How To Become a Naturalist

Like you must have already guessed, a naturalist job is related to nature. Similar to biologists, naturalists study living organisms, their impact on one another, and how they affect their surroundings. Naturalists often have in-depth knowledge about wildlife, animals, and plants. Their job requires some level of study. In fact, most of what they do involves observing potential genetic links and doing so without carrying out any genetic analysis. If you are thinking of starting your career as a naturalist, keep in mind that you must first get a strong foundational knowledge of ecology, biology, chemistry, geography, and math. Degree options like wildlife management, geoscience, etc., can help you gain proficiency in this area. Seeing that naturalists deal with plants and animals, they can work in different places. Even so, most naturalists find employment in government-owned establishments like state and federal parks, EPA, and NPS. They can also work in private-owned scientific and technical consulting companies. Some work in the educational sector as teachers, while others get hired into the medical industry as researchers. Depending on where they find work, a naturalists salary ranges from $39,180 to $97,390.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a naturalist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.09 an hour? Thats $50,109 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 1,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

Naturalists need to attend a four-year bachelor’s degree program to qualify for entry-level positions. At the bachelor’s degree level, prospective naturalists can benefit from majoring in environmental science or environmental health, biology, wildlife biology, biodiversity and conservation.

How to Get Started as a Naturalist with Henry Horn

What does a naturalist do?

A naturalist performs a variety of job duties related to collecting samples, educating the public and working with others to preserve animal or plant species within an ecosystem. Here are some examples of job duties that naturalists have:

What is a naturalist?

A naturalist is a science professional who observes animals and plant-life within an ecosystem to determine how they affect the well-being of other organisms. They typically work for government agencies, environmental agencies, non-profits, national parks or as educators in schools.

How to become a naturalist

In order to qualify to work as a naturalist, you need to achieve the right education and experience. Review this list to determine how to become a naturalist:

1. Earn a bachelors degree

Naturalists need to attend a four-year bachelors degree program to qualify for entry-level positions. At the bachelors degree level, prospective naturalists can benefit from majoring in environmental science or environmental health, biology, wildlife biology, biodiversity and conservation.

2. Complete an internship

During the completion of your bachelors degree program, an internship can help you gain beneficial field experience and network with potential employers. You can find naturalist internships by doing an internet search, but you can also ask one of your professors for help in finding one.

3. Consider a masters degree

Attending a two-year masters degree is an optional step for Naturalists, but it can help enhance your knowledge and expertise in a specific area and make you viable for more senior positions. Examples of masters degree titles that can benefit naturalists include environmental science, conservation, wildlife conservation management and ecosystem management.

4. Think about your ideal work environment

Because naturalists have the opportunity to work for a variety of different employers including government agencies, conservation centers, national parks and non-profits, its important that you consider which workplace would suite you the best. You can also guide your job search by looking for opportunities near an ecosystem that you want to learn more about, including forests ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, marine ecosystems, desert or tundra ecosystems and grasslands.

Beneficial skills for naturalists

Naturalists can benefit from a variety or interpersonal and technical skills. Here are some examples of potentially useful skills for naturalists:


Can anyone be a naturalist?

If you want to become a naturalist, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as environmental science, forestry, botany, outdoor recreation or similar fields. Courses such as ornithology, plant taxonomy and urban planning can be very helpful towards your future career.

How much money does a naturalist make?

A background in forestry or other life sciences may be especially useful for professionals in this field. A Park Naturalist will normally receive an average salary on a scale from $39,230 and $100,350 depending on level of experience. usually get an average wage of sixty-nine thousand and twenty dollars per year.

Is being a naturalist a job?

Naturalists can expect a job growth of 7% between 2020 and 2030. * Cutbacks are likely and roles may not be filled with following resignations and retirement. The reason for this slowdown is a heavy reliance on government funding at the Federal and the state level.

Can you become a naturalist without a degree?

You may need a bachelor’s degree in an environmental-related area for a job as a park naturalist. You might consider programs in forestry, botany or ornithology. You may take relevant courses in biology, ecology, environmental law, land surveying, wildlife habitats and forest resource management.

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