Working Abroad in Economic Affairs: 4 Jobs

Globalization has encouraged the growth of many jobs in economic affairs: there are jobs for economists, accountants, lawyers and business people in finance.


You can specialize in accounting, economics, development work, policy analysis or law. Advanced degrees, usually a graduate or professional degree, are preferred. Most professionals in this field will speak an additional language other than English, and they usually speak that language fluently. If you work for the United Nations, the working languages of the United Nations are English and French.

Job Options

  1. Economists: will produce economic models of trade and investment. They will also look for weaknesses in an economy and make recommendations based on their research. Most economists in this field are specialists in a particular region and have a good grasp of statistics and conducting statistical research.

  2. Lawyers: practice international and trade law. They may also be called to comment on the legality of trade, treaties and legal conditions in foreign states.

  3. Accountants: will analyze financial statements and will have a thorough knowledge of accounting systems and tax laws, both at home and the countries abroad. Most accountants hired for these positions will be professional chartered accountants.

  4. Finance: Beyond accountants, professionals in finance will have an expertise in international development, international banking or trade development. You will either encourage investment or invigorate existing trade relations through research and presentations.


The United Nations and the World Bank hire economic affairs officers. You can also find positions with the Department of State, working in embassies, consulates and in trade and export offices. Cross-cultural Chambers of Commerce will sometimes hire economic affairs officers to provide advice and analysis for their members. Banks and corporations with international offices will also hire professionals to work on stimulating investment. Once you have some expertise, you may be able to become a consultant, an individual entrepreneur who contracts with the government or corporations.

Typical Day

Most economic affairs officers work in an office environment, usually abroad. They analyze and produce policy, so expect a great of research, usually statistical or quantitative, and writing. Occasionally, you will conduct interviews and travel to locations for interviews and analysis. You will also be expected to make presentations, attend meetings and, when necessary, provide education and make public presentations on your research.


Economic affairs officers are usually mid-level professionals, with graduate degrees in highly competitive fields. Depending on where you live, an average salary for an economic affairs officer is $86,000. You will live in some of the most beautiful and esteemed cities in the world: New York, Paris and Hong Kong, for example, depending on the industry and region you specialize in. Potentially, with more experience, you will be eligible for more desirable placements.


Friendly trade relations, or the desire to exploit resources, will offer positions in economic affairs. Many people find work in New York, with the United Nations or in Washington D.C. with the government. Africa, Asia, including the Middle East, Europe and North and South America are all in some form of trade or development relationship with the United States, so you can find placements in any one of these countries that is trying to form or has formed a trade relationship with the United States. Where you are placed will depend on your background, expertise and linguistic abilities.