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Career Information for a Degree in Natural Resource Management

Natural Resource Management is typically offered as a four-year bachelor's degree program. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

Essential Information

Degree programs in natural resource management train students to work in the fields of resource conservation and environmental management. Natural resource management professionals create, plan, monitor, direct and evaluate programs that preserve the environment. Most professionals who want to work in the natural resource management field need at least a bachelor's degree.

Career TitlesConservation ScientistForester
Required EducationBachelor's degreeBachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*1%6%
Average Salary (2013)*$63,330$59,000

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Some areas of specialty within natural resource management are conservation and forestry. These professionals often work for government agencies and non-profit organizations and focus on environmental law, public policy and land use. Their job is to maintain a balance between human interests and environmental health.

Conservation Scientist

Conservation scientists manage and protect natural resources by making sure conservation and land use are following federal and state environmental standards. Their goal is to maximize the use of natural resources, from soil to water, without damaging the environment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that conservation scientists can expect to see job opportunities in the field grow only one percent from 2012-2022, which is considerably slower than average. As of May 2013, conservation scientists earned an average annual salary of $63,330.

Forester

Foresters have been educated to oversee the use of publicly and privately owned woodlands. They work for such entities as state and federal governments, logging companies and environmental agencies. Some common job titles are forest manager, wilderness and trails specialist, forestry consultant, forest ranger and timber investor. Depending on their specific position, foresters can have varying duties; however, general forestry responsibilities include:

  • Planning and overseeing the regeneration of forests
  • Maintaining forest wildlife and ecosystems
  • Monitoring forests for disease
  • Executing controlled burns
  • Inventorying timber for procurement and contracting with loggers

According to the BLS, foresters can expect to see six percent job growth between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.org). The BLS also notes that while wildfire management and urban revitalization will account for much of the demand for natural resource managers, the timber industry will see a decline in job creation. In 2013, foresters earned an average salary of $59,000 per year.

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