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Career Information for a Degree in Natural Resources Conservation

Natural resources conservation is generally an undergraduate degree program that concentrates on the natural sciences and mathematics. Continue reading for an overview of natural resources conservation programs, career options, and job outlook.

A bachelor's degree in natural resources conservation can help get one a job as a forester or range manager, among other similar jobs. Coursework typically deals with various topics in field of environmental studies, and students can often choose a concentration area based on their career goals.

Essential Information

Many natural resources conservation bachelor's degree programs may include prerequisite coursework in ecology, animal biology, life sciences, chemistry, and statistics. Core classes within the major typically include environment and society, forestry techniques, natural resources management, wildlife habitats, and global environmental issues.

Career Forester Range Manager
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree in natural resources conservation Bachelor's degree in natural resources conservation
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% 7% (for all conservation scientists)
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $58,230 $61,110 (for all conservation scientists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Completing an undergraduate degree in natural resources conservation prepares workers for environmental careers. Most natural resources conservation degree programs offer several concentration areas to allow students the opportunity to specialize in various conservation subfields. Such options include ecology and land management, natural resources and conservation policy, watershed management, wildlife conservation, and parks management. Workers in the conservation industry should be comfortable working outdoors and working in fairly remote locations. Learn more information on two careers in natural resources conservation: forester and range manager.

Forester

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that foresters work with government officials and landowners in an attempt to protect and conserve forested locations. Foresters employ several conservation techniques, including planting new trees, controlling which trees will be cut down, monitoring tree disease rates, and making preparations to limit wildfire damage. Some foresters provide recommendations to landowners concerning methods of making lucrative investments from forested areas while still conserving the natural resources.

The BLS states that foresters reported earning an annual median salary of $58,230 in 2015 and had an 8% estimated growth outlook for 2014-2024. Foresters who reported earning the highest average annual salaries in 2015 worked in Louisiana, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Alaska.

Range Manager

Working in various climates and ecosystems, range managers work to preserve and conserve different types of natural resources, including animals, water, soil, precious metals, and minerals. According to the BLS, most range managers travel directly to different rangelands to obtain geographical measurements and samples. After testing samples, workers can make recommendations on how to effectively use the rangeland without adversely affecting natural resources. Many range managers also make recommendations on ways to improve rangelands through conservation rebuilding techniques.

The BLS classifies range managers in the larger occupation category of conservation scientists. As of 2015, salary statistics reported to the BLS showed that conservation scientists earned an annual median salary of $61,110, and they had a 7% estimated growth outlook for 2014-2024. Conservation scientists who reported earning the highest annual average salaries in 2015 worked in Alaska, Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, and New Jersey.

Forester and range manager are two positions possible for graduates of natural resources conversation programs. Each career often involves a great deal of outdoor work and knowledge of environmental science. A bachelor's degree is often the minimum education required for these positions, and some programs allow students to specialize in areas like land management, wildlife conservation, or parks management.

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