Career Options for Nature Lovers
Nature lovers may enjoy a wide range of activities that take place outdoors or allow them to interact with plants, animals and other natural resources. There are career options in a variety of fields that incorporate nature in different ways. Below is a table that lists a few career options for nature lovers.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||$60,520||4%|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||$68,910||11%|
|Conservation Scientists and Foresters||$60,610||7%|
|Fishing and Hunting Workers||$29,280||-1% (Decline)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for Nature Lovers
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Nature lovers who like animals in particular may enjoy a career as a zoologist or wildlife biologist, as these professionals study various animal species. Zoologists and wildlife biologists often conduct experiments or observations out in the field in order to study animals in their natural habitat and learn about their behavior, social interactions, population health and more. As with most scientists, these professionals may present their findings in scientific articles and reports that are used to help improve the conservation efforts of a particular species. These scientists usually need a Ph.D. for advanced independent research positions, but jobs are available for applicants with a master's or bachelor's degree in the field.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists
Nature lovers who are passionate about protecting the environment could work as an environmental scientist or specialist. These professionals might spend some of their working hours outdoors collecting different environmental samples, such as air, water or soil samples, to analyze for pollution and contaminants. They are primarily responsible for using this data to solve a variety of environmental issues and improve not only the environment, but also human health. Environmental scientists and specialists need to hold at least a bachelor's degree in one of the natural sciences.
Conservation Scientists and Foresters
A career as a conservation scientist or forester may also be a good fit for nature lovers who enjoy being outside and want to protect and conserve our natural resources. These professionals manage forests, parks, urban tree canopies and other natural areas in an effort to conserve the natural resources found within them. Conservation scientists oversee such activities as erosion control, ecosystem restoration and plant or animal inventories, while also making sure all relevant regulations are being met. Foresters manage many of the activities that promote tree growth, such as controlled burns, the application of herbicides and seedling plantings. Both positions usually require a bachelor's degree.
Nature lovers who enjoy plants and creating new spaces may excel in a career as a landscape architect. Landscape architects are responsible for designing the outdoor spaces found in parks, campuses, homes and more, and they are often required to be on-site to monitor a project's progress. They select the different materials needed for a project and determine where flowers, trees and other features should be placed. Landscape architects typically need a state license and must hold a bachelor's or master's degree in the field.
Another career option for nature lovers who enjoy animals is that of an animal trainer. These workers train a wide variety of animals in settings that can include kennels, stables and aquariums. These trainers may work with pets, like dogs, marine mammals, horses and other animals to teach them various commands that may be used for performances or to assist people with specific tasks. Animal trainers must have patience as they work to teach an animal to respond to voice commands or hand signals. Most animal trainers need at least a high school diploma, but some need a bachelor's degree.
Fishing and Hunting Workers
A job as a fishing or hunting worker may be ideal for nature lovers who want to work outdoors. Although their interactions with wildlife tend to result in an animal's captivity or death, these workers are vital to the food industry, as they hunt and catch fish and wildlife for human or animal consumption. Fishers specialize in locating fish and using nets and other fishing equipment to make legal catches, while hunters and trappers locate wild animals and capture them with traps or guns and other weapons. Fishing and hunting workers do not need a formal education, and most learn the trade while working on-the-job.