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Natural Sciences Major

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Natural Sciences

784 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
58 Master's Degrees Annually
#173 in Popularity
$110,090 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Natural Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many natural sciences graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 1,066
Bachelor’s Degree 784
Associate’s Degree 510
Master’s Degree 58
Graduate Certificate 14
Doctor’s Degree 13

What Natural Sciences Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to natural sciences were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Natural Sciences Majors

Natural Sciences majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Skills for Natural Sciences Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to natural sciences:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for Natural Sciences Majors

As you progress with your natural sciences degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Natural Sciences Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with natural sciences:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Life Scientists 9.0% $78,190
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists 6.8% $107,230
Water Resource Specialists 9.9% $123,860

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Sciences?

784 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
66% Percent Women
48% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 784 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences in 2018, making it rank #173 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 66% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of natural sciences majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Natural Sciences Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 50
Black or African American 38
Hispanic or Latino 253
White 369
International Students 14
Other Races/Ethnicities 60

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Natural Sciences. About 1.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Vietnam

How Much Do Natural Sciences Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences made a median starting salary of $31,400 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,300 (25th percentile) and $37,700 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a natural sciences degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Natural Sciences majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $89,150 to $139,680 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Natural Sciences Major  ( 89150 to 139680 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with natural sciences may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for natural sciences careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 40.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 6.1%
Master’s Degree 32.1%
Doctoral Degree 16.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.6%

Online Natural Sciences Programs

In 2017-2018, 139 schools offered a natural sciences program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 3 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 12 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 31 3
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 3 1
Master’s Degree 15 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Natural Sciences Worth It?

The median salary for a natural sciences grad is $110,090 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 176% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,403,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to natural sciences.

Major Number of Grads
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 34,540
Biological & Physical Science 27,751
International Studies 8,097
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,179
Nutrition Science 4,990
Behavioral Science 4,502
Cognitive Science 1,875
Sustainability Science 1,682
Gerontology 1,380
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,297
Human Computer Interaction 1,146
Human Biology 1,066
Science, Technology & Society 1,060
Mathematics & Computer Science 833
Museum Studies 778
Systems Theory 694
Computational Science 619
Dispute Resolution 583
Historic Preservation 446
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 416
Classical & Ancient Studies 315
Marine Science 243
Cultural Studies & Analysis 236
Biopsychology 158
Medieval Studies 119
Holocaust Studies 54
Accounting & Computer Science 45
Maritime Studies 15

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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