Natural Resource Specialists are usually employed in a university, conservation center, or research center. As their title suggests, they are in charge of initiatives related to natural resources. They may lead to research projects, fieldwork activities, or conferences related to natural resources' general topic or specialization. Natural resource specialists may specialize in wildlife, forestry, land management, marine life, and the environment. A lot of their tasks are dependent on their specialization. They may be assigned to manage paperwork related to permits and other important documents. They may also be assigned to monitor a specific sector in their specialization. They may also be assigned to work on conservation programs.

Natural Resource Specialist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real natural resource specialist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage execution of multiple projects along with daily, quarterly, monthly, weekly and emergency releases.
  • Create and manage multidisciplinary, interagency research teams.
  • Present workshops on data sources, metadata, basic cartography, basic GIS, and GPS use.
  • Use diagnostic tools for troubleshooting, identify and repairing air quality ambient monitoring equipment and meteorological instruments according to EPA standards.
  • Maintain data according to prescribe BLM program standards.
  • Issue gas and oil drilling permits on BLM land.
  • Interact with USFWS and CDFG personnel on various issues.
  • Determine forest acreage through aerial and topographic maps and through the extensive use of GPS applications.
  • Review NPDES permit applications and write NPDES permits for new permits, modifications, and reissuances.
  • Input data points for ArcGIS and participate in gathering data for sand monitoring at a dune ecosystem.
Natural Resource Specialist Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Problem-solving skills is the way that one is able to effectively solve a problem in a timely manner.
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.

Natural Resource Specialist Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, natural resource specialist jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a natural resource specialist?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of natural resource specialist opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 7,000.

Natural resource specialists average about $31.18 an hour, which makes the natural resource specialist annual salary $64,862. Additionally, natural resource specialists are known to earn anywhere from $46,000 to $90,000 a year. This means that the top-earning natural resource specialists make $44,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a natural resource specialist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a technical fellow, environmental analyst, water quality analyst, and environmental scientist/geologist.

Natural Resource Specialist Jobs You Might Like

Natural Resource Specialist Resume Examples

Natural Resource Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 28% of Natural Resource Specialists are proficient in Management Plans, Usda, and Natural Resources. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Problem-solving skills, and Analytical skills.

We break down the percentage of Natural Resource Specialists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Management Plans, 28%

    Developed short-term and long-term regional management plans for vegetation control.

  • Usda, 11%

    Submitted comments to the USDA Forest Service on behalf of organization's members.

  • Natural Resources, 9%

    Performed the activities of a natural resources program and developed methods for improved management and technical techniques.

  • Environmental Issues, 8%

    Designed and implemented workshops on local ecology and environmental issues for ages 4-14

  • Environmental Compliance, 8%

    Drafted international and field environmental compliance processes.

  • Environmental Assessments, 6%

    Serve as recreation technical specialist for Environmental assessments and Environmental Impact Statements.

Most natural resource specialists list "management plans," "usda," and "natural resources" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important natural resource specialist responsibilities here:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a natural resource specialist to have. According to a natural resource specialist resume, "environmental scientists and specialists may need to present and explain their findings to audiences of varying backgrounds and write technical reports." Natural resource specialists are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "disseminated research findings through oral and written communication in academic, professional, and interagency settings. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many natural resource specialist duties rely on problem-solving skills. This example from a natural resource specialist explains why: "environmental scientists and specialists try to find the best possible solution to problems that affect the environment and people’s health." This resume example is just one of many ways natural resource specialists are able to utilize problem-solving skills: "performed water quality analyses and kept accurate records in excel files: ph, dissolved oxygen, and temperature measurements. "
  • Analytical skills is also an important skill for natural resource specialists to have. This example of how natural resource specialists use this skill comes from a natural resource specialist resume, "environmental scientists and specialists base their conclusions on careful analysis of scientific data" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "analyzed air quality using a flir gasfind infrared camera, minirae, multirae, vrae, arearae, and summa canisters. "
  • See the full list of natural resource specialist skills.

    Before becoming a natural resource specialist, 69.6% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 12.0% natural resource specialists went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most natural resource specialists have a college degree. But about one out of every eight natural resource specialists didn't attend college at all.

