Natural Resource Economics
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Natural resource economics is a program that focuses on the application of economic concepts and methods to the analysis of issues such as air and water pollution, land use planning, waste disposal, invasive species and pest control, conservation policies, and related environmental problems. includes instruction in cost-benefit analysis, environmental impact assessment, evaluation and assessment of alternative resource management strategies, policy evaluation and monitoring, and descriptive and analytic tools for studying how environmental developments affect the economic system.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in natural resource economics at each level last year.
0204060801001200-1 Year Certificate1-2 Year CertificateBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's DegreeResearch Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all natural resource economics graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 59% of other programs.
Pacific Islander
American Indian
Not Reported
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 88% of other programs.
Of all people with any degree in natural resource economics earned in the last academic year, 43% were women.
Context: Percentage women
This is a lower percentage of women than 62% of other programs.
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in natural resources management, which includes natural resource economics and 9 other programs.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in natural resources management have a median salary of $55,788.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 29% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 30% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
As with our salary data, this data applies to all who earned a bachelor's degree in natural resources management, which consists of 10 programs.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 2.6%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are more likely to be employed than the bachelor's graduates of 34% of other fields.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 8% of workers who earned a bachelor's in natural resources management are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Natural Resources Management (which combines 10 programs), perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
Completions History
Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data is for bachelor's recipients of several programs including natural resource economics

This section is informed by household surveys collected for the American Community Survey (ACS). For each person in the households surveyed, we learn about their college major (if applicable), final educational attainment, age, occupation, salary, and more. Using the ACS data lets us share something about what financial and career outcomes people can expect after majoring in a particular field in college.

Within our program pages, Ididio details over 1700 programs. However, the ACS surveys only report on 170 college major degrees. There is no published crosswalk between the programs and degrees. Some of the programs we describe are mostly offered as certificates or graduate programs, and don't make sense as college majors. For the remaining programs, we created a mapping to the best-fitting ACS degree designation.

We placed natural resource economics within the ACS natural resources management degree designation, which contains a total of 10 programs.

All of the data that follows is for individuals who earned a bachelor's degree with a major in the degree natural resources management. While we compile data on those who also received graduate education, unfortunately ACS does not record the subject area for graduate degrees.

Programs included in the ACS natural resources management degree
Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management
Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism
Specialized Natural Resources Management and Policy
Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management
Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management
Specialized Natural Resources and Conservation
Sustainability Studies
Natural Resources Management and Policy
Natural Resource Economics
Land Use Planning and Management
Employment overview
Percentage of natural resources management bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in natural resources management lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage natural resources management majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 14.4% of natural resources management graduates are currently not working. However, only 2.6% are classified as "unemployed," while 11.8% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

Percentage working by type of employer
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether natural resources management majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

Salary overview
Typical salaries for natural resources management majors

How does the median (middle) salary for natural resources management majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for natural resources management majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$52K$55K$57K$71K$74K$37K$50K$56K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KState government (16.3% )Private for-profit (42.8% )Local government (11.0% )Federal government (11.9% )Self Emp. Incoporated (3.5% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (4.1% )Private not-for-profit (10.4% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for natural resources management majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in natural resources management. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Men (69%)
Women (31%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that natural resources management has more men than most other degrees.

Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of natural resources management majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

Context: Salary inequity

For natural resources management graduates, men generally earn 21% more than women. This is better than many: 63% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.

Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of natural resources management bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in natural resources management can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for natural resources management graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$59K$37K$71K$67K$65K$70K$49K$73K$23K$0$50K$100K$150KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can natural resources management majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for natural resources management majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all natural resource economics completions reported last year, 96% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 13% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in natural resource economics
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in natural resource economics today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in natural resources management when in college.

We know that about 29% natural resources management majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of natural resources management majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

Distribution: natural resources management majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 29% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in natural resources management, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in natural resources management by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$52K$67K$78K$79K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

30%54%51%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research DoctorateBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for natural resources management majors
Careers for natural resources management majors

As we explained at the start of the previous section "Salary and Employment for Majors", the career data in all of these tabs is supported by the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides career information based on the broad degree natural resources management. For of the career statistics we report here, we consider all bachelor-holders in natural resource economics and 9 other programs to fall under the ACS data we aggregated for the natural resources management degree.

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in natural resources management, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in natural resource economics. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Percentage with degree who are in job
Managers (specialized areas)
Biological scientists
Elementary and middle school teachers
Postsecondary teachers
Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
Conservation scientists and foresters
Environmental scientists and geoscientists
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
Police officers
Management analysts
Lawyers, judges, and magistrates
Social and community service managers
Physical scientists (specialized areas)
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
Agricultural Managers
Secondary school teachers
Secretaries and administrative assistants
Chief executives and legislators
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten natural resources management careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by natural resources management graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

This Degree
Top 10 careers
Top 10 degrees hired
Business Management and AdministrationGeneral BusinessAccountingElectrical EngineeringMechanical EngineeringPsychologyPolitical Science and GovernmentEconomicsMarketingFinanceBiologyNatural Resources ManagementSpecialized Program in BiologyMicrobiologyEcologyBiochemical SciencesChemistryEnvironmental ScienceZoologyMedical Technologies TechniciansElementary EducationGeneral EducationSpecial Needs EducationEnglish Language and LiteratureEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama EducationHistoryLiberal ArtsMathematicsNursingPhysicsForestryPlant Science and AgronomyGeneral AgricultureMultidisciplinary or General ScienceSoil ScienceCriminal Justice and Fire ProtectionGeographyCivil EngineeringGeneral EngineeringGeology and Earth ScienceSpecialized Program in Engineering TechnologiesSpecialized Program in EngineeringArchitectureGeosciencesCommunicationsSociologyCriminologyManagers (specializedareas)Biological scientistsElementary and middleschool teachersPostsecondary teachersConservation scientists andforestersSurveyors, cartographers,and photogrammetristsEnvironmental scientistsand geoscientistsFirst-line supervisors ofoffice and administrativesupport workersPolice officersFirst-line supervisors ofretail sales workersAll others
Jobs that choose natural resources management majors
What careers hire natural resources management majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have natural resources management as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of natural resources management majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

Careers where this degree is a top 10 hire
Biological scientistsConservation scientists and forestersEnvironmental scientists and geoscientistsSurveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetristsBiological techniciansAll other careersNatural ResourcesManagementAll other degrees
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer natural resource economics degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
Only schools within
200 Miles
13 schools offer this program (all levels) in the selected area.
Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
Baldwin Wallace University
Juniata College
Malone University
Michigan State University
Portland State University
Southeastern Community College
The University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Tuskegee University
University of Delaware
University of New Hampshire - Main Campus
University of Rhode Island
Utah State University
West Virginia University
Explore similar programs

Natural Resource Economics is part of a larger collection of programs: Natural Resources & Conservation. Is there a different program that's close to Natural Resource Economics that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
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