Industry-specific certifications, including economics certifications, can open the door to key career opportunities. Certification candidates can take intermediate courses in business and economics to strengthen their industry skillsets, including analytical and communication skills.
This article will help you figure out which certifications for economics to pursue. In addition to listing the highest paying economics certifications, this article also highlights the specialized skills you can pick up from each certification program, as well as which certification programs give you a distinct advantage in certain career paths.
What Is a Professional Certification?
Professional certification is a way for professionals to prove that they have a specialized set of knowledge and skills in a specific field. Economics certifications cover a wide range of financial fields, including economic growth, housing development, and insurance.
What’s the Difference Between Certification and a Certificate?
The difference between a certification and a certificate is that a certificate represents a specialized area of knowledge, such as health economics. On the other hand, certification demonstrates that a professional has met industry standards and passed a qualifying exam.
Why Is Certification in Economics Important?
A certification in economics is important because it demonstrates that you are an expert in your field who can adhere to the standards that regulating bodies set forth. In addition, a certification also teaches valuable skill sets that can help you advance your career.
Best Economics Certifications by Salary
|Certified Management Accountant
|Institute of Management Accountants
|American Academy of Finance and Management
|Certified Economic Developer
|International Economic Development Council
|$595 (for IEDC members); $825 (fornon-members)
|Certified Public Accountant
|American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
|$400 (for AICPA members); $500 (for non-members)
|Economic Development Finance Professional
|National Development Council
|Certified Income Specialist
|Institute of Business Finance
|Certified International Tax Analyst
|Global Academy of Finance and Management
|Certified Fund Specialist
|Institute of Business Finance
|Certified Annuity Specialist
|Institute of Business Finance
|Certified Business Economist
|National Association of Business Economists
Best Economics Certifications to Further Your Career
How to Choose the Best Economics Certification for Your Career
When trying to determine the best economics certification program, you should keep your career goals at the front of your mind. Knowing what your goals are will help you as you research career sectors and study reviews for different certification programs.
Determine Your Career Goals
Career goals help you succeed in your profession. You might want to be a financial advisor to local government officials or work in the private sector as an economist. On the other hand, you might want to do something more specialized like tax law or public accounting. Knowing your career path will help you find the best program for you, which will lead to a successful career.
Research Careers That Fit Your Interests
When studying for an economics bachelor’s degree, you will learn more about the sectors that interest you. You don’t want to continue into an industry that doesn’t interest you or a career that won’t hold your attention during training and beyond.
Read Reviews For Certification Programs
Before you commit to a certificate program, you should check out reviews of the programs you’re considering. Certificate programs can vary significantly in terms of time commitments or retake requirements. The industry also values some certifications more than others.
Which Economics Certifications Pay the Most?
The economics certifications that pay the most are Certified Management Accountant, Certified Economic Developer, Chartered Economist, Certified Public Accountant, and Economic Development Finance Professional.
Highest-Paying Economics Certifications
- Certified Management Accountant: $91,659
- Chartered Economist: $88,039
- Certified Economic Developer: $79,000
- Certified Public Accountant: $70,934
- Economic Development Finance Professional: $69,000
Which Economics Certifications Are the Best for Beginners?
The economics certifications that are best for beginners are Certified Public Accountant, Certified International Tax Analyst, and Chartered Economic Policy Analyst. While these certifications require real-world experience alongside a four-year degree, they are less strenuous than other expert-level certifications.
Best College Certificate Programs
How to Prepare for Your Economics Certification Exam
There are a few ways to prepare for your economics certification exam. Firstly, you can take preparatory courses, which offer lectures, as well as study information and techniques. You can also use study resources that are located online or in books.
Best Courses to Prepare for Economics Certification Exams
Some of the best economics prep courses are offered online by the same groups that offer specific certifications. The curriculum of these courses aligns with what you’ll need to know for the exams. Some prep courses are also offered by universities as continuing education programs.
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Other Resources to Prepare for Your Economics Certification Exams
Finding resources for economics exam preparation can be difficult. However, there are many different options you can utilize, such as books, websites, and online groups. In addition, some websites offer a wealth of study resources, including comprehensive prep courses.
EssentialPlus Package for Certified Financial Planner
The EssentialPlus Package offers on-demand, fully asynchronous classes. There are seven courses in the curriculum, and each course covers 22 hours of instruction. Students can take up to 90 days to complete each course and can extend their study to 120 days for an additional fee per course.
