition to an enormous number of non-profit organizations and government agencies found throughout the state, the metropolitan areas around Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are rich with job openings for private sector business and managerial economists.

Graduates of advanced degree programs in economics interested in public sector or non-profit careers may wish to seek job opportunities at:

  • California Economic Development Department
  • California Housing Finance Authority
  • SRI International

Graduates of advanced degree programs in economics interested in private sector work may look to these multinationals based in California:

  • RAND Corporation
  • Chevron
  • Hewlett Packard


Economist Salaries and Job Growth Projections in California

In 2011, there were 2,320 economists working in California earning an average annual salary of $108,000.  In 660 economists in Los Angeles averaged $120,530 for the year.  The 380 economists working in the San Francisco area drew average salaries of $127,170 annually.  There were 180 economists employed in the San Diego area who averaged $100,470 in annual income that year.

There were 6,550 business professors working at post-secondary institutions in California in 2011; their average annual salary was $104,060.  The 1,870 business professors working at Los Angeles educational centers earned, on average, $121,270 for the year.  San Francisco universities employed 930 business professors at an average salary of $106,660 for the year.  San Diego universities paid $98,170 in average annual income to the 550 business professors they employed.

The 850 economics professors working in California during 2011 earned, on average, $104,190 in annual income.  The 320 economics professors on the payroll of Los Angeles universities drew, on average, $108,860 in annual income. There were 90 economists in San Francisco that year who earned average annual salaries of $99,970. The 110 economics professors in San Diego earned $100,720 in 2011.

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