Health Economist

Job Description:

A Health Economist analyses and evaluates healthcare systems, policies, and interventions to assess their economic impact, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency in improving public health outcomes.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

As a health economist, you will be:

  • Conducting economic evaluations to assess the costs and benefits of healthcare interventions, programs, or policies
  • Analysing healthcare data to measure outcomes, costs, and trends related to medical treatments and services
  • Assessing the efficiency of healthcare interventions by comparing costs to the health benefits achieved
  • Evaluating the impact of healthcare policies and regulations on access, affordability, and quality of care
  • Studying healthcare markets, including supply and demand dynamics, pricing strategies, and competition
  • Predicting future healthcare trends, expenditures, and healthcare needs
  • Providing recommendations for allocating healthcare resources effectively, considering budget constraints and health priorities
  • Assessing the economic implications of public health programs and initiatives
  • Analysing healthcare financing systems, including insurance models and payment mechanisms
  • Advising healthcare organisations, government agencies, and policymakers on economic aspects of healthcare decision-making
  • Conducting research studies and publishing findings in academic journals and reports
  • Advocating for evidence-based healthcare policies that promote economic efficiency and improved health outcomes
  • Presenting economic findings and recommendations to a variety of audiences, including policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the public
  • Identifying opportunities for improving the quality of healthcare while considering cost implications
  • Assessing the economic impact of healthcare disparities and proposing strategies to reduce them


You will need:

  • knowledge in economics, health economics theory and econometrics
  • knowledge in healthcare systems, healthcare policy and healthcare finance
  • knowledge in cost analysis and data analysis

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Health Economist, there are no specific GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) subjects required. However, taking subjects that develop strong foundational skills in mathematics, economics, and science can be beneficial. These may include:

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics is crucial for understanding economic concepts, statistics, and data analysis, which are fundamental in health economics.
  2. Economics: Studying economics at the GCSE level can provide you with an early understanding of economic principles and terminology.
  3. Science: Subjects such as biology, chemistry, or physics can be valuable as they may relate to healthcare topics and research.
  4. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for conveying complex economic findings.

While these subjects can be helpful, it’s important to note that the most significant qualifications for a career in health economics are usually obtained at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, where you can specialise in health economics, economics, or related disciplines.

To become a Health Economist, you typically need the following qualifications and requirements:

Educational Background

Bachelor’s Degree: Begin with a bachelor’s degree in economics, health economics, public health, or a closely related field. Economics is a common starting point.

Master’s Degree (Often Preferred): Many health economist positions, especially more advanced roles, prefer candidates with a master’s degree (MSc or MA) in health economics or a related field. Some roles, particularly in academia or research, may require a Ph.D.


Take coursework that covers health economics, health policy, econometrics, biostatistics, and related subjects during your academic studies.

Research Experience

Gain research experience, possibly through internships or research assistant positions, to understand research methodologies and healthcare data analysis.

Certifications (Optional)

Consider obtaining certifications related to health economics, such as those from professional organisations like the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

Working Hours and Environment:

Health Economists typically work full-time in office settings, but hours can vary based on project deadlines, and some travel may be required for research or meetings.

Career Path & Progression:

The typical career path for a Health Economist involves education, starting in entry-level positions, progressing to mid-level roles, potential specialisation, project management, and, optionally, transitioning to policy advisory, consulting, academia, or leadership roles, all while staying updated with the field’s developments.