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2023 Natural Resources & Conservation Degree Guide

Natural resources and conservation are hot topics in our society. Many are concerned about the world's quickly depleting resources, whether it is oil, forests or endangered species. If you are passionate about this topic and believe you would like to help make a difference, a major in Natural Resource Conservation is just the beginning.

There are many different majors within the Natural Resources and Conservation field of study. A Natural Resources Management degree will provide the skills to manage how resources are used while majoring in Natural Resource Conservation will teach you how to productively and responsibly use the Earth's resources. If you prefer to work with animals, you can learn about habitat management with a major in Wildlife Management or specialize with a major in Fisheries Sciences. If you believe Natural Resources and Conservation is the field of study for you, any one of these majors will allow you to work in the field you are passionate about.

Natural Resources & Conservation Degrees Remain Stable

#25 Most Popular Major
30.5k Degrees Awarded
0.5% Increase in Graduates

Natural Resources & Conservation was the 25th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 30,503 degrees in this year alone. This represents a small change of only 0.5% from the prior year's total of 30,341 natural resources and conservation degrees awarded.

This year's Best Natural Resources & Conservation Schools ranking compares 270 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of natural resources and conservation programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation
2023 Overall Best Natural Resources & Conservation Colleges >

Best Natural Resources & Conservation Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Natural Resources & Conservation
Bachelor's Degrees in Natural Resources & Conservation
Master's Degrees in Natural Resources & Conservation
Doctorate Degrees in Natural Resources & Conservation

Natural Resources & Conservation Degree Requirements

Most of the majors within Natural Resources and Conservation are based heavily in sciences making a background in sciences very beneficial. Other essential skills are critical thinking and problem solving. Careers in this field require professionals to analyze different problems related to natural resources or habitats and create solutions. A love for the outdoors and a desire to save habitats is vital for anyone in this field.

Prior Education for a Natural Resources & Conservation Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific natural resources and conservation careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Natural Resources & Conservation Degree Types

There are many different natural resources and conservation degree levels. You can get anything from a in natural resources and conservation to the highest natural resources and conservation degree, a . The time it takes to complete a natural resources and conservation degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to natural resources and conservation, with approximately 37.1% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for natural resources and conservation workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 31.9%
High School Diploma 15.3%
Master’s Degree 12.8%
Doctoral Degree 8.4%
Some College Courses 7.5%

About 62.6% of workers in careers related to natural resources and conservation obtain at least bachelor's degrees. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in natural resources and conservation have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which natural resources and conservation career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Natural Resources & Conservation Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$35.2k Average Starting Salary
7% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Depending on your major, there are many possibilities for a career in natural resource conservation. Graduates often work for state or federal government agencies focusing on resource or wildlife conservation. Graduates also have the option to work in labs or perform fieldwork. Depending on your level of education, you may be able to perform your own independent research and publish findings. No matter what type of career you want, there are many opportunities available. Your possibilities are endless.

Growth Projected for Natural Resources & Conservation Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your natural resources and conservation degree? Natural Resources & Conservation careers are expected to grow 7.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to natural resources and conservation.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 731,900 7.0%
Firefighters 350,900 7.2%
Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Recreational Protective Service Workers 163,700 7.6%
Police and Detective Supervisors 111,600 6.6%

How Much Money Do Natural Resources & Conservation Grads Make?

Recently graduated natural resources and conservation students earned an average of $35,213 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $14,764 to as high as $71,774. As you might expect, salaries for natural resources and conservation graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Natural Resources & Conservation Careers

Salaries for natural resources and conservation graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers natural resources and conservation grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Police and Detective Supervisors $93,100
Forestry & Conservation Science Professors $92,550
Environmental Science Professors $91,330
Fire Fighting Supervisors $80,310

Getting Your Natural Resources & Conservation Degree

With over 2,997 different natural resources and conservation degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased natural resources and conservation school rankings to help you with this.

Natural Resources & Conservation Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Natural Resources Conservation 22,254
Natural Resource Management 2,933
Wildlife Management 2,449
Forestry 2,233
Fisheries Sciences 483

View All Natural Resources & Conservation Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer & Information Sciences 254,454
Engineering 198,468
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 177,778
Engineering Technologies 85,188
Mathematics & Statistics 52,396

View All Natural Resources & Conservation Related Majors >


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