Land Management Careers: Job Options and Requirements

Degree programs in land management typically cover topics in securing sustainable resources for urban and suburban land areas. Read on to explore some career options and their requirements as well as job growth and salary information.

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Land management encompasses a broad range of careers. From conservation land managers to foresters, these professionals are mainly charged with ensuring correct ownership is maintained and that the land is used appropriately. While licensing is fully dependent on the state, a bachelor's degree is required of those interested in pursuing a career in land management.

Essential Information

Professional careers in land management focus mainly on property management to ensure the land being overseen remains viable and perpetuated as outlined by the landowner or deed. Many professionals in this industry have a bachelor's degree or higher, and those in the field of law must have a law degree and become licensed by the state in which they want to practice.

Careers Conservation Land Managers Forester Lawyer
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Doctoral or Professional degree
Licensure Requirements N/A Licensure or registration required in some states State licensure
Project Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% (for all conservation scientists) 8% 6%
Median Salary (2015)* $61,110 (for all conservation scientists) $58,230 $115,820

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Land managers work with a variety of stakeholders and need excellent communication and planning skills in order to convey land plans and changes. These professionals should have a handle on the legalities of their chosen specialty and understand the importance of strategic planning. No matter the area of work, these individuals are in charge of managing their chosen land areas to keep them safe and maintain correct ownership. Careers in land management include conservation scientist, forester, and lawyer.

Conservation Land Managers

Conservation land managers are a type of conservation scientist. These workers deal with the ecology and sustainability of plots of land. Professionals in conservation land management careers have studied topics in ecosystem economics, sustainability and environmental effects. These land managers work to keep certain land areas safe from development or other structures that may hamper their sustainability.

The projected job growth for conservation scientists is expected to grow by 7% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Conservation scientists, including conservation land managers, made a median annual salary of $61,110 as of May 2015.

Foresters

Land management foresters decide when and where trees will be planted. These individuals also clear debris from forest areas, monitor controlled burns and determine best practices for harvesting tree seedlings for additional forest growth. Land management foresters also work with forest specialists to establish plans for what to do in the event of insect infestations or plant disease. Tree harvesting and tree population control are also within the duties of land management foresters.

The BLS reported that foresters earned a median salary of $58,230 in 2015. Employment for foresters is projected to grow by 8% from 2014 to 2024.

Petroleum Land Managers/Lawyers

Petroleum land managers include professionals like lawyers, land managers, and lease and title analysts. Professionals in this area negotiate property rights, determine ownership status and combine oil resources or interests. Professionals from other industries may set out to gain experience or certificates specifically in petroleum land management if it is an area in which they wish to specialize. Land management lawyers must continue their studies to earn a law degree.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for lawyers, including those who work in petroleum land management and related specialties, will increase 6% from 2014-2024. The median salary for lawyers was $115,820 in 2015.

Job growth for all three of these positions is projected to increase at an average rate within the next decade. Those working in the conservation and forester field can expect to earn anywhere from $58,000 to a little over $61,000 a year. Lawyers who specialize in land management will earn quite a bit more since they're required to earn a doctoral degree and state licensure before entering employment.

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