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Emerging Occupations

Environmental Economist

In general, environmental economists study the effects that environmental policies have on the economy. They qualify and quantify the benefits of environmental alternatives (for example, renewable energy resources) and help design policies that protect and enhance environmental quality.

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 2,200
  • 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) 
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 Jan 23, 2017

In general, environmental economists:

  • conduct research on economic and environmental topics (for example, alternative fuel use, public and private land use, soil conservation, air and water pollution control, endangered species protection)
  • collaborate with others conducting related research (for example, physical and biological scientists)
  • study the relationships among environmental problems and patterns of economic production and consumption
  • assess the economic costs and benefits of environmental events or activities using appropriate techniques and methods
  • assess the environmental costs and benefits of various economic activities, policies or regulations
  • 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 and resource requirements
  • develop programs or policy recommendations to achieve economic and environmental sustainability
  • examine the sustainability of renewable natural resources and the costs of depletion or rehabilitation
  • write research proposals and grant applications to obtain private or public funding for environmental and economic studies
  • identify and measure the economic benefits of sound environmental regulations
  • identify and recommend environmentally friendly business practices
  • interpret indicators to ascertain the overall health of an environment as affected by various development activities
  • monitor or analyze market and environmental trends.

Environmental economists also write reports and deliver presentations to:

  • communicate economic and environmental study results
  • communicate possible interactions between economic and environmental impacts of certain future development activities
  • present policy recommendations or raise awareness of environmental consequences.
Working Conditions
Updated Jan 23, 2017

Environmental economists primarily work in offices, often using computers and large databases to compile and analyze data. Some work from offices in their homes. When gathering primary data and obtaining opinions some travel may be required to consult with experts and other stakeholders.

Working conditions can vary significantly over the course of the year. When key decisions are pending or economic or environmental events are affecting business or government, environmental economists may work long hours under pressure to provide accurate, timely analyses.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jan 23, 2017

Environmental economists need the following characteristics:

  • strong mathematical, statistical and analytical skills
  • an interest in current affairs and the environment
  • an above-average ability to use plain language to express complex ideas, in person and on paper
  • strong consultation skills.

They should enjoy developing innovative methods and economic models, analyzing information and making economic forecasts, advising others, finding solutions to problems and being part of decision-making in government and business activities.

Educational Requirements
Updated Jan 23, 2017

Environmental economics is a specialty in the field of economics. Students typically enter an economics program that includes courses in environmental or ecological economics. These may be supplemented with courses in business, environmental law or natural sciences.

An honours bachelor's degree in environmental economics often is sufficient for research assistant positions. A master of arts (MA) degree in economics usually 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 (preferably an honours program).

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 Jan 23, 2017

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Jan 23, 2017

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • an increased human need (for example, alternate sources of energy)
  • technological advances
  • greater specialization within an occupation.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation but future demand for environmental economists is unknown.

Environmental economists work in many sectors of the economy but usually are employed by:

  • large organizations in finance, business and industry
  • industry associations
  • environmental organizations
  • universities and colleges
  • municipal, provincial and federal governments and Crown corporations
  • private consulting firms
  • international organizations.

Many environmental economists are employed as economic consultants to advise business, industry, government, labour and others. Some environmental economists 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 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.
Wage & Salary
Updated Jan 23, 2017

Salaries vary considerably in this occupation. Environmental economists often earn more after promotion to managerial positions.

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no current salary data is available for this occupation.

*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 $27.12 $60.58 $40.42 $38.43
Overall $35.92 $74.31 $48.46 $47.73
Top $41.04 $79.65 $54.07 $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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration

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 Jan 23, 2017

Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) website:  

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 09, 2016. 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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