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Wildlife Management Major

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Wildlife Management

1,607 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
157 Master's Degrees Annually
#139 in Popularity
$65,320 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Wildlife Management Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 1,607
Associate’s Degree 230
Master’s Degree 157
Basic Certificate 156
Doctor’s Degree 36
Graduate Certificate 17
Undergraduate Certificate 14

What Wildlife Management Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to wildlife 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 Wildlife Majors

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

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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Skills for Wildlife Majors

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

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  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Wildlife Majors

As a wildlife major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Wildlife Management Major?

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

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Fish and Game Wardens 4.3% $57,710
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
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists 7.7% $63,420

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management?

1,607 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
53% Percent Women
16% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,607 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management in 2018, making it rank #139 in popularity. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 53% of the graduates are women, and 47% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Wildlife Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 23
Black or African American 15
Hispanic or Latino 136
White 1,324
International Students 6
Other Races/Ethnicities 103

Geographic Diversity

Wildlife appeals to people across the globe. About 0.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Canada
  • India
  • Japan
  • Colombia

How Much Do Wildlife Management Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that wildlife management students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $24,000 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $22,050 (25th percentile) and $26,500 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to wildlife so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Wildlife majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $59,260 to $67,760 (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 Wildlife Management Major  ( 59260 to 67760 )
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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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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with wildlife 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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for wildlife careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.7%
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) 0.7%
Some College Courses 2.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 51.2%
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. 1.2%
Master’s Degree 12.5%
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. 1.1%
Doctoral Degree 18.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.3%

Online Wildlife Management Programs

In 2017-2018, 96 schools offered a wildlife 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) 12 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 24 2
Bachelor’s Degree 2 1
Post-Baccalaureate 12 1
Master’s Degree 24 4
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 16 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Wildlife Management Worth It?

The median salary for a wildlife 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 wildlife.

Major Number of Grads
Natural Resources Conservation 20,787
Natural Resource Management 2,675
Forestry 2,155
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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