Conservation Scientists
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Speciality
Overview
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Manage, improve, and protect natural resources to maximize their use without damaging the environment. May conduct soil surveys and develop plans to eliminate soil erosion or to protect rangelands. May instruct farmers, agricultural production managers, or ranchers in best ways to use crop rotation, contour plowing, or terracing to conserve soil and water; in the number and kind of livestock and forage plants best suited to particular ranges; and in range and farm improvements, such as fencing and reservoirs for stock watering.
Titles for this career often contain these words
SpecialistManagerResourceConservationParkTechnicianConservationistNaturalEnvironmentalEcologistScientistResourcesOfficerErosionControlWildlifeManagementLandRangerRangeSoilDistrictPlannerCoordinatorRefugeWaterConsultantAquaticTerrestrialHabitatAnalystDivisionWorkerParksProgramPhysicalAgricultureBotanyAgentEngineerCommissionerPolicyScienceDepartmentDNROrderEducatorSedimentDesignInstallationContractorForemanFarmFieldFilterChangingForestryGrasslandSupervisorUseLandsNationalPlantUplandsDirector
Education
About 100% of conservation scientists and foresters have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by conservation scientists and foresters
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More conservation scientists and foresters have bachelor's degrees than 97% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Conservation scientists, with 23,800 workers, form a smaller workforce than 70% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for conservation scientists are expected to grow by 4%, and should have about 2,600 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Conservation scientists are less likely to be automated than 86% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for conservation scientists compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most conservation scientists earn.
$63K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Gender
Women account for 23% of conservation scientists and foresters -- that's a smaller percentage than 63% of other jobs.
Gender of conservation scientists and foresters
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For conservation scientists and foresters, the median men's salary was 1% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 5% of conservation scientists and foresters are minority, and 2% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of conservation scientists and foresters
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (2%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Conservation Scientists per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of conservation scientists who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (48%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (46%)
  • Time Pressure (45%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (36%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do conservation scientists and foresters earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (conservation scientists). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for conservation scientists (BLS Salary Data)
$63K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$63K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all conservation scientists and foresters.
Distribution: Salaries for conservation scientists and foresters (ACS Salary Data)
$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Conservation scientists and foresters: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $56KAll jobs' median $45K$62K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire conservation scientists.
Employers of Conservation scientists and foresters (ACS)
Private for-profit (21.5%)
Private not-for-profit (7.8%)
Local government (8.9%)
State government (23.4%)
Federal government (32.8%)
Self-employed incorporated (3.4%)
Self-employed not incorporated (2.3%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of conservation scientists and foresters by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of conservation scientists and foresters, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$56K$69K$49K$53K$53K$54K$56K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of conservation scientists by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty conservation scientists, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$63K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for conservation scientists and foresters

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$42K$73K$74K$63K$68K$69K$51K$63K$0$50K$100K$150K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
01K2K3K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Conservation scientists and foresters and gender

With 23% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 63% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Conservation scientists and foresters
Men (77%)
Women (23%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is better for conservation scientists and foresters, with the median salary for men only 0.9% higher than the median salary for women.

$56K$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Conservation scientists and foresters have one of the smaller inequity calculations, with the increase for men's median salary over women's median salary in this job lower than that for 90% of other jobs.

1%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of conservation scientists and foresters

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority conservation scientists and foresters than for 99% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of conservation scientists and foresters
White (95% )
Black (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Multiracial (1% )
Hispanic (0% )
Asian (0% )
Other (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
5%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
2%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for conservation scientists and foresters by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$56K$57K$60K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KOtherWhiteHispanic
Distribution: Salaries for conservation scientists and foresters by nativity
$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Conservation scientists and foresters and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 6% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 71% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
6%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for full-time workers.

$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by conservation scientists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), conservation scientists typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as conservation scientists and foresters as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for conservation scientists

Conservation scientists and foresters typically need a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a related field, such as agricultural science, rangeland management, or environmental science.

Bachelor’s degree programs are designed to prepare conservation scientists and foresters for their career or a graduate degree. Alongside practical skills, theory and education are important parts of these programs.

