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Economic Development Officer

Economic development officers promote economic growth and sustainability in a community or region. There are many different roles an economic development officer can take. The most common is supporting and encouraging existing business while working to attract new business to their area.

  • Avg. Salary $102,104.00
  • Avg. Wage $50.81
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 4,700
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Business and Tourism Development Manager, Business / Community Development Officer, Director of Economic Development, Economic Development Co-ordinator, Economic Development Researcher, Investment Attraction Manager, Tourism and Economic Development Officer, Tourism Marketing Officer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and Consultants (4163) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and Consultants (E033) 
  • 2011 NOC: Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants (4163) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

14%
14%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Interest Codes
The Economic Development Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and Consultants
DIRECTIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to plan development projects with representatives of a wide variety of industrial and commercial enterprises, business associations and government agencies, and to develop strategies to attract venture capital; and in administering programs to promote industrial and commercial business investment and tourism

INNOVATIVE

Interest in developing policies and programs to promote industrial and commercial business investment in urban and rural areas, and in developing social and economic profiles of urban and rural areas to encourage industrial and commercial investment and development

SOCIAL

Interest in consulting to advise on procedures and requirements for government approval

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 31, 2018

There are many different job descriptions, duties, and responsibilities relating to economic development officers. Each provincial association of economic development has a list of members, a code of ethics, and standards of expectations for economic developers.

Depending on their needs, a community may employ an economic development co-ordinator or officer. This person liaises between the administration, municipal council, economic development committee, business development organizations (such as the chamber of commerce), and the community.

An economic development officer’s duties can range from co-ordinating, running, and supervising economic development programs to matching business investment opportunities with investors. This job is not about creating new businesses or jobs. It is about creating an environment where business and investment can thrive.

In general, economic development officers:

  • Connect with the local business community to support, encourage, and advise local businesses
  • Market the community to existing or potential investors
  • Act as liaison between the municipal council, economic development committee, and community
  • Prepare strategic plans and carry out economic development initiatives by identifying and promoting new opportunities
  • Compile and update demographic information to promote the community
  • Prepare and share communication materials with the planning department and municipal council to keep decision-makers part of a pro-business environment
  • Find resources that are relevant to businesses in the area
  • Maintain contacts with relevant agencies at all levels of government
  • Identify and promote government programs to help businesses, communities, or regions with economic development
  • Go to meetings of government, community, and business groups
  • Prepare, keep, and present financial and statistical records and reports
  • Oversee support staff and volunteers
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Economic development officers work in an office setting. They often attend council, committee, and community events. They may work longer than the usual 40-hour week. They may need to travel if their work involves attracting business investment with activities such as making presentations and attending trade shows. Economic development officers may spend long periods sitting at a computer.

  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Economic development officers need:

  • An energetic and engaging personality
  • Strong interest in the business community
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Advanced research skills
  • A strategic mindset
  • The ability to analyze and condense information in a logical way
  • Confidence in presenting concepts
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to give clear, concise advice and recommendations
  • Relationship-building skills
  • The ability to manage complex projects
  • The ability to work under pressure and juggle different agendas
  • Leadership skills

They should enjoy:

  • Engaging with, speaking to and inspiring individuals
  • Co-ordinating information
  • Finding new ways to handle problems
  • Taking a methodical approach to research
  • Dealing with people
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Economic development officers must know about local industries, businesses and municipal land-use and planning legislation. Most employers require a post-secondary degree related to economic development, such as business administration, urban planning, marketing, communications, economics, or political science. They also require 1 to 5 years of related experience (such as urban development, market research, municipal affairs, or marketing and communications).

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Economic development accreditation (preferably a designation) or courses that lead to accreditation are an asset.

Voluntary certifications include:

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Economic development officers work in many sectors of the economy. But they most often work for:

  • Municipal, provincial, and federal governments
  • Crown corporations
  • Regional economic development organizations
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Industry associations

Experienced economic development officers may advance to senior or management positions. Those with enough experience may go on to become private consultants.

Economic development officers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4163: Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 31, 2018
Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $23.36 $74.52 $41.42 $38.46
Overall $25.19 $76.92 $50.81 $47.79
Top $25.96 $106.49 $60.25 $53.25

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Public Administration
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

14%
14%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

Vacancy Rate

5%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Economic Developers Alberta website: www.edaalberta.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Dec 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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