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Salary, Wages, Pay: Conservation Scientists and Foresters




Median annual earnings of conservation scientists in 2002 were $50,340. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,300 and $61,440. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,630, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $70,770.

Median annual earnings of foresters in 2002 were $46,730. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,330 and $56,890. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,600.

In 2003, most bachelorís degree graduates entering the Federal Government as foresters, range managers, or soil conservationists started at $23,442 or $29,037, depending on academic achievement. Those with a masterís degree could start at $35,519 or $42,976. Holders of doctorates could start at $51,508. Beginning salaries were slightly higher in selected areas where the prevailing local pay level was higher. In 2003, the average Federal salary for foresters in nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions was $59,233; for soil conservationists, $57,084; and for rangeland managers, $53,657.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduates with a bachelorís degree in conservation and renewable natural resources received an average starting salary offer of $29,715 in 2003.

In private industry, starting salaries for students with a bachelorís degree were comparable with starting salaries in the Federal Government, but starting salaries in State and local governments were usually lower.

Conservation scientists and foresters who work for Federal, State, and local governments and large private firms generally receive more generous benefits than do those working for smaller firms.