EssentialPlus Package for Certified Financial Planner Overview
- Type of Resource: Website
- Cost: $5,151 upfront, $5,593 for course by course
- Ideal For: Financial planners, mutual fund specialists, annuity specialists
Enrolled Agent Bootcamp
The Enrolled Agent Study Course by Fast Forward Academy offers students everything they need to get their Enrolled Agent certification. All students receive access to the online textbook, digital flashcards, IRS publications, practice exams, and video lectures.
Enrolled Agent Bootcamp Overview
- Type of Resource: Website
- Cost: $439 (online course), $519 (smart bundle), $559 (smart bundle + bootcamp)
- Ideal For: Tax analysts
Complete CPA Exam Prep
The CPA Prep from Fast Forward Academy offers textbooks for all four sections of the CPA exam. Some bundles also provide practice exams, online copies of texts, and 80 hours of video lectures.
CPA Exam Prep Overview
- Type of Resource: Website, textbooks
- Cost: $600 (paperback study guide), $839.20 (online course), $1,239.20 (smart bundle)
- Ideal For: Certified public accountants
GACE Economics Test Practice and Study Guide
GACE Economics Test I offers study guides for the GACE Economics Test I exam. These study guides come complete with practice exams, complete transcripts of each lesson, and streaming video lessons that cover the study essentials. There are also flashcards and mobile apps.
GACE Economics Test Practice and Study Guide Overview
- Type of Resource: Website, mobile app
- Cost: $59.99 monthly, $399 annually
- Ideal For: Chartered economists, economic development finance professionals
Khan Academy Economics Courses
Khan Academy offers course resources in macroeconomic and microeconomic theory, finance, and capital markets. These courses cover the basics of each subject, focusing on topics such as supply and demand, stocks and bonds, and basic economic concepts.
Khan Academy Economics Courses Overview
- Type of Resource: Website
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Economic analysts, tax analysts, chartered economists
Best Online Courses
Economics Job Outlook and Average Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for economists is $105,630. The job outlook for economists is good, with an expected 13 percent rise in career opportunities. Currently, there are around 18,600 jobs in the field, with an expected 2,400 to be added in the near future.
However, little on-the-job training is available, as economists require a high level of education. Most entry-level jobs in economics require at least a master’s degree. Some also require certification and career skills in a specific niche to advance in a chosen career.
Best Economics Jobs After Certification
Finding the best economics jobs after completing your certification program requires a thorough search. The most important thing is to find a role that fits your certification and vice versa. For example, a Certified Economic Developer might look for careers in economic development and community planning.
Best Economics Associations
Choosing an economic association to belong to is an important step in the process of getting certified. These economic associations offer a unique body of knowledge and prime networking opportunities. Some prominent associations include the American Economic Association, the World Economics Association, and the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory.
American Economic Association
The American Economic Association has over 20,000 members, half of which are in the academic field. They focus on both commercial and personal economics and offer members professional development credits.
World Economic Association
The World Economics Association focuses on the present and future of economics across the globe. They hold online conferences and publish journals like the World Social and Economic Review. Unlike other associations, you do not have to be a professional in the field of economics to join the WEA.
Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory
The Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory is not just for economics students. It is for anyone interested in the research that connects their field with economic theory. For example, game developers and mathematicians will find exciting connections to game theory through SAET resources.
Are Economics Certifications Worth It?
Yes, economics certifications are worth it because they serve a key role in bridging the education you get from economics classes and professional experience. In addition, each certification program offers valuable skills taught by experts in fields like business economics, economic analysis, and behavioral economics.
Additional Reading About Economics
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Economics Certifications FAQ
Economics classes can be difficult, depending on your education level and where you’re at in your educational or certificate program. Economics majors must have good study habits, analytical and time management skills, and dedication. In addition, choosing the appropriate elective courses can help you navigate your career path.
To get an economics certificate, you must first find out which certificate program fits the field you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in accounting, you might enter a CPA certification program. Once in a program, you must complete the coursework and pass the qualifying exam to get a certificate.
Some courses that go well with an economics degree are computer science, law, mathematics, and management. A career in economics requires analytical, psychological, math, and tech skills, so a multidisciplinary plan of study will serve economics majors well.
No, economics is not a useless degree. The skills these courses teach are often useful to potential employers who seek out job candidates with specialized skills. The addition of certification in areas such as behavioral economics can help stand out in the job market.
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