How to Become a Natural Resources Planner

How To Become a Natural Resources Planner: Career Path Guide

In order to become a natural resources planner, you need a combination of industry experience, education and the proper skill set.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as a natural resources planner. We've also included helpful information for a natural resources planner career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Natural Resource Planner

If you aim to become a natural resources planner, pursuing a bachelor’s degree or diploma in fields such as Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, Forestry or Land Management typically serves as excellent preparation for your future career, as it will provide you with the skills, knowledge and competencies to succeed.


Pursuing coursework in these fields also offer students an opportunity to learn about issues, theories and practices in such areas as natural resource and ecosystem protection, conservation and management.


Some employers may require natural resource planners to be knowledgeable in specific legislation pertaining to their region, in areas such as land use agreements and environmental protection.


A graduate degree is typically necessary if you want to pursue natural resource planning careers in research or in teaching at the university level.


Note: Specific educational requirements for becoming a natural resources planner may vary by employer




Natural Resources Planner Job Description

Natural resource planners work with all sources of available assistance to plan for the allocation, management and protection of natural resources. They also have the responsibility of sharing information with and educating community members on natural resources and environmental issues and trends. Natural resource planners are typically hired by municipal, regional or federal governments.



Natural Resources Planner Job Duties

• Secure funding for the management of natural resources by applying for grants

• Organize and implement studies and surveys for data collection purposes

• Determine whether studies will be conducting internally or externally

• Analyze data obtained from research, and use it to determine natural resource management conclusions 

• Make presentations to the general public which demonstrate how a specific plan for the management of natural resources is in everyone’s best interest

• Explain the benefits and costs of various natural resource management programs and plans

• Justify final proposed plan, demonstrating why it is the best option in terms of natural resource management 

• Create informational newsletters, flyers, brochures and posters





Personal Characteristics of Successful Natural Resources Planners

Even with the right education and skill set, becoming a successful natural resource planner is not guaranteed. If you’re reading the list of personality and intellectual traits listed below, and you recognize many of the traits in yourself, you may be well suited for a career as a natural resource planner.


• Must have a keen interest in all aspects of nature

• Must be comfortable working with the general public

• Must have a concern for the well being of the environment

• Excellent organization and communication skills

• Enjoy working and liaising with other natural resource professionals

• Must be able to delegate and direct the work of others

• Must be able to oversee multiple projects simultaneously



Working Environment for a Natural Resources Planner

Although the working conditions of natural resource planners can vary from one job to the next, there are some elements that can be expected in most positions. Below are examples of working conditions for natural resource planners:


• Typically work in a normal office environment

• May involve fieldwork and travel and by means of automobile, and in some cases specialized vehicles such as aircraft, snowmobile or boat.

• At times requires work in remote areas, possibly located in extreme climates

• Spend the majority of most days on the computer

• Planners must meet tight deadlines on a regular basis

• May spend many long days in intense meetings

• Dealing with community members who are under personal stress or who are not comfortable with or don’t understand changes in the community or use of land



Careers Similar to Natural Resources Planner

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to that of a natural resources planner, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Environmental Policy Officer


Land Manager

Natural Resources Manager

Wildlife Manager



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Scholarships for Becoming a Natural Resources Planner

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Natural Resources Planner can be found on the following pages:


Botany Scholarships

Environmental Science Scholarships

Geology Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!




Please consult the following resource for more information on what natural resource planners do, and what it takes to become one:


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Managers in natural resources production and fishing.” (September 22, 2009). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 5, 2020.


Please Note: Some of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.




Becoming a Natural Resource Planner: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a natural resource planner. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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