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 naturalist's salary ranges from $39,180 to $97,390.

What Does a Naturalist Do

There are certain skills that many naturalists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed management skills, physical stamina and speaking skills.

Learn more about what a Naturalist does

How To Become a Naturalist

If you're interested in becoming a naturalist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 80.3% of naturalists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.2% of naturalists have master's degrees. Even though most naturalists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Naturalist

Naturalist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Naturalist

Naturalists in America make an average salary of $42,363 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $73,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $24,000 per year.
Average Naturalist Salary
$42,363 Yearly
$20.37 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Naturalist Education

Naturalist Degrees


80.3 %


8.6 %


6.2 %

Top Colleges for Naturalists

1. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Naturalist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.7% of naturalists listed nature programs on their resume, but soft skills such as management skills and physical stamina are important as well.

  • Nature Programs, 12.7%
  • Cultural History, 10.2%
  • CPR, 8.5%
  • Natural History, 6.1%
  • Lesson Plans, 4.7%
  • Other Skills, 57.8%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Naturalist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Naturalist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Naturalist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume
Naturalist Resume

Naturalist Demographics

Naturalist Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among naturalists, 64.3% of them are women, while 35.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among naturalists is White, which makes up 91.4% of all naturalists.

  • The most common foreign language among naturalists is Spanish at 62.1%.

Online Courses For Naturalist That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  
Learn To Communicate With Animals & Nature

Tap into the wisdom of nature and animals. Learn an easy process to assist you to communicate with animals and nature...

Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101
edX (Global)

Whether an aspiring scientific or medical illustrator or someone who enjoys drawing nature's wonders, this first-of-its-kind MOOC course is for you. The field of Natural History Illustration is about observing and illustrating subjects from nature, science and culture, with their linkages to the environment being central. Our natural world is a fascinating place. Being able to observe and replicate it through illustration provides insights into life that can change how we think about ourselves...

How to be a Professional Outdoor and Nature Photographer

Learn how to turn your passion for nature and adventure photography into a thriving business...

Show More Naturalist Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time

Best States For a Naturalist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a naturalist. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Delaware, New York, and Nevada. Naturalists make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $63,779. Whereas in Delaware and New York, they would average $63,308 and $56,946, respectively. While naturalists would only make an average of $54,539 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Naturalist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Alaska

Total Naturalist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. District of Columbia

Total Naturalist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Naturalists

How Do Naturalist Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Naturalist? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Naturalist?
Rate how you like work as Naturalist. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Naturalist Employers

Most Common Employers For Naturalist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Walking Mountains Science Center$40,579$19.514
2Asbury Woods$40,396$19.424
3World Bird Sanctuary$40,280$19.376
4Camp Ocean Pines$39,249$18.874
5St. Christopher's Inn$35,966$17.294
6Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center$35,523$17.089
7Pacific Whale Foundation$35,496$17.077
8Fairfax Water - Official$35,433$17.044
9Catalina Island Conservancy$35,347$16.994
10New England Aquarium$34,900$16.785

Naturalist Videos