    The natural resource specialists who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied environmental science and biology, while a small population of natural resource specialists studied ecology, population biology, and epidemiology and natural resources management.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a natural resource specialist. We've found that most natural resource specialist resumes include experience from United States Department of Agriculture, Jewish Community Ctr, and Arapahoe County Attorney. Of recent, United States Department of Agriculture had 113 positions open for natural resource specialists. Meanwhile, there are 3 job openings at Jewish Community Ctr and 2 at Arapahoe County Attorney.

    If you're interested in companies where natural resource specialists make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Burns & McDonnell, Swiss Re, and Indian Health Service. We found that at Burns & McDonnell, the average natural resource specialist salary is $84,261. Whereas at Swiss Re, natural resource specialists earn roughly $79,026. And at Indian Health Service, they make an average salary of $75,373.

    View more details on natural resource specialist salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious natural resource specialists are:

      What Technical Fellows Do

      We looked at the average natural resource specialist annual salary and compared it with the average of a technical fellow. Generally speaking, technical fellows receive $30,384 higher pay than natural resource specialists per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between natural resource specialists and technical fellows are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like federal agencies, gps, and technical assistance.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a natural resource specialist responsibilities require skills like "management plans," "usda," "gs," and "natural resources." Meanwhile a typical technical fellow has skills in areas such as "new technologies," "r," "sql," and "data analysis." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Technical fellows really shine in the professional industry with an average salary of $135,553. Whereas natural resource specialists tend to make the most money in the non profits industry with an average salary of $67,089.

      On average, technical fellows reach similar levels of education than natural resource specialists. Technical fellows are 3.8% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 32.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an Environmental Analyst?

      An environmental analyst is responsible for studying nature and analyzing its components to determine its relation with living organisms. Environmental analysts coordinate with other non-profit organizations to identify preservation efforts to maintain a safe and healthy environment. They also conduct data and statistical analysis to develop relief plans and programs. An environmental analyst must have excellent communication and organizational skills, especially on writing proposal reports to discuss with environmental sectors and create costs and expenses forecasting.

      Next up, we have the environmental analyst profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a natural resource specialist annual salary. In fact, environmental analysts salary difference is $6,873 higher than the salary of natural resource specialists per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of natural resource specialists and environmental analysts are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "environmental issues," "environmental compliance," and "environmental assessments. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, natural resource specialist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "management plans," "usda," "gs," and "natural resources." Meanwhile, a environmental analyst might be skilled in areas such as "hazardous materials," "data analysis," "environmental data," and "management system." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      In general, environmental analysts study at higher levels of education than natural resource specialists. They're 10.9% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 32.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Natural Resource Specialists in the next 3-5 years?

      Mark Ashton

      Senior Associate Dean of The Forest School; Morris K. Jesup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology and Director of School Forests, Yale University

      Remote sensing and measurements of natural resources.Show more

      How a Water Quality Analyst Compares

      Let's now take a look at the water quality analyst profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than natural resource specialists with a $10,909 difference per year.

      By looking over several natural resource specialists and water quality analysts resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "environmental compliance," "federal agencies," and "species act." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from natural resource specialists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "management plans," "usda," "gs," and "natural resources." But a water quality analyst might have skills like "laboratory equipment," "diagnostic tests," "data analysis," and "water chemistry."

      Water quality analysts typically study at similar levels compared with natural resource specialists. For example, they're 2.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.7% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Environmental Scientist/Geologist

      An environmental scientist/geologist's role is to study the earth and its environmental processes. Their responsibilities revolve around gathering samples and data, conducting research and analysis, participating in experiments, and maintaining records of all methods and findings. An environmental scientist/geologist may also coordinate with other scientists to review results and ensure its accuracy, take part in dialogues, and even teach. Furthermore, one may contribute their findings to publications, publish research papers, participate in scientific studies, and promote environmental awareness.

      Now, we'll look at environmental scientist/geologists, who generally average a lower pay when compared to natural resource specialists annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $5,731 per year.

      According to resumes from both natural resource specialists and environmental scientist/geologists, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "gis," "data collection," and "gps. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "management plans," "usda," "gs," and "natural resources" are skills that have shown up on natural resource specialists resumes. Additionally, environmental scientist/geologist uses skills like osha, project site, safety plans, and construction oversight on their resumes.

      The average resume of environmental scientist/geologists showed that they earn lower levels of education to natural resource specialists. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 5.9% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.9%.