What Are Some Popular Careers in Conservation?

Conservation careers can take many forms, including working for a conservation non-profit organization, getting a job with an eco-friendly business or working directly with natural resources as an environmental scientist. Read on to discover some popular careers in conservation. Schools offering Natural Resources & Conservation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Conservation Careers Overview

There are a range of careers within conservation. Some options include laboratory technology work, environmental consulting, environmental education, park management, restoration and natural resource planning. Conservationists may work in specialized areas, like water conservation, soil conservation or rangeland conservation. Some organizations where you can find conservation jobs include Earthwatch Institute, Rainforest Alliance, Sierra Club, The Conservation Fund, and Wildlife Conservation Society. A few career options are detailed below.

Important Facts About Careers in Conservation

Median Salary (2014) $61,860 (for all conservation scientists and foresters)
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 3% (for all conservation scientists and foresters)
Work Environment Offices, laboratories, outdoors, and occasionally remote locations.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Conservation Non-Profit Organizations

Several non-profit organizations promote conserving natural resources and land. Positions at such groups include recruiting and managing volunteers, working in publicity or marketing, creating and updating websites, managing the organization or working in the main office. Expect to need at least a bachelor's degree in order to find a position working for a conservation non-profit organization. The Nature Conservancy, The Ecological Society of America, Conservation International and the Trust for Public Land are just a few of the conservation non-profit organizations where you could find a career.

Eco-Friendly Businesses

Eco-friendly or green businesses are companies that promote environmentally conscious behavior both within the business and with the vendors they work with. Eco-friendly businesses often help improve the environment through conservation efforts. Some businesses that have successfully incorporated eco-friendly practices include Kohls, Intel and TD Bank, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A bachelor's degree in business administration can help you begin a management career with a conservation-friendly company. Customer service jobs, like retail positions, may be available to applicants with less education.

Conservation Science

If you are interested in working directly to conserve and improve the use of natural resources, you could consider becoming a conservation scientist. A bachelor's degree in environmental science, range management, forestry or a related field is the minimum degree needed to find a position as a conservation scientist, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of 2012, local, state and federal government agencies employed 69% of conservation scientists in the United States, reported the BLS. Research positions at universities usually require a master's degree or doctoral degree.

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:

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  • Johns Hopkins University

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  • Kaplan University

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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

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