What Can You Do with a Natural Resources and Conservation Degree?

Radek, what jobs can you get with a Natural Resources and Conservation Degree? I’m wondering, what can I do with a Natural Resources and Conservation Degree?

Many students who graduate from a Natural Resources and Conservation degree program go on to become foresters. (Be aware that in many states, this will require state licensing.) Foresters help governments and people keep forests healthy, productive, and sustainable. This can mean helping a logging company come up with a harvesting plan, or helping a park recover from a forest fire, or protecting a species from a harmful fungus. Many foresters work as procurement foresters, who serve as liaisons between sawmills, landowners, and loggers.

Of course, not all graduates become foresters. Many who major in Natural Resources and Conservation go on to work as conservation scientists, individuals who work to protect our natural resources. They work with governments, farmers, ranchers, and land owners on the best and safest way to use land.

For any of these jobs, expect to spend lots of time outdoors, often on long walks and hikes. Also expect to work long hours in emergency situations. Those candidates who are willing to relocate will have the best chance of finding jobs and of advancing in the field. Graduates may be able to find work in certain niches, such as wildfire management, biomass energy, or urban forestry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment of conservation scientists and foresters would grow by 12% from 2008 through 2018. The Federal Government and some states expect that a large number of their workers will retire over the next several years. (Sixty percent of foresters and 74% of conservation scientists are employed by the government.) This will mean new jobs opening up, and those with a four-year degree (or more) will have the best shot at employment.

Careers you can get with a degree in Natural Resources and Conservation include:

  • Conservation Law Enforcement Officer
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Forester
  • Forestry Technician
  • Natural Resources Manager
  • Natural Resources Policy Analyst
  • Park Ranger
  • Procurement Forester
  • Soil Conservationist
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