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2018 Report- Characterizing Hawai‘i’s Natural Resources Management Sector: Jobs, Education, Salaries and Expenditures (September 2019)

In 2012, The University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization (UHERO), in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy Hawai‘i and Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation, published a report characterizing the natural resources management (NRM) sector in Hawai‘i. The analysis looked specifically at jobs, education, salaries, and expenditures and was conducted using survey data collected from organizations identified as being part of the NRM sector.

Since 2012, the survey has been conducted two more times, once in 2014 with results published in a report titled “Recent Trends in Hawai‘i’s Green Economy: Agriculture, Energy, and Natural Resource Management” and most recently in 2018. We are pleased to share this latest report “Characterizing Hawai‘i’s Natural Resources Management Sector: Jobs, Education, Salaries, and Expenditures” and key findings with you. Natural resources are a vital component of Hawai‘i’s culture and economy and we hope that identifying trends in the NRM sector will help to fill a current information gap and also help to inform future and emerging conservation professionals about the job availability and desired academic degrees in natural resources management.

Key findings from the 2018 report:

  • Hawai‘i’s NRM jobs were at least 4,697 in 2018, 33% higher than reported for 2014, which is equivalent to an annual growth rate of roughly 7%. This is partly due to the fact that the number of survey respondents was 9% higher in 2018, likely indicative of ongoing expansion of the NRM sector.
  • According to survey data, Hawai‘i’s NRM expenditures were at least $542 million in 2018, roughly equal to expenditures reported for 2014.
  • Most NRM agencies in Hawai‘i reported that the average education level across job types within the NRM sector is at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree.
  • Starting salaries have been increasing in Hawai‘i’s NRM sector, with 59% of survey respondents reporting that administrative support staff start at $41,000/year or higher, 49% reporting that field technicians start at $41,000/year or higher, 77% reporting that professional and managerial employees start at $51,000/year or higher, and 77% reporting that executives start at $61,000/year or higher in 2018.
  • Agriculture expenditures in Hawai‘i have declined in recent years, but the total number of farms continue to increase. Average farm size appears to have bottomed out, which may be an indication that the transition from large-scale to smaller diversified agriculture is slowing down.
  • Despite a recent decline in Hawai‘i’s energy sector expenditures, energy jobs have continued their upward trend.

To read the full report, please visit: UHERO 2018 Green Economy- Final Report

This study would not be possible without the support of Kimberly Burnett and Christopher Wada of UHERO, Mark Fox of The Nature Conservancy Hawai‘i and the over 100 organizations that provided information and data via the survey.