Natural Resource Management Majors: Information and Requirements

Oct 12, 2019

Bachelor's degree programs in natural resource management provide interdisciplinary instruction in the natural sciences, mapping technology, and resource economics. Get details on the curricula and possible employment options for graduates, as well as continuing education opportunities.

Essential Information

Natural resource management bachelor's programs focus on the preservation and proper care of wild ecosystems. These 4-year programs often include significant research time in the field, as well as laboratory studies and theory-based classroom education. There are no specific prerequisites for a major in natural resources management beyond a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resources Management

Students choosing this major are often avid nature lovers who have spent time in the field on their own. These programs focus on development of problem-solving expertise related to the management of water, wildlife, soil and plant resources. Courses are often interdisciplinary and include the following:

  • Natural resource mapping
  • Renewable resources
  • Environmental law
  • Soil science principles
  • Remote sensing
  • Economic issues in resource management

Popular Career Options

Graduates of natural resource management programs can work in both the public and private sectors, in research, advocacy and consulting roles. Common career choices include:

  • Natural resource scientist
  • Federal resource regulator
  • Environmental writer
  • Environmental conservation consultant
  • Recreation planner

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that conservation scientists earned an average salary of $65,320 as of May 2018. Those conservation scientists who worked for the federal government made an average of $79,490 in that same year. Job growth of 4% was expected for conservation scientists between 2018 and 2028, per the BLS, which is slower than the national average for all occupations.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in natural resource management are qualified for many entry-level positions in the field. A graduate-level degree is often needed for career advancement, however. Graduate degrees include master's or PhD programs in environmental science and biology.

Students interested in organizational leadership or political advocacy roles may pursue graduate education in business administration or business management with a specialization in wildlife science. Certification through various professional organizations is available, but is not required for most careers in natural resource management.

Applicants to natural resources management bachelor's programs generally have a love for nature and are comfortable spending a significant amount of time outdoors as part of the program. Graduates of these programs may qualify for entry-level positions in environmental consulting or natural resource regulation. They can also pursue master's or doctoral degrees in natural science fields or even business administration.

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