How did you get started in environmental education? Did you start with a low paying seasonal job and moved position to position until you landed the full-time job with benefits? It’s a common path for many new environmental educators. A 2021 regional Landscape Analysis conducted by the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance confirmed what many of us working in environmental education already know: there are inequities in pay and benefits. This analysis found that the average entry-level salary for environmental educators is 15-25% lower than in comparable fields (Stakeholder Report).
To address this, SEEA gathered a team of writers and advisors from across North America to develop an eeGuidance for Equitable Pay and Hiring in Environmental Education. EENC coordinated this project and is proud to now share this resource with our community. We are also so thankful to our members and partners who contributed to this work!
This eeGuidance provides concrete tools and suggestions for designing and posting positions. It can serve as a tool for individuals and organizations to advocate for increasing EE salaries. And once applied, these standards and resources will help improve employee retention, attract more diverse talent, create a sustainable career path, and ultimately make environmental education more equitable.
EENC will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 16 at 1 pm to provide an overview of what this document includes and recommended strategies for how you can use it.
If you dig into this document before that webinar, know that we recognize and acknowledge that environmental education employers are coming from a wide range of starting points when it comes to pay and hiring. If your employer is already meeting all of the minimum standards, great work! If your organization is just getting started - or if you have been working to make change, but are challenged with constraints of larger systems - review the minimum standards and focus on what you can do. While you might not be able to raise pay right away, can you immediately rework how you recruit participants? Every step you can take helps move the field in the right direction. And if you’re in a position where you don’t have the power to make change (yet!), know that EENC will continue to advocate for equitable pay and hiring, so we can work toward a sustainable future for the field.