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Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Salary Range
€27k - €96k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Analyses financial information to forecast future economic trends.


  • Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

In Summary - Economist / Economist EU

Career Sectors

Economist / Economist EUs typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Revenue & Governance
Accountancy & Taxation
Working for the EU
Government, Politics & EU

Videos & Interviews

Allen Monks, Economist

Allen achieved a BA in European Business in Dublin City University and subsequently an MA in Economics in University College Dublin. After completing the MA, he secured a traineeship to work at the European Commission. He now works on the country desk for the Czech Republic in the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) where his day-to-day work is centred on macroeconomic analysis of that country.

William Hynes, Senior Economist

William's career began at Trinity College Dublin, where he was a student in economics for six years. He continued his studies and research through a Marie Curie Fellowship at the London School of Economics and obtained a doctorate at Oxford University. In October 2014, William became a senior economist working on New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) in the Office of the Secretary General.

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Economist / Economist EU

The identification of trends in economic activity and the analysis of their implications form the greater part of the Economist's work in the public service and industry.  
The following are some examples:

    • Advising government, employers, or trade unions on prices, the cost of living, profits, wages, etc.
    • Advising government or businesses on the course of demand for particular products.
    • Interpreting and predicting macroeconomic events for government, research institutions or business.
    • Giving advice to companies (public or private) about the choice between alternative investment projects.
    • Advising on resource planning in general - transport policy, energy policy, etc.
    • Working in an administrative or technical capacity in international organisations such as EU, OECD, Central Bank.
    • Conducting program evaluations for governments (e.g. Employment action plan)
    • Advising the government on its policies on poverty and social inclusion.

Reappraisal of the theoretical foundations and statistical techniques of analysis links the professional interest of the government and industrial economist with those of colleagues in research and universities.  
Alternatively, an economics graduate may choose a career other than that of a professional economist; a qualification in economics may be combined with other qualifications to form the basis of a career in administration, accountancy, business, journalism or teaching.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Teach theories, principles, and methods of economics.
  • Study economic and statistical data in area of specialization, such as finance, labor, or agriculture.
  • Conduct research on economic issues and disseminate research findings through technical reports or scientific articles in journals.
  • Compile, analyze, and report data to explain economic phenomena and forecast market trends, applying mathematical models and statistical techniques.
  • Study the socioeconomic impacts of new public policies, such as proposed legislation, taxes, services, and regulations.
  • Supervise research projects and students' study projects.
  • Formulate recommendations, policies, or plans to solve economic problems or to interpret markets.
  • Develop economic guidelines and standards and prepare points of view used in forecasting trends and formulating economic policy.
  • Provide advice and consultation on economic relationships to businesses, public and private agencies, and other employers.
  • Forecast production and consumption of renewable resources and supply, consumption and depletion of non-renewable resources.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Interests - Economist / Economist EU

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.


Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.


You will need a sound grasp of economics, and thorough, methodical research skills. You must be able to express your findings clearly, both verbally and in writing. You must have good reasoning power, be computer literate, numerate and possess a quick understanding of facts.

Entry Requirements - Economist / Economist EU

An economist will initially have an honours primary degree in pure economics or with economics as a major part of their degree (B.Comm.), preferably with either first class honours or second class honours, followed by a postgraduate degree. Once they secure employment, they typically undertake a period of postgraduate practical training.

Employment can be found with a research institute such as the ESRI, a merchant bank, an insurance company or a stockbroker.

For those who wish to pursue a career in the academic world, a three-year course of study leading to a doctorate is essential after the Masters Degree programme.

Self-employment is also an option as is working with large bodies like the International Monetary Fund. 

Employment Opportunities in the EU

Working closely with senior decision-makers, EU economists deliver economic and statistical analysis and shape new strategies in areas such as:

  • financial institutions and markets
  • economic integration and development

EU Selection Procedure

Economics is often one of the fields included in the annual EU graduate selection procedure launched in spring each year. Find out more about the selection procedure here. Also, check "What's coming up" on the EPSO homepage for announcements about application deadlines. You may also find the 'sample tests' area useful.

EU Qualifications (indicative)

You must have:

  • A good command of at least 2 European languages (one of which must be English, French or German)
  • An economics degree (or be graduating in the current year) for entry at Grade AD 5
  • Several years’ relevant experience, to join us at a more senior level (Grade AD 7).
See: EPSO - European Personnel Selection Office - EU Career profiles - Economics / Statistics

Last Updated: July, 2014

Pay & Salary - Economist / Economist EU

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €27k - €96k

Monthly salaries in the EU Institutions range from around 2,600 per month for a newly recruited AST/SC 1 official to around 16,000 per month for a top level AD 16 official with over four years of seniority.
Each grade is broken up into five seniority steps with corresponding salary increases. Basic salaries are adjusted annually in line with inflation and purchasing power in the EU countries.
For example, the monthly salary level for entrants at AD Grade 5 is 4,349 rising to 5,568 at Grade 7.
As the name may suggest the basic monthly salary is just the starting point to remuneration associated with EU jobs as an employee may be entitled to allowances. All payments are subject to relevant tax and charges.
For information on salary scales in the public sector please see www.publicjobs.ie.

Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Economist / Economist EU

There is a strong indication that demand exists for this occupation across several sectors (both public and private), although the number employed is too small to allow reliable analysis. As such, any shortages are likely to be small in number.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Economist / Economist EU

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