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Environmental Economist

In general, environmental economists study the effects of environmental policies on the economy. They also study the effects of economic policies on the environment. They qualify and quantify the benefits and costs of environmental alternatives, such as renewable energy resources. They help design policies that protect and enhance environmental quality at the lowest cost to society.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 1,700
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Economic Consultant

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.

This occupation has not yet received an official NOC code. However, it is considered similar to the following historical NOC codes. CAUTION—As this occupation is only similar to these NOC codes, related details and labour market information may not be accurate:

  • 2006 NOC: Economists and Economic Policy Researchers and Analysts (4162) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Economists and Economic Policy Researchers and Analysts (E032) 
  • 2011 NOC: Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts (4162) 
  • 2016 NOC: Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts (4162) 
Skills Shortage*

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Environmental Economist occupation
Average Wage*
*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Environmental Economist occupation
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Environmental Economist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

*The Environmental Economist is similar to this NOC group
Economists and Economic Policy Researchers and Analysts

Interest in conducting research and developing models to analyze, explain and forecast economic behaviour and patterns; in devising methods to collect and analyze data; and in studying the nature of money, credit and credit instruments, and the operations of banks and other financial institutions in order to develop monetary policies and forecasts of financial activity


Interest in co-ordinating information to monitor economic data and regional and local economic trend; to forecast the production and consumption of renewable resources and supply, consumption and depletion of non-renewable resources; to forecast production and consumption of specific products and services based on records of past production and consumption and general economic and industry-specific conditions; and to prepare forecasts of income and expenditure, interest rates and exchange rates


Interest in consulting to advise government agencies on policies to increase economic activities; in conducting research on market conditions in local, regional and national areas to set sales and pricing levels for goods and services, and to assess market potential and future trends

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

Updated Mar 31, 2019

In general, environmental economists research economic and environmental topics, such as:

  • Alternative fuel use
  • Public and private land use
  • Soil conservation
  • Air and water pollution
  • Endangered species protection

They also:

  • Collaborate on related research, such as with the physical and biological sciences
  • Assess the economic costs and benefits of environmental activities, policies, or regulations
  • Assess the environmental costs and benefits of economic activities, policies, or regulations
  • Quantify economic impacts of environmental policies on parties, such as the agricultural sector
  • Inform policy makers whether environmental policies are feasible
  • Develop economic models, forecasts, or scenarios to predict future economic and environmental outcomes
  • Develop environmental research project plans, including information on:
    • Budgets
    • Goals
    • Deliverables
    • Timelines
    • Resource requirements
  • Develop programs or policy recommendations to achieve economic and environmental sustainability
  • Write research proposals and grant applications to obtain private or public funding for environmental and economic studies
  • Identify and recommend environmentally friendly business practices
  • Monitor or analyze market and environmental trends

Environmental economists also write reports and deliver presentations to:

  • Share results of economic and environmental studies
  • Explain possible interactions between economic and environmental impacts of future development activities
  • Share policy recommendations
  • Raise awareness of environmental consequences of proposed policies
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Environmental economists primarily work in an office setting. They use computers to compile and analyze data. They may work from home. They may need to travel to consult with stakeholders or field professionals.

Working conditions can vary a great deal over the year. Environmental economists may work long hours at key times. For example, they may feel pressure to provide accurate, timely analyses when important decisions need to be made. They may feel such pressure when economic or environmental events are affecting business or government.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Environmental economists need:

  • Mathematical, statistical, and analytical skills
  • Interest in current affairs and the environment
  • Above-average ability to use plain language to express complex ideas, in person and on paper
  • Consultation skills

They should enjoy working with leading-edge methods and economic models. They should be comfortable advising others. This includes:

  • Analyzing information
  • Making economic forecasts
  • Solving problems
  • Taking part in decision-making with government and business
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Environmental economics is a special type of economics. Students may enter an economics program that includes courses in environmental or ecological economics. Their studies may include courses in business, environmental law, or natural sciences.

A bachelor’s degree in environmental economics often is sufficient for research assistant positions. A master of arts (MA) or master of sciences (MSc) degree in economics often is required to become a professional environmental economist. Teaching positions at the post-secondary level require a doctoral (PhD) degree. Admission to master’s degree programs requires an acceptable average in the last 2 years of a related 4-year bachelor’s degree program. An honours program is preferred.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grant MacEwan University

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Environmental economists work in many sectors of the economy. They most often find jobs with:

  • Large organizations in finance, business, and industry
  • Industry associations
  • Environmental organizations
  • Universities and colleges
  • Government departments and Crown corporations
  • Private consulting firms
  • International organizations

Most environmental economists work in the energy industry. Many are employed as economic consultants. They advise business, industry, government, labour, and others. Some work for consulting firms or are self-employed.

Environmental economists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4162: Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts. In Alberta, 77% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

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

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 4162: Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 39 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Salaries vary a great deal for environmental economists. They often earn more after promotion to management positions.

*The environmental economist is similar to this NOC group
Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts

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
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $26.65 $76.92 $41.23 $38.43
Overall $27.20 $82.05 $48.64 $46.12
Top $28.74 $85.87 $53.61 $50.38

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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Public Administration
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. 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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