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Natural Resources & Conservation Major

Natural resources and conservation is a major that typically falls into the Natural Resources & Conservation category.

There are 359 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in natural resources and conservation, 1,262 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 396 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 168 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Natural Resources & Conservation Degree?

Natural resources and conservation is the most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. Roughly 52.5% of the graduates are women, and 47.5% are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of natural resources and conservation majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 4.4%
  • Black or African American: 2.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9.6%
  • White: 73%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.7%
  • Other Races: 7.9%
Natural Resources & Conservation Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in natural resources and conservation. About 2.7% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending natural resources and conservation majors to the U.S. are.

What Will You Learn as a Natural Resources & Conservation Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to natural resources and conservation to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

Skills for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

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

Important Skills for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

Abilities for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

Natural resources and conservation majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for natural resources and conservation Majors

What Can You Do With a Natural Resources & Conservation Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with natural resources and conservation:

Careers Related to Natural Resources & Conservation
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists

29.4%

$39,600

Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors

7.1%

$76,330

Park Naturalists

6.3%

$61,310

Industrial Ecologists

11.1%

$71,130

Fire Investigators

7.3%

$62,510

Municipal Firefighters

7.2%

$49,620

Compliance Managers

8%

$107,480

Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

11.1%

$71,130

Regulatory Affairs Managers

8%

$107,480

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

7.7%

$63,420

Natural Resources & Conservation Major Salary

Average salaries range from $53,000 to $80,000 for careers related to natural resources and conservation. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Natural Resources & Conservation Major  ( 53000 to 80000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Natural Resources & Conservation Major Jobs

Some careers associated with natural resources and conservation require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to natural resources and conservation have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Natural Resources & Conservation
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

4.6%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

15.3%

Post-Secondary Certificate

6.4%

Some College Courses

7.5%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

7.1%

Bachelor's Degree

31.9%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

1.5%

Master's Degree

12.8%

Post-Master's Certificate

0.5%

First Professional Degree

0.8%

Doctoral Degree

8.4%

Post-Doctoral Training

3.8%

Online Natural Resources & Conservation Programs

There are 1,262 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and conservation, with 44 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Natural Resources & Conservation Major Worth It?

The median salary for a natural resources and conservation grad is $65,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 68% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $528,400 after 20 years!

natural resources and conservation salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Lynn Betts via License

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