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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

In an O*NET survey, wildlife majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the 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

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a wildlife student include the following:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with wildlife:

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
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 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 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 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. 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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 98 schools offered some type of wildlife management 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) 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 21,552
Natural Resource Management 2,842
Forestry 2,339
Fisheries Sciences 620
Natural Resources Conservation (Other) 151

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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