There are currently an estimated 22,300 conservation scientists in the United States. The conservation scientist job market is expected to grow by 6.3% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are conservation scientists?

CareerExplorer rates conservation scientists with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 7,500 conservation scientists. That number is based on 1,400 additional conservation scientists, and the retirement of 6,100 existing conservation scientists.

Are conservation scientists in demand?

Demand and job opportunities for conservation scientists tend to be with government agencies entrusted with preventing and managing forest, park, and rangeland fires and restoring lands affected by them. This fact limits the spectrum of employers in the field and increases competition for job seekers, especially when budgetary constraints impact government spending and hiring practices. Concern over the safety and sustainability of food supplies is expected to result in some added openings for soil and water conservationists. Heightened demand for American timber and wood pellets may also help to increase job prospects for conservation scientists. New city-planning and revitalization initiatives will create greater need for scientists familiar with urban forestry, storm water runoff, and erosion. Further job growth may occur as businesses and all levels of government are called upon to invest more in conservation and renewable energy programs. This may lead to the outsourcing of conservation services to companies that specialize in providing them, and therefore transfer the majority of jobs from government to the private sector. As global environmental conscience continues to grow, corporations wishing to protect their public image may hire conservation scientists to write environmental impact statements and lead pollution prevention projects. Among these potential employers will likely be sawmills, pulp mills, and paper and oil and gas companies. If large-scale sales of forestlands take place, a loss of jobs within the traditional forest industry will follow and limited opportunities will be created with timber investment management organizations and real estate investment trusts. Although not required for conservation science professionals, industry certifications may enhance employability in this occupation. Designations are offered by the Society of American Foresters, The Society of Range Management, and The Wildlife Society. With experience and a graduate-level degree, conservation scientists may advance to managerial, research, and university teaching positions.

What’s the supply of conservation scientists?

The conservation scientist industry is concentrated in Texas, California, Colorado

Conservation Scientist job market by state

State Name Employed Conservation Scientists
Texas 1,930
California 1,760
Colorado 1,340
Florida 1,010
Pennsylvania 910
Washington 860
Oregon 760
Wisconsin 710
Minnesota 690
Mississippi 680
Virginia 640
Louisiana 630
Montana 580
Illinois 560
Iowa 510
Missouri 500
New York 500
Maryland 470
North Carolina 450
Ohio 380
Massachusetts 350
Michigan 340
New Jersey 330
Georgia 320
Arizona 300
District of Columbia 290
South Dakota 290
Utah 270
North Dakota 260
South Carolina 250
Idaho 250
Nevada 220
Nebraska 220
New Mexico 220
Indiana 200
Alaska 190
Kansas 190
West Virginia 190
Oklahoma 190
Arkansas 190
Wyoming 180
Tennessee 170
Kentucky 170
Hawaii 140
Alabama 100
Vermont 70
Maine 70
Delaware 60
New Hampshire 50
Puerto Rico 40