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Forestry Major

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Forestry

1,078 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
334 Master's Degrees Annually
#160 in Popularity
$63,150 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Forestry Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 1,078
Associate’s Degree 418
Master’s Degree 334
Basic Certificate 139
Doctor’s Degree 124
Undergraduate Certificate 35
Graduate Certificate 27

What Forestry Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, forestry majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Forestry Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in forestry 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.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills for Forestry Majors

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

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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 Forestry Majors

A major in forestry will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Forestry Major?

People with a forestry degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
First-Line Supervisors of Logging Workers 2.1% $46,960
Forest and Conservation Technicians 3.9% $37,180
Foresters 4.9% $61,410
Forestry & Conservation Science Professors 4.5% $86,900
Park Naturalists 6.3% $61,310
Range Managers 6.3% $61,310
Soil and Water Conservationists 6.3% $61,310

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry?

1,078 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
26% Percent Women
14% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,078 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in forestry in 2018, making it rank #160 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 74% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Forestry Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 18
Black or African American 24
Hispanic or Latino 64
White 899
International Students 8
Other Races/Ethnicities 65

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Forestry, too. About 0.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Nepal
  • Iran

How Much Do Forestry 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 forestry made a median starting salary of $34,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $33,400 (25th percentile) and $38,050 (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 forestry.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $50,790 to $65,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to forestry. 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 Forestry Major  ( 50790 to 65320 )
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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 degrees associated with forestry 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.

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

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 11.4%
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) 2.8%
Some College Courses 4.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 43.6%
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. 0.6%
Master’s Degree 3.2%
Doctoral Degree 15.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.0%

Online Forestry Programs

In 2017-2018, 126 schools offered a forestry 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) 25 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 18 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 69 4
Bachelor’s Degree 7 4
Post-Baccalaureate 25 1
Master’s Degree 51 3
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 34 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Forestry Worth It?

The median salary for a forestry grad is $63,150 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 58% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $465,000 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Natural Resources Conservation 20,787
Natural Resource Management 2,675
Wildlife Management 2,217
Fisheries Sciences 547
Natural Resources Conservation (Other) 186

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Environment / Natural Resources Schools

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