Environmental education, like many other sectors, endeavors to answer the calls to examine its history of institutional racism and discrimination, adopt more inclusive hiring practices and address inequities in compensation and benefits packages to make our field more equitable, welcoming and sustainable.

In 2021 the Southeast Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA) conducted a landscape analysis to understand the current state, ongoing needs, and growth areas for the regional environmental education field. This data confirms that entry-level pay in environmental education is 15-25% lower than in comparable fields such as forestry, tourism, and formal education.

Using the SEEA findings, we make the case for a reimagining of more equitable hiring and pay practices. This report provides recommendations and highlights some best practices for environmental and outdoor education organizations. Once applied, these standards and resources will help improve employee retention, attract more diverse talent, create a sustainable career path, and establish our field as a viable profession.

There are several key areas that employers must change to make environmental education careers more accessible to a broader population, including pay and benefits, position design, recruitment, processes and practices. This document provides researched explanations of why these areas matter and outlines specific minimum standards for employers to enact immediately. We also identify the target standards that we all must work toward to transform employment in our field. 

Environmental Educators of North Carolina

150 Highland Sq Dr #1034 | Hendersonville, NC 28792

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