Foreign Service Economic Officer

Help American citizens living abroad with economic issues.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$48,000 – $155,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Foreign Service Economic Officers do?

When you’re an average citizen, there are a few different ways you can serve the US government — by voting, for example, or paying your taxes on time. However, if these acts aren’t enough, consider becoming a Foreign Service Officer. In this career, you advance and advocate for US interests abroad while forming close international connections.

When you decide to work for the Foreign Service office, one of the first things you have to do is choose from one of five different career paths. Becoming a Foreign Service Economic Officer is one option. As a Foreign Service Economic Officer, you’re stationed overseas and charged with becoming an expert on your small part of the world and its economics. With this knowledge, Foreign Service Economic Officers can help American citizens, either on an individual or on an institutional level.

Here’s how you use your knowledge: When an American has a question, you use your contacts to find out the answer or help them with their issue. For example, you’re the person an American abroad contacts if they have legal fees from a criminal charge. You’re also the one asked if an official in the States wants to know what type of fees comes with opening an international branch of their American company.

In some ways, you can think of yourself almost as a Reporter or a University Professor, as this job entails a lot of writing, researching, and communicating. You regularly create reports on economic issues for the State Department, updating Diplomats on new economic policies or potential issues you see on the horizon.


Should I be a Foreign Service Economic Officer?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to Become a
    Foreign Service Economic Officer

    Most Foreign Service Economic Officers have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaahc9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%288%25%29|master%27s+%2829%25%29|doctorate+%2863%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,63
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