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Environmental Economist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Conducts economic analysis related to environmental protection and use of the natural environment, such as water, air, land, and renewable energy resources. Evaluates and quantifies benefits, costs, incentives, and impacts of alternative options using economic principles and statistical techniques.

This career is part of the Business, Management and Administration cluster Business Finance and Accounting pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Writes technical documents or academic articles to communicate study results or economic forecasts.
  • Conducts 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.
  • Assesses the costs and benefits of various activities, policies, or regulations that affect the environment or natural resource stocks.
  • Collects and analyzes data to compare the environmental implications of economic policy or practice alternatives.
  • Prepares and delivers presentations to communicate economic and environmental study results, to present policy recommendations, or to raise awareness of environmental consequences.
  • Develops programs or policy recommendations to achieve environmental goals in cost-effective ways.
  • Performs complex, dynamic, and integrated mathematical modeling of ecological, environmental, or economic systems.
  • Writes research proposals and grant applications to obtain private or public funding for environmental and economic studies.
  • Conducts research to study the relationships among environmental problems and patterns of economic production and consumption.
  • Writes social, legal, or economic impact statements to inform decision-makers for natural resource policies, standards, or programs.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Natural Resource Economist --
  • Principal Research Economist --
  • Resource Economist --