Environmental Protection Jobs

Environmental economists perform economic analysis on how natural resources are used and distributed.

Environmental Economist Jobs and Green Career Profile

Environmental economists study how natural resources are used and distributed. They monitor economic trends and collect data on energy costs, interest rates, inflation, etc. Based on their analysis of the data collected, they develop forecasts of economic activity to help businesses and governments better plan for the activities related to environment protection and the use of natural environment and resources.

Understanding Environmental Economist Jobs

Those with environmental economist jobs write technical documents or academic articles to communicate study results or economic forecasts. They conduct research on economic and environmental topics, such as alternative fuel use, public and private land use, soil conservation, air and water pollution control, and endangered species protection. Environmental economists assess the costs and benefits of various activities, policies, or regulations that affect the environment or natural resource stocks. They also collect and analyze data to compare the environmental implications of economic policy or practice alternatives.

Learn about Environmental Economist JobsEnvironmental economists prepare and deliver presentations to communicate economic and environmental study results, to present policy recommendations, or to raise awareness of environmental consequences. They develop programs or policy recommendations to achieve environmental goals in cost-effective ways. Environmental economists perform complex, dynamic, and integrated mathematical modeling of ecological, environmental, or economic systems. They also write research proposals and grant applications to obtain private or public funding for environmental and economic studies.

Environmental Economists identify short- and long-term impacts of environmental remediation activities. They also conduct environmental impact studies to examine the ecological effects of pollutants, disease, human activities, nature, and climate change. Environmental Economists review existing environmental remediation designs. They then provide technical direction on environmental planning to energy engineers, biologists, geologists, or other professionals working to develop restoration plans or strategies.

As part of their job, environmental economists conduct research to study the relationships among environmental problems and patterns of economic production and consumption. They write social, legal, or economic impact statements to inform decision-makers for natural resource policies, standards, or programs. Environmental economists develop environmental research project plans, including information on budgets, goals, deliverables, timelines, and resource requirements. They also develop economic models, forecasts, or scenarios to predict future economic and environmental outcomes.

Environmental economists develop programs or policy recommendations to promote sustainability and sustainable development. They demonstrate or promote the economic benefits of sound environmental regulations. They develop systems for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting environmental and economic data. They examine the exhaustibility of natural resources or the long-term costs of environmental rehabilitation. Environmental economists monitor or analyze market and environmental trends. They interpret indicators to ascertain the overall health of an environment. They also identify and recommend environmentally-friendly business practices.

To perform their job, environmental economists use a variety of tools and technologies. To do their analyses, they use analytical or scientific software such as Econometric Software LIMDEP, General algebraic modeling system GAMS, Global Insight AREMOS, and Quantitative Micro Software EViews. For database management and programming, they use software such as C, FORTRAN, Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, and MySQL software.

Environmental Economists Green Job Summary

  • Environmental economists perform economic analysis related to the use and protection of natural environment and resources, such as air, land, water, and renewable energy resources. They evaluate and quantify costs, benefits, impacts and incentives of alternative options using economic principles and statistical techniques.
  • Environmental economists jobs have a bright outlook and will continue to growth. The demand for environmental economists is projected to rise due to the efforts to increase the efficiency use of water, land, and natural resources.
  • Environmental Economists jobs are expected a growth between 8% and 14% with 7,400 new jobs filled by 2022

Work Environment for Environmental Economists

Environmental economists usually work independently in an office. However, many economists collaborate with other economists and statisticians, sometimes working on teams. Some environmental economists may have to go to the field, and others may be required to travel as part of their job or to attend conferences. Some economists combine a full-time job in universities or business with part-time consulting work.

Environmental Economists Education, Training and Licensing

Most environmental economists need a master’s degree or a Ph.D degree. However, some entry-level jobs, primarily in government are available for candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Positions in business, research, or international organizations often require a combination of graduate education and work experience.

Candidates can pursue an advanced degree in economics with a bachelor’s degree in a number of fields including environmental science, but a strong background in math is essential. An advanced degree is sometimes required for advancement to higher-level positions. Most who complete a bachelor’s degree in economics find jobs outside the economics profession as research assistants, analysis and similar positions with environmental firms.

Employment Figures, Projections, Outlook and Earnings

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a bright outlook for Environmental Economists and expects employment of this field to growth between 8% and 14% from 2012 until 2022, about as fast as the average for all green jobs. The BLS projected 7,400 environmental restoration planner job openings between 2012 and 2022, and noted 17,000 jobs are currently filled. Titles include Environmental Economist, Natural Resource Economist, Principal Associate, Principal Research Economist, Resource Economist, Senior Economist, Agricultural Economist, Ecological Economist, Energy Economist, Environmental Protection Economist, and Marine Resource Economist. The BLS further reports that the median annual wage for salaried Environmental Economists was $93,070 in 2013 with median hourly wage of $44.75. Across the US job market, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,940, and the top 10 percent earned more than $158,090. Environmental Economists can receive the best compensation in Arizona, where they earn compensation, on average, of about $146,590. People in this job function are compensated at the highest average salary in Finance and Insurance, where they get average pay levels of $120,170.

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