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Forestry Major

1,954 yearly degrees
#202 in popularity
$63,000 median salary

Forestry is a major that typically falls into the Natural Resources & Conservation category.

There are 69 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in forestry, 73 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 51 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 34 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Forestry Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 1,100 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in forestry in 2017. This major tends to be male dominated. About 73.7% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 1.7%
  • Black or African American: 2.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 5.9%
  • White: 83.4%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 0.7%
  • Other Races: 6%
Forestry Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in forestry. About 0.7% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending forestry majors to the U.S. are China, India and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as a Forestry Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to forestry 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 Forestry Majors

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

Important Knowledge Areas for Forestry Majors

Skills for Forestry Majors

When studying forestry, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Forestry Majors

Abilities for Forestry Majors

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

Important Abilities for forestry Majors

What Can You Do With a Forestry Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with forestry:

Careers Related to Forestry
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Park Naturalists

6.3%

$61,310

Range Managers

6.3%

$61,310

Forestry & Conservation Science Professors

4.5%

$86,900

Forest and Conservation Technicians

3.9%

$37,180

First-Line Supervisors of Logging Workers

2.1%

$46,960

Soil and Water Conservationists

6.3%

$61,310

Foresters

4.9%

$61,410

Forestry Major Salary

Average salaries range from $51,000 to $65,000 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, 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 Forestry Major  ( 51000 to 65000 )
$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 Forestry Major Jobs

Some careers associated with forestry 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 forestry careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Forestry
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

3.8%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

11.4%

Post-Secondary Certificate

2.8%

Some College Courses

4.6%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

8.8%

Bachelor's Degree

43.6%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

0.6%

Master's Degree

3.2%

Post-Master's Certificate

0%

First Professional Degree

0%

Doctoral Degree

15%

Post-Doctoral Training

7%

Online Forestry Programs

There are 73 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in forestry, with 0 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 Forestry Major Worth It?

The median salary for a forestry grad is $63,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 62% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $485,000 after 20 years!

forestry 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: Bureau of Land Management via License

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