Natural Resources Conservation
Types of Degrees Natural Resources Conservation Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many natural resources conservation graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Natural Resources Conservation Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to conservation 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 Conservation Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in conservation should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- 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.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for Conservation Majors
A major in conservation prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Conservation Majors
As a conservation major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- 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.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
What Can You Do With a Natural Resources Conservation Major?
People with a conservation degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Climate Change Analysts||11.1%||$71,130|
|Environmental Restoration Planners||11.1%||$71,130|
|Environmental Science Professors||10.1%||$79,910|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health||11.1%||$71,130|
|Forestry & Conservation Science Professors||4.5%||$86,900|
|Soil and Water Conservationists||6.3%||$61,310|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources Conservation?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of conservation majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||100|
|Hispanic or Latino||217|
Conservation appeals to people across the globe. About 15.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
How Much Do Natural Resources Conservation Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in natural resources conservation made a median starting salary of $54,250 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $42,500 (25th percentile) and $57,100 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to conservation.
Salaries According to BLS
Conservation majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $65,320 to $91,330 (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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Natural Resources Conservation
Some degrees associated with conservation may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to conservation have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.1%|
|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)||1.0%|
|Some College Courses||1.9%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||2.1%|
|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.||1.7%|
|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.||0.4%|
|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.||1.0%|
Online Natural Resources Conservation Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,026 schools offered some type of natural resources conservation 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)||89||7|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||38||2|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||2||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||93||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Natural Resources Conservation Worth It?
The median salary for a conservation grad is $77,580 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 94% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $753,600 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Natural Resources Conservation
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Natural Resources Conservation
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to conservation.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Natural Resource Management||1,059|
|Natural Resources Conservation (Other)||25|
*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.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Lynn Betts under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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