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Natural Sciences Major

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Natural Sciences

852 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
80 Master's Degrees Annually
#172 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 1,042
Bachelor’s Degree 852
Associate’s Degree 568
Master’s Degree 80
Basic Certificate 15
Doctor’s Degree 7
Graduate Certificate 7

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

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in natural sciences should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a natural sciences student include the following:

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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?

852 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
62% Percent Women
49% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 852 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences in 2019, making it rank #172 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 62% of recent graduates being 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 47
Black or African American 45
Hispanic or Latino 292
White 388
International Students 10
Other Races/Ethnicities 70

Geographic Diversity

Natural Sciences appeals to people across the globe. About 1.2% 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

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that natural sciences students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree 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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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to natural sciences.

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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Some careers associated with natural sciences require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 2018-2019, 142 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) 12 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 12 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 35 4
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 12 0
Master’s Degree 16 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 37,392
Biological & Physical Science 29,278
International Studies 7,967
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,609
Nutrition Science 4,794
Behavioral Science 3,731
Cognitive Science 2,275
Sustainability Science 2,194
Human Biology 1,460
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,310
Gerontology 1,281
Human Computer Interaction 1,272
Science, Technology & Society 1,171
Mathematics & Computer Science 1,105
Computational Science 927
Systems Theory 917
Museum Studies 801
Dispute Resolution 668
Historic Preservation 433
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 424
Classical & Ancient Studies 303
Marine Science 275
Cultural Studies & Analysis 227
Biopsychology 165
Medieval Studies 108
Accounting & Computer Science 71
Maritime Studies 45
Holocaust Studies 40

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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