Environmental Education Jobs: Training and Career Facts

Environmental education jobs may be found in ecotourism organizations, zoos and schools. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in fields like environmental studies, resource management and environmental education are available; read on for more details about what you can learn in such degree programs and where you could work. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Students interested in sharing knowledge of environmental stewardship, ecosystem management, and conservation with students, ecotourists, and visitors to national parks should seek a degree in environmental education. Degree programs focus on the relationship between people, the environment, and the law. Bachelor's or master's degrees in environmental education, some of which can be completed online, can open the door to jobs in various parks, museums, and schools.

Degrees Bachelor's or master's
Courses Conservation, ecology, policy, history, program planning
Careers Teacher, wilderness educator, curriculum consultant

What Will I Learn in an Environmental Education Program?

In an environmental education program, you'll learn techniques for making people aware of their impact on the environment. These programs may offer a wide variety of courses, depending on the focus of what you intend to study. Some of the subjects you might be covering are listed as follows:

  • American conservation history
  • Ecology
  • Environmental policy and law
  • Natural history
  • Nature interpretation
  • Outdoor program planning
  • Solving environmental challenges
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Environmental awareness

Which Degrees Could I Earn?

You can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Outdoor Education, a B.A. in Environmental Education or a B.A. that combines both fields, among other options. If you choose an outdoor education program, you may take courses in physical education, health, biology, psychology and general education in addition to environmental studies courses.

What About Graduate Degrees?

As a graduate student, you might wish to earn a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Environmental Education or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Resource Management. If you choose an M.Ed. program and plan to teach environmental education in a school or other formal education setting, be sure that the program will adequately prepare you for any state teacher licensing or certification you may need.

Can I Learn Online?

You can find some master's degree programs that offer online courses. You'll find some programs offered entirely online and others offered as a combination of online and classroom-based courses. However, campus-based programs may offer you practical student teaching and community education experiences not available through an online program.

What Are Some Career Options?

You could work as an environmental educator in settings including national, state and local parks, nonprofit organizations, nature centers, zoos, community recreational programs, outdoor leadership development programs, outdoor adventure programs, wilderness guide services or summer camps. Your job title might be private school teacher, wilderness educator, resource management interpreter or curriculum consultant.

As any type of environmental educator, you'll increase public environmental awareness and sensitivity, encourage participation in solving environmental challenges and help individuals make decisions based on all sides of environmental issues. According to PayScale.com, the median salary for environmental educators was $31,630 as of July 2018. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that jobs for conservation scientists, a broader category that includes environmental education specialists, were projected to grow by 6% from 2016-2026.

Those who also earn a teaching license may consider a career teaching environmental studies and related subjects in K-12 public schools, as well as private schools. In 2017, kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned a median salary of $56,900, per the BLS, while middle school teachers earned $57,720, and high school teachers earned $59,170. The projected job growth from 2016-2026 was 7% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, 8% for middle school teachers, and 8% for high school teachers, according to BLS data.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Strayer University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Trident University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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