A natural resource manager is responsible for overseeing and implementing sustainability and conservation strategies. They do what they do to protect wildlife, trees, plants, soil, and water. Their work is done on parks, historic sites, construction sites, and mining sites. Natural resources managers work around human activities that may benefit or harm the natural environment. As a natural resource manager, you oversee conservation activities and ensure they are compliant with government laws and regulations. You also help develop plans for land use. Foresters, wildlife managers, parks managers, etc., are specialized natural resource managers.

Since it is a broad discipline, natural resource managers must have at least a bachelor's degree in any related field. Experience in a natural resources setting is also required. Natural resource managers work in private industries, academic institutions, government agencies, and regulatory bodies. They earn an hourly rate of $58 and an average gross salary of $119,938.

What Does a Natural Resource Manager Do

There are certain skills that many natural resource managers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed management skills, physical stamina and analytical skills.

Learn more about what a Natural Resource Manager does

How To Become a Natural Resource Manager

If you're interested in becoming a natural resource manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 70.8% of natural resource managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.9% of natural resource managers have master's degrees. Even though most natural resource managers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Average Salary for a Natural Resource Manager

Natural Resource Managers in America make an average salary of $72,463 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $102,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $50,000 per year.
Average Natural Resource Manager Salary
$72,463 Yearly
$34.84 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Natural Resource Manager Education

Natural Resource Manager Majors

11.5 %

Natural Resource Manager Degrees


70.8 %


16.9 %


6.9 %

Top Colleges for Natural Resource Managers

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

10. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Natural Resource Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.5% of natural resource managers listed wildlife on their resume, but soft skills such as management skills and physical stamina are important as well.

Natural Resource Manager Demographics

Natural Resource Manager Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among natural resource managers, 35.7% of them are women, while 64.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among natural resource managers is White, which makes up 90.2% of all natural resource managers.

  • The most common foreign language among natural resource managers is Spanish at 33.3%.

Online Courses For Natural Resource Manager That You May Like

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Natural Resources for Sustainable Development
edX (Global)

Natural resources represent a potentially transformational opportunity to support development but are ultimately finite How do we make the most of them without destroying the planet? In this 12-week course, produced by the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and the World Bank, learn about efforts to sustainably manage extractive industry investments. You will come to understand the complex and interwoven aspects of natural resource governance...

Certification Course in Human Resource Management

Curriculum commensurate to Top B Schools Management Program: with downloadable resources, quiz, assessments & exercise...

Environmental and Natural Resources Economics
edX (Global)

How can we create a sustainable society that protects the environment while maintaining a prosperous society? Why have humans caused environmental degradation on local, regional, and global scales, and what can we do about it? Public officials, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses need professionals who can answer these questions in order to design a new sustainable world. Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources, including how markets function and how incentives...

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Best States For a Natural Resource Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a natural resource manager. The best states for people in this position are California, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Natural resource managers make the most in California with an average salary of $107,923. Whereas in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, they would average $97,686 and $97,291, respectively. While natural resource managers would only make an average of $96,710 in Ohio, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. West Virginia

Total Natural Resource Manager Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Kentucky

Total Natural Resource Manager Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Pennsylvania

Total Natural Resource Manager Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Natural Resource Managers

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Top Natural Resource Manager Employers

Most Common Employers For Natural Resource Manager

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
3Peace Corps$83,562$40.171
4Martin Marietta$79,186$38.072
6Marin Water$71,519$34.382
7Lake County Parks$69,823$33.572
8Washington State University$69,345$33.345
10The State of Oregon$66,018$31.741