2020 Natural Resources Conservation Degree Guide
The depletion of natural resources is a hot topic that is frequently discussed. If you have a passion for the environment and would like to conserve resources for future generations, consider a degree in Natural Resource Conservation.
Classes in Natural Resources Conservation include ecology, biology, and forest resource measurement and will focus on topics, such as climate, air, soil, water, land, fish and wildlife, and plant resources. Business and computer science courses are also incorporated into the curriculum to equip you with the skills to review conservation proposals and analyze their possibilities. As a conservationist, you will be able to help humanity conserve coal, oil, and trees and incorporate renewable resources into everyday life.
Under the umbrella of the Natural Resources Conservation major are specialties that include Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Environmental Studies, and Environmental Science.
A Recent Jump in Natural Resources Conservation Degrees
Approximately 695 colleges in the U.S. offer a natural resources conservation degree of some kind. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of conservation programs later in this article.
What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Natural Resources Conservation
Natural resource conservationists work to ensure that humanity will not deplete all of the world's resources. They are able to estimate how projects will affect the environment and how to protect what resources still remain. This type of job requires strong analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. Conservationists must be able to make sound decisions when determining what steps should be taken to conserve resources. They also work closely with other scientists, foresters, and conservation workers making strong communication skills a necessary trait.
Work hours and conditions vary depending on the location and type of work conservationists are performing. Some conservation scientists work outdoors in all types of weather, occasionally in remote areas. This may require walking long distances through dense woods and underbrush to reach a certain location. Some work may also be physically strenuous.
Internships and summer jobs in parks or with conservationists are valuable when pursuing a career in Natural Resource Conservation. These provide you with experience within the field before beginning your own career. Employers prefer graduates with a degree from a program that is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF).
Prior Education for a Conservation Program
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most conservation degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional conservation certifications required to pursue a career in this field.
Types of Natural Resources Conservation Degrees
Conservation degree levels vary. You can get anything from a award taking less than 1 year in natural resources conservation to the highest conservation degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. Depending on the natural resources conservation degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.
|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 conservation, with approximately 43.9% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for conservation workers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||2.1%|
About 50.1% of workers in careers related to conservation obtain at least postbaccalaureate certificate. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in natural resources conservation have obtained.
This of course varies depending on which conservation career you choose.
Career Opportunities for Conservation Majors
A career in Natural Resources Conservation can take you all over the world. Conservationists hold jobs in offices, labs, outdoors, and doing fieldwork in remote locations. Although it's not necessary, some conservationists decide to continue their education to receive either their master's degree or Ph.D.
Solid Growth Projected for Conservation Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your conservation degree? Natural Resources Conservation careers are expected to grow 9.5% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to natural resources conservation.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||99,400||11.1%|
|Environmental Science Professors||7,600||10.1%|
|Forestry & Conservation Science Professors||2,300||4.5%|
Conservation Degree Salary Potential
Recently graduated natural resources conservation students earned an average of $33,654 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $17,000 to as high as $68,600. As you might expect, salaries for conservation graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Highest Paid Conservation Careers
Salaries for natural resources conservation graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers conservation grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Forestry & Conservation Science Professors||$92,550|
|Environmental Science Professors||$91,330|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||$77,580|
Getting Your Natural Resources Conservation Degree
With over 1,999 different 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 conservation school rankings to help you with this.
Top Ranking Lists for Natural Resources Conservation
Majors Related to Conservation
One of 5 majors within the Natural Resources & Conservation area of study, Natural Resources Conservation has other similar majors worth exploring.
Most Popular Related Majors
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Natural Resource Management||2,675|
|Natural Resources Conservation (Other)||186|
Featured Environment / Natural Resources Schools
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Purdue University Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Colorado Technical University (CTU) CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, faculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology. Learn More >|