What is an Environmental Resource Manager?

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Environmental Resource Management involves participating in scientific efforts to conserve the overall quality of various lands, including forests, parks, mountain ranges, and other areas of natural splendor.

What Does an Environmental Resource Manager Do?

Environmental Resource Managers observe various conservation efforts and other land-use activities to ensure that all government regulations are properly implemented and that the land will remain usable for future generations. They are often responsible for the actual planning and management of various lands containing natural resources, including the negotiation of contracts with companies and other entities that may wish to use these lands. In short, Environmental Resource Managers work with private landowners, companies, and the government to improve the quality of our natural resources, while protecting the long-term health of the land.

Where Does an Environmental Resource Manager Work?

Most Environmental Resource Managers spend a great deal of time in offices and laboratories studying samples and planning efficient ways to use the lands they are charged with. However, Environmental Resource Management often requires a great deal of fieldwork, meaning that much of their time will be spent outside. This can potentially expose them to adverse weather conditions, as well as other hazards like venomous animals and poisonous plants. When working for logging operations or other industrial companies, Environmental Resource Managers may be required to wear construction gear and work around heavy machinery. Most Environmental Resource Managers work full-time, standardized schedules. Any emergency situations - such as forest fires - may require additional hours with little to no notice.

What Is the Average Environmental Resource Manager's Salary?

Environmental Resource Managers make an average of $61,100 a year, with the highest 10% earning around $90,870 and the lowest 10% earning around $38,350.
Most Environmental Resource Managers work for the federal government, though others work for the state or local governments, as well as various environmental advocacy groups and non-profit organizations.

StateTotal EmploymentBottom 25%Median SalaryTop 75%
District of Columbia-$61,080$74,830$99,570
New Hampshire50$53,770$67,420$97,780
New Jersey140$56,670$71,940$91,060
New Mexico250$52,200$61,680$74,610
New York320$52,320$65,340$77,830
North Carolina380$41,850$55,870$75,460
North Dakota190$49,030$63,140$74,630
Puerto Rico30$56,930$66,970$77,990
Rhode Island80$49,540$69,030$93,700
South Carolina160$28,910$48,290$68,870
South Dakota280$44,070$56,930$68,880
West Virginia80$55,950$66,960$77,980

Table data taken from BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes191031.htm)

What Is the Job Demand for Environmental Resource Managers?

Job demand for Environmental Resource Managers is expected to grow by 3% in the next 10 years, which is slower than other occupations. Increased demand for natural resources and further awareness of environmental issues will create more opportunities for Environmental Resource Managers. In fact, one of the largest government concerns has become the suppression of wildfires, which requires the help of Environmental Resource Managers.

What Are the Education Requirements to Become an Environmental Resource Manager?

Becoming an Environmental Resource Manager usually requires a bachelor's degree. The preferable fields of study are ecology, environmental science, forestry, natural resources, or other related field. If you'd like to add an extra boost to your degree, consider attending a program that is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Some Environmental Resource Managers go on to earn their master's or PhD's, which allows them to conduct research or create environmental policy.

What Kind of Societies and Professional Organizations Do Environmental Resource Managers Have?

Environmental Resource Managers and those who wish to become Environmental Resource Managers can look to the following government websites for guidance:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    The EPA is a department of the federal government that offers all of the latest information about policies relevant to environmental issues. This resource can help Environmental Resource Managers remain updated on the latest federal laws and regulations implemented to preserve land and conserve natural resources.

Environmental Resource Managers can also browse through these organizations and websites for valuable resources:

  • Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP)
    ANREP is a professional association dedicated to the advancement of environmental professionals and resource managers. This association is particularly useful for those trying to educate themselves further about current environmental issues and promote strong communication between states to create a more efficient resource management structure.
  • National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP)
    NAEP is a multi-disciplinary professional association for any professionals involved in environmental protection or resource management. They provide a forum through which to communicate industry-specific information, a network for environmental professionals to work within, and an ethical guide that environmental professionals may follow and live by.

Online Master's of Natural Resources Degree Information

Online masters of natural resources allow students the flexibility to study this complex, growing, cross-disciplinary and multipurpose subject in a manner that works for them. The small number of presently available degrees in this subject is part practical and part academic, covering the range of methods, tools and research skills. Students of these subjects will get a good grounding in all areas but they should carefully consider which path they might wish to follow as a career. The nature of each program will be slightly different.