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Environmental Design Major

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Environmental Design

70 Master's Degrees Annually
20 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#253 in Popularity (Master's)
$88,860 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Environmental Design Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 70
Doctor’s Degree 20
Graduate Certificate 19

What Environmental Design Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to environment design were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Environment Design Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in environment design should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Environment Design Majors

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

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Environment Design Majors

A major in environment design 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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Environmental Design Major?

People with a environment design degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architects, Except Landscape and Naval 4.2% $79,380
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Architecture Professors 10.5% $86,980
Landscape Architects 6.5% $68,230

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Environmental Design?

70 Master's Degrees Annually
56% Percent Women
16% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 56% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Environment Design Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 5
Hispanic or Latino 5
White 21
International Students 32
Other Races/Ethnicities 6

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Environment Design. About 45.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Environmental Design Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in environment design have a median salary of $36,900 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $31,850 (25th percentile) and $41,950 (75th percentile).

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

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $73,160 to $99,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to environment design. 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 an Environmental Design Major  ( 73160 to 99320 )
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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 environment design 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 environment design careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Some College Courses 0.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 55.8%
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. 6.1%
Master’s Degree 18.5%
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. 0.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 8.6%
Doctoral Degree 7.7%

Online Environmental Design Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 57 schools offered some type of environmental design 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) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 3 0
Bachelor’s Degree 4 0
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 14 0
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 8 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Environmental Design Worth It?

The median salary for a environment design grad is $88,860 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 123% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $979,200 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Architectural Sciences & Technology 2,827
General Architecture 1,951
Urban & Regional Planning 1,852
Landscape Architecture 432
Real Estate Development 358
Interior Architecture 169
Architecture (Other) 82
Architectural History 36

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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