2022 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
Natural Resources Conservation was the 50th most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 21,317 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 3.1% increase in conservation degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 20,652.
The United States has 1,004 different schools where you can get a degree in natural resources conservation. This year's Best Natural Resources Conservation Schools ranking compares 356 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom conservation rankings further below.
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).
Conservation Degree Program Entry Requirements
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. Once you obtain your degree, additional conservation certifications required to pursue a career in this field.
Types of Natural Resources Conservation Degrees
There are many different conservation degree levels. You can get anything from a in natural resources conservation to the highest conservation degree, a . How long it takes to complete some common conservation degree levels is shown below.
|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%|
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 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 1,905 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.
|Natural Resources/Conservation, General||2,554|
|Natural Resources Conservation & Research, Other||229|
Most Popular Majors Related to Conservation
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Natural Resource Management||2,509|
|Natural Resources Conservation (Other)||118|