Students in a bachelor's degree program in natural resources management spend time in classes, labs and in the field learning to apply the principles of ecology in situations involving environmental resources. Many bachelor's degree programs in this field can be tailored to fit student interests, with concentrations in forestry, wetlands, wildlife or fisheries, range management and water resources.
Applicants to a bachelor's degree program in natural resources management must have a high school diploma or equivalent and provide scores from college entrance exams.
Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resources Management
Natural resources management programs typically cover broad areas of natural and social sciences. Students complete general education courses during their first two years of study, followed by core courses. An internship may also be required. Some of the major courses offered include:
- Wildlife anatomy and physiology
- Range management
- Wildlife law
- Wildlife management
- Natural resources conservation
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in natural resources management may qualify for jobs in a variety of environmental and conservation-based occupations. Entry-level employment opportunities may include:
- Environmental technician
- Information management specialist
- Laboratory animal technician
- Park ranger
- Fish and wildlife biologist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Zoologists and wildlife biologists, for example, earned a median annual income of $59,680, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015. These professionals are in demand to study animal population growth and its impact on the environment, but employment will depend greatly on budgetary resources at the local, state and federal levels. A job growth of 4% was projected for zoologists and wildlife biologists from 2014-2024, per the BLS.
Bachelor's degree holders may seek entry-level employment or pursue an advanced degree. Master's and doctoral degree programs provide advanced problem-solving training in the fields of ecology, economics and social systems. Some graduate programs are available online.
There are several certification options for bachelor's degree graduates. The Society of American Foresters (SAF) certifies foresters who have a bachelor's or master's degree from one of the SAF's accredited programs (www.safnet.org). Candidates must have a minimum of five years of work experience and pass an examination.
The Society for Range Management offers certification for rangeland management and rangeland management consultants (www.rangelands.org). Applicants need a bachelor's degree, a minimum of six years of work experience, and a passing score on the exam.
Students study social and natural sciences in a natural resource management bachelor's degree program to prepare for entry-level jobs (such as wildlife biologist or park ranger), further their education or pursue voluntary professional certification.