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Wildlife Management Major

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Wildlife Management

175 Master's Degrees Annually
44 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#210 in Popularity (Master's)
$65,320 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Wildlife Management Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 175
Doctor’s Degree 44
Graduate Certificate 21

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

When studying wildlife, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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

Wildlife majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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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
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 Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management?

175 Master's Degrees Annually
53% Percent Women
10% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 0
Hispanic or Latino 9
White 142
International Students 10
Other Races/Ethnicities 13

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Wildlife. About 5.7% 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?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $59,260 to $67,760 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to wildlife. 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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250K
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. 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 wildlife have obtained the following education levels.

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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 2018-2019, 98 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) 2 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 25 2
Bachelor’s Degree 2 1
Post-Baccalaureate 12 1
Master’s Degree 24 2
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 15 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 3,526
Natural Resource Management 1,059
Forestry 540
Fisheries Sciences 101
Natural Resources Conservation (Other) 25

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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