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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Natural Resource Management

Majors Overview April 1, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Natural Resource Management and its coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Natural Resource Management

Those aspiring to careers in national park administration, conservation, and/or wildlife management would benefit by earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Natural Resource Management with its focus on the responsible use of the earth’s natural resources.

Coursework in a bachelor’s degree program is devised to teach students ways of protecting, preserving and managing wildlife habitats and species, in addition to developing and maintaining ecosystems as diverse as forests, rangeland, deserts, and marshlands. Coursework in many of these programs combines hands-on training, classroom instruction and lab-based courses.

Graduates can seek entry-level occupations such as those of environmental advocates, government lobbyists, conservation scientists, or foresters.


Courses may vary by program, but common courses in most natural resource management programs are related to the agricultural and biological sciences, in addition to ecology and environmental science. Some programs may also allow students to choose from numerous specializations in the field, including conservation science, ranch conservation, fisheries biology, and wildlife biology. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Animal sciences
•Forest ecology
•Natural resources ecology
•Forest biometrics

Career Choices

These graduates commonly seek employment with federal and local government agencies working to both conserve and manage natural resources. They perform multiple duties, including planning of conservation measures and management of efforts to oversee these plans directly while they are being implemented.

Students are also allowed specialization options in various areas, such as soil conservation and pest management. They may choose from numerous professional titles, including:

•Land manager
•Watershed hydrologist
•Conservation scientist
•Water and soil conservationist

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of three percent have been predicted for conservation scientists and foresters (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, conservation scientists and foresters brought in an average annual wage of $59,060 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

A bachelor’s degree in natural resource management is usually sufficient qualification to pursue an entry-level career in forestry or conservation. As of 2011, 16 states offered registration to foresters, mandatory in some places and voluntary in others. In order to gain licensure, interested candidates have to complete a four-year degree program. Passage of a written exam and adequate work experience are also a requirement.

Earning a master’s or doctoral degree in natural resource management will enable these professionals to seek careers in academia or research. At this level, schools may offer programs in combination with more specific or related studies, such as international resources, geographic information systems, sustainability, and environmental policy. Graduates may have to complete a dissertation or thesis before they graduate.

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