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Wildlife Management

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Wildlife Management Major

2,030 yearly degrees
#197 in popularity
$65,000 median salary

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

There are 24 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in wildlife, 58 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 24 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 16 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Wildlife Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 1,700 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management in 2017. Roughly 53.2% of the graduates are women, and 46.8% are men.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 1.4%
  • Black or African American: 0.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 8.5%
  • White: 82.4%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 0.4%
  • Other Races: 6.4%
Wildlife Management Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in wildlife. About 0.4% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending wildlife majors to the U.S. are China, Canada and India.

What Will You Learn as a Wildlife Management Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to wildlife 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 Wildlife Majors

A major in wildlife should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Wildlife Management Majors

Skills for Wildlife Majors

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

Important Skills for Wildlife Management Majors

Abilities for Wildlife Majors

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

Important Abilities for wildlife Majors

What Can You Do With a Wildlife Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with wildlife:

Careers Related to Wildlife Management
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Park Naturalists



Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists



Range Managers



Forestry & Conservation Science Professors



Soil and Water Conservationists



Fish and Game Wardens



Wildlife Management Major Salary

Average salaries range from $59,000 to $68,000 for careers related to wildlife. 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 Wildlife Major  ( 59000 to 68000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

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 Wildlife Management Major Jobs

Some careers associated with wildlife 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.

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

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Wildlife Management
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Wildlife Management Programs

There are 58 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management, with 1 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.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Wildlife Management Major Worth It?

The median salary for a wildlife grad is $65,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 68% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $528,400 after 20 years!

wildlife management salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli via License

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