About the Natural Resources Industry
The Natural Resources field includes both the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting sector and the Mining sector. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting comprises establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, harvesting timber, and harvesting fish and other animals from a farm, ranch, or their natural habitats. The establishments in this sector are often described as farms, ranches, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries, orchards, or hatcheries. The sector distinguishes two basic activities: agricultural production and agricultural support activities. Agricultural production includes establishments performing the complete farm or ranch operation, such as farm owner-operators and tenant farm operators. Agricultural support activities include establishments that perform one or more activities associated with farm operation, such as soil preparation, planting, harvesting, and management, on a contract or fee basis. The Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction sector comprises establishments that extract naturally occurring mineral solids, such as coal and ores; liquid minerals, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gas. The term "mining" is used in the broad sense to include quarrying, well operations, beneficiating (e.g., crushing, screening, washing, and flotation), and other preparation customarily performed at the mine site, or as a part of mining activity.
Featured Careers in Natural Resources
In Demand Careers
In 2022, the following 18 occupations were in top demand in Natural Resources in Minnesota. Select an occupation to learn more including watch a short video, get more information on wages, daily work activities, education requirements, find jobs, and more.
- General and operations managers
- Petroleum engineers
- First-line supervisors of farming, fishing, and forestry workers
- Agricultural equipment operators
- Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse
- Logging equipment operators
- First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
- Construction laborers
- Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators
- Rotary drill operators, oil and gas
- Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators, surface mining
- Continuous mining machine operators
- Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines
- Industrial machinery mechanics
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Industrial truck and tractor operators
- Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand
Natural Resources Industry Trends
- In 2022, there were around 3,400 establishments providing almost 28,750 jobs in the Natural Resources field, with a payroll of just over $1.75 billion dollars. That accounted for about 1% of total employment in the state, or 1 in every 100 jobs.
- The largest subsector was Animal Production, with 11,000 jobs; followed by Crop Production with 8,000 jobs and Support Activities for Agriculture and Forestry with 2,900 jobs. In 2022, there were 242 establishments providing just under 5,700 jobs in the Mining industry.
- Average annual wages were just under $61,000 in 2022, which was about $8,725 below the average across all industries, but varied greatly from about $48,000 in Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting compared to $115,000 in Mining, which was fourth highest among the 20 main industries in the state, and about $45,000 above the average across all industries.
- In sum, the Natural Resources field gained about 2,350 jobs from 2012 to 2022, including a jump of 400 jobs in the past year. The Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting industry has been adding jobs in Minnesota since 2012, gaining nearly 3,000 jobs over the past 10 years. In contrast, the Mining industry has been cutting jobs in Minnesota since 2012, but gained nearly 200 additional jobs over the past 2 years.
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting firms reported just under 2,300 job vacancies in 2022, as employers struggled to find workers to fill open jobs. Mining firms reported just under 250 job vacancies in 2022, as employers struggled to find workers to fill open jobs.
- According to DEED’s long-term projections, the Mining industry is expected to cut about 150 jobs over the next decade, a -2.8% rate of decline. Likewise, the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting industry is expected to cut about 250 jobs over the next decade, a -1.1% rate of decline. Still, several occupations in demand in Natural Resources are expected to see growth in the future as well as demand from replacement openings as existing workers retire. Most jobs in both Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting and Mining can be started with a High School Diploma and some level of on-the-job training, though some may require postsecondary education.
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