Bachelor’s and advanced degree programs in forestry and related fields typically include courses in ecology, biology, and forest resource measurement. Scientists and foresters also typically have a background in Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, remote sensing, and other forms of computer modeling.

In 2017, more than 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in forestry, urban forestry, and natural resources and ecosystem management were accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for conservation scientists

Several states have some type of credentialing process for foresters. In some of these states, foresters must be licensed; check with your state for more information. Conservation workers do not need a license.

Although certification is not required, conservation scientists and foresters may choose to earn it because it shows a high level of professional competency.

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) offers certification to foresters. Candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an SAF-accredited program or from a forestry program that is substantially equivalent. Candidates also must have qualifying professional experience and pass an exam.

The Society for Range Management offers professional certification in rangeland management or as a range management consultant. To be certified, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in range management or a related field, have 5 years of full-time related work experience, and pass an exam.

Education attained by conservation scientists and foresters
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for conservation scientists and foresters? Below we see the distribution of conservation scientists and foresters salaries based on the education attained.

$55K$59K$82K$0$50K$100K$150KBachelor's Degree (77%)Master's Degree (18%)Doctorate (3%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by conservation scientists and foresters

This table shows the college majors held by people working as conservation scientists and foresters.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Conservation scientists and foresters with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as conservation scientists and foresters, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Conservation scientists a...Specialized ManagersPostsecondary TeachersWholesale and Manufacturi...First-Line Supervisors of...Chief executives and legi...Biological ScientistsLandscaping and Grounds-k...General and Operations Ma...Elementary and Middle Sch...Surveyors, cartographers,...Police OfficersFirst-Line Supervisors of...Project Management Specia...Farmers, Ranchers, and Ot...Agricultural and food sci...First-Line Supervisors of...Specialized Agricultural ...PhysiciansDentistsRegistered NursesSpecialized Physical Scie...Specialized Life Scientis...Medical and Clinical Labo...PharmacistsEnvironmental Scientists ...Management AnalystsacsOcc_565Geoscientists and Hydrolo...Lawyers, and judges, magi...First-Line Supervisors of...Retail SalespersonsProbation Officers and Co...Security Guards and Gambl...Correctional Officers and...Specialized Social Worker...Detectives and Criminal I...First-Line Supervisors of...Accountants and AuditorsFinancial ManagersCustomer Service Represen...VeterinariansAnimal CaretakersSoftware DevelopersSpecialized Life, Physica...Medical and Health Servic...ForestryNatural ResourcesManagementPlant Science andAgronomyBiologyEnvironmental ScienceGeneral AgricultureCriminal Justice and FireProtectionGeneral BusinessAnimal SciencesSpecialized Program inBiologyAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

Almost all of people working as conservation scientists and foresters have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%5.0%10.0%15.0%20.0%25.0%30.0%35.0%40.0%Percentage with this major$40,000$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000$100,000$110,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for conservation scientists and foresters

What jobs will most conservation scientists and foresters hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of conservation scientists and foresters reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Conservation scientists and forestersForest and Conservation WorkersFarmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural ManagersDriver/sales workers and truck driversPurchasing AgentsArchivists, curators, and museum techniciansManagement AnalystsSpecialized Life, Physical, and Social Science TechniciansPolice OfficersReservation/Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel ClerksEditorsFish and Game Wardens and Parking Enforcement OfficersSurveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetristsDesignersCarpentersConstruction ManagersSpeech-Language PathologistsHealth Technologists and TechniciansSpecialized EngineersCounselorsSchool bus monitors and protective service workersClerical Library AssistantsAccountants and Auditors
Lateral job transitions for conservation scientists and foresters

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as conservation scientists and foresters as well as 1% of respondents after working as conservation scientists and foresters. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for conservation scientists and foresters: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as conservation scientists and foresters? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of conservation scientists and foresters surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most conservation scientists? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as conservation scientists. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all conservation scientists and foresters, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Conservation Scientists per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where conservation scientists earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for conservation scientists and foresters compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for conservation scientists and foresters.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all conservation scientists and foresters, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Conservation Scientists (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which conservation scientists earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?