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How Can I Earn a Conservation Diploma?

Although diploma options in natural resources conservation are limited, certificate programs in the topic are similar and more available. Review the typical coursework in these programs, and explore areas of specialization in the conservation field. Explore online learning options and find out how you can use conservation training in your career.

Can I Earn a Conservation Diploma?

You might have a difficult time finding conservation diploma programs, but the U.S. Department of Education says that certificate and diploma programs are comparable. There are many opportunities to earn graduate-level certificates in conservation, usually through biology or environmental science departments at colleges and universities. You can find diploma programs in energy conservation, which are geared towards engineers and plant managers who want to conserve energy in an industrial setting.

Certificate programs in conservation include conservation biology, conservation and environmental sustainability, environmental conservation, water conservation and marine science conservation. You might also be able to find some professional diploma programs in energy management. Some of these certificate and diploma programs allow working professionals to take classes on a flexible schedule, including evening classes and optional weekend courses. Some programs require you to have an undergraduate degree, while others are appropriate for those without other academic credentials.

Diploma Options Not many available, but there are many certificate options
Common Courses Ecology, biology, eco-diversity, natural sciences
Online Options Limited, but available
Career Benefits Compliment degree programs, secure entry-level employment in the field
Median Salary (2018)$46,170 (Environmental Science and Protection Technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)12% growth (Environmental Science and Protection Technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Will I Learn?

While conservation diploma and certificate programs often have a specialized focus, like waste water management or landscaping, you'll usually be required to take some courses in ecology. Ecology courses discuss the interrelationships between organisms in a particular environment. You might also be required to take courses in biology, eco-diversity, natural sciences, evolution and other science-related topics.

Depending on your particular program, other courses might include marine science, sustainable landscapes, fish management, watershed restoration and natural resources. Some of these courses require laboratory and field work. Energy management and conservation diploma programs usually discuss air quality and temperature systems, energy law, energy auditing and fuel acquisition.

Can I Learn Online?

Online learning opportunities are limited for those seeking diplomas in conservation. The lab and field requirements in many of the conservation and science courses make it difficult to design Internet-based programs. You may find limited options for earning a certificate in conservation online through a limited number of institutions, though.

How Will These Programs Help My Career?

With greater attention being paid to environmental preservation, conservation diploma and certificate programs benefit workers in many industries, both public and private. You can often choose from elective courses or find a specialized conservation program to meet your own career's needs. You'll gain a greater understanding of supply chains, project management and finance, environmental impact and energy management. These programs often compliment other undergraduate degrees, though some might be enough to secure entry-level employment in water conservation and other industries.