What does an environmental economist do

Environmental economists are professionals who make a career by conducting analysis related to the protection of the environment. They also document and record the changes of the environment with the use of natural resources such as water, land, and natural energy resources. They then evaluate and create alternative options with the knowledge and use of economic principles and statistical techniques.
How do you start your career toward becoming an environmental economist? High school students who are considering becoming an environmental economist should have a passion for mathematics and of course economic courses. Enjoying science classes is also a benefit as well, especially if economic courses are not available. When it comes to applying for a career or position all environmental economists must at minimum have a bachelor’s degree in economics. Those who wish to seek higher paying and better positions should strongly consider earning a master’s degree in economics as well. By earning a master’s degree, the individual will be provided more education and also research experience. Graduate students may also have a chance and access toward internships which can provide work experience. While it may take longer to launch a career as an environmental economist, it may be worth it to spend the extra time in school to earn more experience and to achieve a master’s degree in the field.
What are some of the responsibilities of an environmental economist? Depending on what position or specialization you desire, the responsibilities of an environmental economist may vary. Some teach in school, especially those who earn a doctorate in the field. Others are tasks with such responsibilities such as: writing documents about the results of economic forecasts, conducting research on certain environmental topics, finding alternative options to replace certain energy resources such as fuel, or developing programs to find more cost effective ways to achieve certain environmental goals. Some may work in a lab setting, while others will work in a school setting, and there are some who will work on the field to monitor the conditions and resources first hand. Again, responsibilities will differ depending on what position or specialty you decide to focus on.
Should you become an environmental economist? Environmental economists are multifaceted professionals with many responsibilities. If you have a passion for science and economics, you should consider a path in the career.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm
2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3011.01

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