Economic Development Officer

Job Description:

Economic development officers get companies to set up businesses in an area to create new jobs, facilities and growth.

Job Category:
Government & Public Services

What you will do:

As an economic development officer, you could:

  • develop projects to support local business growth
  • build partnerships with communities, business networks and local government
  • bid for funding and manage budgets
  • set up training schemes for local businesses and unemployed people
  • advise local businesses and community groups
  • promote the local area to attract new employers and increase tourism
  • work on neighbourhood renewal projects
  • organise business fairs and give presentations


You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • maths skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • organisational skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • persistence and determination
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Economic Development Officer, specific subjects are not typically required. However, a strong educational foundation and certain skills can be advantageous for pursuing a career in economic development. Here are some considerations:

  1. Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills are important for economic analysis, data interpretation, and financial planning, all of which are essential aspects of economic development work.
  2. Economics: While not commonly offered, if you have the opportunity to study economics, it can provide valuable knowledge about economic principles, policies, and trends.
  3. Business Studies: Courses in business studies can provide insights into business operations, entrepreneurship, and management, which are relevant to economic development efforts.
  4. Geography: Geography can be useful for understanding regional and spatial aspects of economic development, including factors like transportation, land use, and demographics.
  5. Political Science or Government: Knowledge of political systems and government policies can help you navigate the regulatory and policy landscape related to economic development.
  6. Statistics: Familiarity with statistics and data analysis can be beneficial for conducting research and analysing economic data.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma, degree or postgraduate qualification in one of the following subjects:

  • regeneration
  • planning and surveying
  • economics
  • marketing
  • business management
  • construction management
  • housing

You could do a professional economist degree apprenticeship.

You could start as an assistant, researcher or administrator in an economic development unit.

You could then work your way up through training and promotion to become a development officer.

Direct Application
You could apply directly if you’ve got a background in bidding for funding, managing projects, controlling budgets or marketing.

You’ll usually need experience from working in a related area like:

  • town planning
  • community development
  • regeneration
  • business advice
  • construction management

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical work hours could be variable.

You could work in an office.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could:

  • become a senior officer or economic policy manager
  • move into freelance consultancy
  • work abroad with international development agencies