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Forestry Major

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Forestry

1,156 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
363 Master's Degrees Annually
#158 in Popularity
$63,150 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Forestry Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many forestry graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 1,156
Associate’s Degree 390
Master’s Degree 363
Basic Certificate 212
Doctor’s Degree 133
Graduate Certificate 44
Undergraduate Certificate 41

What Forestry Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to forestry 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 Forestry Majors

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

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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

A major in forestry prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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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

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

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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?

1,156 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
26% Percent Women
13% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,156 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in forestry in 2019, making it rank #158 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 13
Black or African American 16
Hispanic or Latino 72
White 960
International Students 6
Other Races/Ethnicities 89

Geographic Diversity

Forestry appeals to people across the globe. About 0.5% 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 median early-career salary of forestry students with a bachelor’s degree is $34,900 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $33,400 (25th percentile) and $38,050 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in forestry, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Forestry majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $50,790 to $65,320 (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 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 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.

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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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 130 schools offered some type of forestry program. 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) 29 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 19 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 76 10
Bachelor’s Degree 8 4
Post-Baccalaureate 29 2
Master’s Degree 50 3
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 36 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 21,552
Natural Resource Management 2,842
Wildlife Management 2,400
Fisheries Sciences 620
Natural Resources Conservation (Other) 151

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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