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Natural Resources & Conservation Major

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Natural Resources & Conservation

$65,320 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Natural Resources & Conservation Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many natural resources and conservation graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 21,077
Master’s Degree 4,487
Associate’s Degree 1,784
Basic Certificate 1,308
Doctor’s Degree 670
Graduate Certificate 334
Undergraduate Certificate 244

What Natural Resources & Conservation Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to natural resources and conservation and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

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

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

A major in natural resources and conservation prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Natural Resources & Conservation Majors

As you progress with your natural resources and conservation 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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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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

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

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Climate Change Analysts 11.1% $71,130
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Environmental Restoration Planners 11.1% $71,130
Environmental Science Professors 10.1% $79,910
Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health 11.1% $71,130
Fire Investigators 7.3% $62,510
First-Line Supervisors of Aquacultural Workers 2.1% $46,960
First-Line Supervisors of Logging Workers 2.1% $46,960
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 6.6% $89,030
Fish and Game Wardens 4.3% $57,710
Forest and Conservation Technicians 3.9% $37,180
Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors 7.1% $76,330
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists 29.4% $39,600
Foresters 4.9% $61,410
Forestry & Conservation Science Professors 4.5% $86,900
Industrial Ecologists 11.1% $71,130
Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers 7.6% $22,410
Municipal Firefighters 7.2% $49,620
Park Naturalists 6.3% $61,310
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 7.0% $61,380
Range Managers 6.3% $61,310
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Soil and Water Conservationists 6.3% $61,310
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists 7.7% $63,420

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources & Conservation?

21,077 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
54% Percent Women
22% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 54% of the graduates are women, and 46% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Natural Resources & Conservation Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 908
Black or African American 521
Hispanic or Latino 2,219
White 15,070
International Students 580
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,779

Geographic Diversity

Natural Resources & Conservation appeals to people across the globe. About 2.8% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Natural Resources & Conservation Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and conservation have a median salary of $29,750 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $25,025 (25th percentile) and $34,175 (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 resources and conservation.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $53,240 to $80,310 (25th to 75th percentile) 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, 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 Resources & Conservation Major  ( 53240 to 80310 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for natural resources and conservation careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 4.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 15.3%
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) 6.4%
Some College Courses 7.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 7.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 31.9%
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. 1.5%
Master’s Degree 12.8%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.5%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.8%
Doctoral Degree 8.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.8%

Online Natural Resources & Conservation Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,151 schools offered a natural resources and conservation 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) 168 12
Certificate (1-2 years) 75 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 370 20
Bachelor’s Degree 86 23
Post-Baccalaureate 168 12
Master’s Degree 403 38
Post-Master’s 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 173 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Natural Resources & Conservation Worth It?

The median salary for a natural resources and conservation grad is $65,320 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 64% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $508,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to natural resources and conservation.

Major Number of Grads
Computer & Information Sciences 220,337
Engineering 200,684
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 162,961
Engineering Technologies 92,549
Physical Sciences 53,556
Mathematics & Statistics 49,748
Agriculture & Agriculture Operations 38,513
Architecture & Related Services 17,753
Communications Technologies & Support 15,972
Science Technologies / Technicians 7,448

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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